By Michael Balderston
The big break is something every performer in all parts of show business waits for. One opportunity to take the next step toward recognition – perhaps even superstardom. It’s impossible to know when it’s going to come, or in some cases, if it ever will. For local DMV comics that time is now as NBC’s reality show “Last Comic Standing” is holding auditions for their ninth season on Saturday, Sept. 27, at the D.C. Improv.
The invite-only auditions feature 30 premiere DMV comics in two shows for a coveted spot on the show, which will premiere next summer. Among the comics auditioning are Rob Maher, Elahe Izadi, Rahmein Mostafavi, Matty Litwack, Chelsea Shorte, Jamel Johnson and Jenn Tisdale. You can get the full list of performers here.
When asked what the opportunity means to him, Maher put it quite bluntly, “just everything.”
“This might be my last/best chance to make it in this business,” Maher said in an email, “let’s not screw it up.”
For one comic, this is a second chance to make an impression on the national stage. Jason Weems was a contestant on season 7 of “Last Comic Standing,” but he said he is extremely excited to have been brought back for another go-around.
”It’s always nice to be sought out, especially when there is a history there,” says Weems. “It’s like being invited back to someone’s home for dinner. You must’ve done something right.”
If Weems wants to repeat his success from the past, he will have his hands full with his fellow comics. Though not as big as the comedy scenes in New York or Los Angeles, the DMV area has produced some big names in the past, like Dave Chappelle and Patton Oswalt, and these auditions could show the quality of talent present in the area.
“The DMV comedy community has been churning out comic stars for years now,” says Maher. “We know we are full of funny, talented comics. This will be just another example.”
The shows, at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., will take place in the Comedy Lounge and will be hosted by another local comedian, Tim Miller. Tickets for both shows are sold out. Those who will be attending better be ready for all the gut-busting laughter sure to ensue.
“I’m excited for the rest of the world to see how we get down,” says Weems. “It’s gonna be a blast.”