Melrose comedian, Kevin M. Quigley, brings the very first “Melrose Comedy Event” to the Knights of Columbus this April 26. We sat down with Kevin to learn more.
Q: Where did you grow up?
Quigley: I grew up on Orris Street, just a few blocks away from the Roosevelt Elementary School. My friends and I spent most of our free time shooting videos all over town — places like Whip Hill and Sewall Woods — which I’d later edit and animate. When we finally had enough videos to fit into a half hour block, Channel 15 aired them, and many are still kickin’ around on youtube! I guess this was my first venture into writing for stage and screen.
Q: When did you become interested in stand-up comedy?
Quigley: I had wanted to get into stand-up comedy for a long time and even tried my hand at a few open mic nights during college. But a few years ago, I took a date to Nick’s Comedy Stop, where we saw a talented group of local comedians put on a great show. Fittingly, Laura Severse, who will be headlining the upcoming “Melrose Comedy Event,” was hosting that night. Seeing these mostly working-class Boston natives perform gave me inspiration. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I realized that since these folks were regular people like me — with lives, jobs, relationships — I had no excuse not to try. And, lucky for me, the girl I was on the date with decided she wasn’t really that into me, so I had plenty of free time! Currently I’m humbly employed as a software-engineer in Boston by day, and perform by night.
Q: Where have you performed locally?
Quigley: Like most up-and-coming stand-up comedians in Boston, I’ll perform anywhere that offers me stage time. Most notably, I’ve done shows at The Comedy Studio in Somerville, but the bulk of my stage time is through the ‘underground’ network of Boston bar shows, like John Harvard’s in Cambridge, The Pour House in Back Bay, Sixth Gear in Southie, Walnut Street Cafe in Lynn, and a smattering of locations on Cape Cod, in Maine, and in New Hampshire.
My most memorable show was a contest at the Cape Verdean Club in Falmouth. Terron Jackson produces a ton of terrific shows down there, and this one was sold out at 130 people. I’d never performed to a room that big, and 130 people is a VERY big room to bomb in front of! My friend, Big D, who is also performing at the upcoming “Melrose Comedy Event,” gave me a great pep talk — I took the stage, did my jokes, and they loved me. Stand-up comedy is a very honest art form. It’s just you — writer, actor, director — and there’s no room for faking it. When you are your true self, the audience will connect.
Q: What made you decide to bring a regular comedy event like this to Melrose?
Quigley: I have a great amount of Melrose pride, and in turn the people of Melrose have a great sense of humor! I don’t recall many comedy events happening in Melrose when I was growing up, so ultimately I’d like to change that with some reoccurring stand-up shows. Plus Melrose is a vibrant arts community — these shows are a great opportunity to foster and support the comedic arts. I hope to keep the ticket prices low to make attending accessible to everyone, and over time, that the “Melrose Comedy Events” will become a regular place for comedic talent from all over New England to showcase their skills.
Eventually I’d love to partner with a local arts non-profit. The first show will be proof of concept, and if things work out, I’ll keep the shows coming — there’s no shortage of stand-up comedic talent in the greater Boston area!
And I’m very excited to be able to give local 15-year-old, Sam Rossi, a special spot during the upcoming show. I’m also very jealous, because if i started doing standup when I was 15, I’d probably be really good by now! My mission is to bring stand-up comedy to my hometown, so if I didn’t give our very own young talent a chance to shine, then I’d be missing my own point.
Q: Sounds fun! When is the first “Melrose Comedy Event”and where can people get tickets?
Quigley: Our first show is Friday April 26, 8:00PM (doors open at 7:30PM), at the Knights of Columbus at 23 West Foster Street in Melrose. I’ll be hosting, and we’ll have acts by Laura Severse (from Nick’s Comedy Stop, CBS Scene, and WGBH), Janet McNamara (from America Idol), Big D (from Sirius XM), Tyler Swain (from Nick’s Comedy Stop), and Shyam Subramanian (from John Harvard’s), plus a special appearance by local Melrosian, Sam Rossi. Purchase your $15 tickets in advance at melrosecomedyevent.com or $20 tickets at the door (21+).
Q: What’s the best way for people to follow these events and stay informed?
Quigley: ‘Like’ “Melrose Comedy Event” on Facebook to follow along and find out more information. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, especially if you are interested in performing or partnering.