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Teicheira: Laughing is serious business

Comic bringing colleagues to Manteca showcase

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Teicheira: Laughing is serious business

Anthony Krayenhagen and Chris Teicheira record an episode of their “Pretendng to Care” podcast in the basement of their rural Manteca home.

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED October 1, 2012 12:27 a.m.

It’s not uncommon to see Chris Teicheira scribbling notes to himself.

On the back of a cocktail napkin, his time cards or even the stacks of his unused wedding reception invitations, the Manteca comic routinely jots down funny anecdotes or bits that he hopes will eventually correlate into a laugh.

And while the cavalier bachelor with the devil-may-care attitude lets his oversized personality loose while out on the town, it’s the downtime that he has – the time spent with fellow comic and roommate Anthony Krayenhagen and their merry band of pranksters – that keeps him sharp and witty and ready to take the mic at any time.

On Saturday Teicheira will host another comedy showcase at Isadore’s. It’s an event that he came up with as a way to bring other comedians from bigger markets into the area to give local residents exposure to those they would normally travel to see. The evening will feature a lineup peppered with established veterans and up-and-comers.

Headlining this event will be San Francisco native and current Sacramento resident Del Van Dyke. He was a semi-finalist in the prestigious San Francisco Comedy Competition and has built up a steady resume in his 30 years at the mic.

Krayenhagen is performing as will Sacramento rising star Diego Curiel.

But for Teicheira, it’ll be a return to the twilight of the low-ceiling longue where he feels most at home that he’s looking forward to the most. It’s a place that gives him the best chance to hit that groove.

The Bulletin caught up with Teicheira while he had some downtime on his tractor:

MB: “Congratulations Chris on your nomination for another Modesto Area Music Award (Best Comic) this year. Some people say art shouldn’t be judged. What’s your take?”

CT: “I agree – judging art is such a subjective thing, and the voting in this is online and I don’t know how much credibility that lends it. Anthony (Krayenhagen) won it last year and I’m nominated with my buddy Roberto – Anthony will be presenting so it’ll be worth watching for sure.”

 MB: “What’s it like living with another comic that you perform with and podcast with?”

CT: “Honestly, it can be brutal. Vanessa, Anthony’s girlfriend who lives with us, will get up and leave because she thinks we’re being so mean to each other. I think it teaches you to be quicker – it trains you to think on your feet and get your digs in when you can. If I had to move back into a place with regular humans I think I’d be immediately bored.”

 MB: “A lot of people view comedy as an escape – they’ll go see a funny movie or spend a night out at the comedy club. How has being a performing comic affected that experience for you?”

CT: “I think that it’s taken away from it a little bit. It makes me nitpick things that I see and I catch a lot more now. I actually get mad at other comics if I hear something that isn’t good, and if somebody in the house laughs at something that isn’t funny I’ll look at them like, ‘that wasn’t even that good.’ I think it has to be an amazing joke.”

 MB: “Is there a line at which you don’t cross to get a laugh?”

CT: “I think that the politically correct answer is yes, there is a limit. I wouldn’t want to do a joke that would deliberately hurt someone’s feelings. But I think that in a bit it’s really all in how you deliver it – if you’re overtly mean the crowd’s probably going to notice it and they’re likely going to be waiting for you in the parking lot. But if you’re doing it correctly in your tone and your mannerisms and it’s clear that you’re joking – you can get a slide. The other guys tend to get weeded out quickly.”

 MB: “Hecklers – how do you deal with them and how much to they actually impact a performance?”

CT: “Most comics have a few canned responses, but you want to try and not be too mean. Basically heckling is anything that’ll throw a comic off of their rhythm. But it doesn’t all have to be negative – I’ve actually had people that were laughing too much that have done just as much damage. Because you come up with something and you play it out in your head and you know where you’re at and all of a sudden somebody is hysterically laughing at a part that you didn’t prepare for. Now you’ve lost your place and you’re in your head and it’s all because a guy was having too much of a good time.”

MB: “What’s the difference between clubs and venues?”

CT: “The funny thing is that I’ll do smaller clubs – places like Luna’s Café in downtown Sacramento – and I’ll get more nervous because the atmosphere is different. But if I got into a place like The Purple Onion in San Francisco or any other big comedy club you get this wonderful feeling – this sense that there’s no way that you’re not going to destroy this room. And then you’re standing in the green room and you’re looking at the pictures of the other comics that were there before you. You’re about to walk onto a stage that Richard Pryor and George Carlin both performed on. That’s awesome.”

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