It’s three days before Anthony Krayenhagen makes history as the first local comic to grace the stage at the Gallo Center for the Arts and he’s worried about an event two weeks away.
For the second straight year he and roommate Chris Teicheira – his Pretending to Care podcast cohost and comic compadre – have agreed to come up with a series of unique ideas for Modesto’s “Luckyfest.” Together they’re tasked with making “Pandora’s Box” into a wild and unique experience where unsuspecting partygoers will be subjected to skits, jokes and gags that are both elaborate and well planned.
Well, somewhat well-planned.
And for the time being, this is what is occupying Krayenhagen’s time.
It isn’t until he and Teicheira slip into the basement of the rural Manteca home that has become ground zero for their comedy and hijinks that he finally makes mention of needing to put something together for the upcoming show.
It’s not like it’s a big deal or anything – it’s only a Ceres boy, a Modesto girl and a Manteca farmer gracing the biggest stage in town for what is likely going to be a sold out show.
The thought, at first, didn’t sit well with him.
“It terrified me,” Krayenhagen said about the idea when it was pitched to him by the President of the Ceres Relay for Life. “This was an idea that I’ve been throwing around with my closest friends, and here it is right in front of me.
“They wanted to know if we could sell 200 seats. Yeah – we can do 200 seats.”
But despite having a bio and his face on the Gallo Center for the Arts website and a penchant for being able to sell tickets every time he steps out onto a stage to headline, Krayenhagen still walks around relatively unknown.
On Monday he went down to the box office to shuffle around some of the tickets that his girlfriend had reserved and he ended up striking up a conversation with a lady that was there to exchange the B.B. King tickets she had bought for her husband for Valentine’s Day.
He told her that he was there to get tickets for the comedy show on Friday, and she asked who was performing.
“I am,” he told her.
She looked at him with that “Oh, sure you are” face.
Maybe it’s his unassuming nature or the fact that he steps out on stage in the same things that you’re likely to find him in if he were sitting on a barstool at his favorite watering hole – jeans, a T-shirt and a pair of basketball shoes.
The Gallo show, however, is going to be different – he knows that he’s going to have to dress up to impress the people that are coming out for his no-holds-barred 40-minute set.
So he’s trading the black T-shirt in for a black polo shirt.
Teicheira is taking a different route altogether.
To offset Krayenhagen’s laid-backness and Arguello’s over-the-top appearance he’s going to don a suit for his intro and the time that he’ll spend on stage before his partner in crime (there’s an age difference, but the two play off of one another like an old-school comedic duo) steps up to destroy a room he’s been talking about playing for years.
Some look down on the hosting duties. It’s not a slotted performance, so he doesn’t get top billing and when you click on the website to buy tickets you’re not going to find his bio listed or see his grinning mug.
But Teicheira, with his gregariousness and his ability to deflect just about anything, has carved out a groove with his hosting duties and it gives him a chance to get to know comics all over Northern California.
“Some people think it’s demeaning – like you don’t rank if you’re hosting,” he said. “If there are a lot of comics and you have to keep the show going then it’s different. But my job is basically going to be handing the microphone off to Marcella.”
“Stand up to Comedy” will take place on Friday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. at the Foster Family Theater inside of the Gallo Center for the Arts. Tickets, which range from $17 to $25, can be purchased by visiting tickets.galloarts.org. The show is a benefit for the Ceres Relay for Life.