When Will Cary performs stand-up, he hopes the experience is as much a departure from everyday life for his audience as it is for him.
“I’m super quiet in real life, but I turn into Beyoncé on stage,” the 32-year-old Tobyhanna resident said. “It’s like I have an alter-ego.
“Everything is so P.C., but comedy is a way (for audience members) to go out and not be themselves, just have the night they deserve. It gives people a way to escape.”
Cary will host a night of laughs featuring a half-dozen performers on Thursday, Aug. 29, from 9 p.m. to midnight at Madame Jenny’s, 126 Franklin Ave., Scranton. Last Call Comedy Show Vol. 2, presented by Comedic Gold Ent., will include sets by John Walton, Angelia Petrillo, Deidre Mollura, Holly Griffin, Thomas Durdan and Taury Seward, plus music by DJ Guardian.
Cary promised the show will be “high-octane” and that guests may find themselves incorporated into the acts on stage.
“You’re going to be part of it, if you’re willing,” Cary said. “I like to talk to the crowd. I’m huge on getting them involved. I actually have people come up and dance. You’re going to see something crazy.”
The speakeasy venue lends itself to the underground, loungey-feel of the show, he added.
Cary’s own humor is a cross between observational and his real-life stories about his dating life — or lack thereof, he joked. The Philadelphia native and dad to a 4-year-old son, Devon, works as kitchen manager at the Nyx in Clarks Summit when he’s not on the microphone, and he said he always cracked up his family as a youngster. But he didn’t get into stand-up until about three years ago when a college friend forced him to share his talent by signing him up for a Philly showcase.
“It was the craziest adrenaline rush ever,” Cary said of his debut performance. “I wrote three jokes or talking points but forgot them at my aunt’s house, so I was pacing like crazy. … I just started talking and did 10 minutes on stage, and I’ve been addicted ever since.”
In the years that followed, Cary said, he has become like a “starving artist” for comedy.
“I’m hungry for it. It’s therapy for me,” he said. “Comedy definitely saved my life.”
Cary lives with depression but said his confidence has “skyrocketed” since diving into stand-up. One of his biggest sources of inspiration to become a better person each day is an ex who was his muse while he was in the throes of his depression, he added.
Cary plans to establish a foundation for mental illness by the end of this year, which will use comedy shows and charity events to bring awareness to the cause. It’s one more way he’ll be able to use his performance art to help himself, and others, he noted.
“Knowing a room full of people are happy makes me happy,” Cary said.
If you go
- What: Last Call Comedy Vol. 2
- When: Thursday, Aug. 29, 9 p.m. to midnight
- Where: Madame Jenny’s, 126 Franklin Ave., Scranton
- Details: Tickets cost $10 for general admission and $20 for VIP, available at madamejennys.com.
Patrice Wilding is a 13-year employee of the Lifestyles Dept. at The Times-Tribune, where she worked her way up from a clerk to a web video producer to a full-time reporter, writer and copy editor. An Olyphant native, she graduated from Mid Valley Secondary Center and earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with concentration in media arts, political science and communications from Wesley College, Dover, Delaware. She lives in Clarks Summit with her husband, Justin, and their son, Johnny. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5369; @pwildingTT