When Anthony Krayenhagen steps out on the stage at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto on Saturday it won’t be the first time.
But, as a finalist in the 44th Annual San Francisco Comedy Competition, it will arguably be the most important in Krayenhagen’s 10-year comedy career that has spanned from bars and restaurants to some of the most comedy clubs on the West Coast.
And he’s going to relish in the home crowd advantage.
“I’m happy to be coming home,” said Krayenhagen, who performs under the stage name Anthony K. “It’s crazy not think about the idea of the home crowd working to my advantage – it would psychotic not to think that.
“But everybody is getting a chance to perform in front of crowds that they’re familiar with, so if the only advantage that I have is that one night in Modesto when people can come out and support me, I’m glad for that – and it’s a beautiful place to perform as well.”
The former Manteca resident and lifelong comedy fan has performed countless times in The Family City over the years – from the monthly comedy showcase at String’s Bar and Grill to local bars and restaurants looking to attract a different crowd with something different.
And, along with Chris Teicheira and a handful of other local comics, Krayenhagen has been instrumental in helping bring accomplished touring professional comics to places like Manteca, Modesto, and Stockton to play for comedy-starved crowds that appreciate not having to drive to the Bay Area for entertainment.
While he may have started out with aspirations of being a making a living as a comedian, now Krayenhagen is doing precisely that – years of paying his dues at small venues and local shows throughout Northern California that he feels has prepared him for the unique and taxing test that the competition puts him through.
“This is the way that I’ve come up in comedy – through rooms like the ones I’ve been forming in as a part of this,” Krayenhagen said. “Maybe it’s become I come from a smaller town and am used to bar gigs and shows like that, it feels like I’m already prepared for it – this isn’t out of my wheelhouse, but what I do.
“I think it gives me a one-up because I’m used to being in these smaller venues but I’m also used to playing in theaters as well.”
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.