April 28th, 2014 by Cara
The future is here! Electronics, devices, and screens are everywhere in our lives! But as we approach more milestones since the inventions of our many devices; for example, color television is 60 years old, home computers have been around for over 35 years, and digital cell phones are 23 years old. As new generations of products come and go whatever will we do with the ones we aren’t using?
Luckily Seattle residents have a couple of options. The Seattle Public Utilities department recommends the following two programs for recycling unwanted electronics, TVs and Computers being some of the most common. Many of these electronics are banned from curbside containers as they contain toxic materials (so that’s how it works!).
Here are some options when it’s time to ditch those old electronics:
- Contact www.ecyclewashington.org or 1-800-RECYCLE for free computer and TV drop-off locations.
- Visit www.takeitbacknetwork.org for cell phone and fluorescent light bulb drop-off locations. Some charge a fee.
- Seattle Public Utilities will pick up and recycle TVs, computers and other electronic items from your curb for a $20 fee. Call 206-684-3000 to request an electronics collection. Apartment residents should contact their building manager to arrange for electronics collection.
For Fremont residents the InterConnection Computer Reuse and Learning Center is located just over on Stone Way and 34th.
“InterConnection’s focus is charitable reuse and responsible recycling. The Computer Reuse Center makes proper use of the tons of usable electronic items that are discarded daily, teaches computer maintenance and repair skills to local community members, and provides refurbished computers and monitors to organizations in underserved communities around the world. All data is securely erased from computers received and InterConnection complies with all federal and state regulations for data destruction. A tax deductible receipt is provided for donations.”
This donation site is also InterConnection‘s outlet store with refurbished electronics, low income specials, and trade in offers. InterConnection has been providing recycling, refurbishment, and charitable services since 1999.
SPU also deal with mattresses too! So if you can’t give it away to a college kid or on Craigslist (ever heard of FreeCycle?) please don’t leave it on the street! Contact the Take It Back Network for options.
Earth Day was just a week ago, but we can be aware of our impact everyday! As Fremont and Seattle residents we are fortunate to have a wealth of resources focused on sustainable and environmental causes. If you are unsure how to recycle something or interested in learning more about certain public programs email us at email@example.com and we will be happy to look into it for you!
Tags: Electronic Recycling, InterConnection, Mattresses, Refurbishment, Reuse, seattle public utilities
April 22nd, 2014 by Cara
Happy Earth Day everyone!
All across the media, at schools, workplaces, and on the Google homepage our society is recognizing Earth Day. We are lucky to live in a place that places such great emphasis on sustainability, innovation, and recognizing our environmental impact.
For what takes place on Earth Day beyond the shared images of planet earth, healing hands, and woodland critters (which are very cute) visit www.earthday.org According to their site, “More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.”
More Celebrations to Come
Less than 2 months until we can celebrate the Earth in a uniquely Fremont fashion! The Solstice Festival and Fremont Fair will take place on June 20-22 and you don’t want to miss a minute of it!
New this year will be the Solstice Concert Series and the parade moves to a new time. Keep an eye out for Fremont Universe’s coverage of the event and our Festive Fremonster Guide with tips for local Fremonsters and friends during the festivities.
Tags: earth day, fremont fair, Hug A Tree, Solstice Festival
April 16th, 2014 by Cara
One morning this week I was desperately in need of three things: coffee, breakfast, and wifi. Fremont has many options for cafe culture but I had yet to try the Yellow Dot Cafe at the intersection of Fremont Ave and N 34th.
On this particular morning a tasty scone or pastry would not satisfy my hunger so I thought Yellow Dot’s selection of breakfast burritos might do the trick. I crossed Fremont Ave just near the Fremont Bridge, passed behind the Interurban Sculpture, and stepped into a crisp and brightly lit environment.
This is the second Yellow Dot Cafe location, the original is located on Westlake in South Lake Union. The Fremont location opened last November, occupying a space that had been vacant for sometime just east of the Fremont Bridge. Business has been slowly picking up since then and the Cafe recently added an outdoor seating area that is sure to be popular in warm weather.
Owner Ziyi Li explained that she opened the Yellow Dot Cafe as a result of her own dining experience and finding something lacking. Her objective was for a “casual” and “convenient” dining environment that provides quality food options while keeping things simple and easy. One of the ways the cafe delivers this convenience is by having customers order at the counter in lieu of table service. Ziyi feels this allows patrons to order and dine more at their own pace. Additionally, the breakfast menu includes savory items because she herself is often dissatisfied with sugary options at coffee shops.
Originally from China, Ziyi spent time in Florida and later Manhattan before moving to Seattle with her husband. She says misses Manhattan but loves the urban environment here. The sleek and modern interior, both practical and intriguing shows she has brought some New York influences with her.
The interior of the Yellow Dot Cafe. From the Yellow Dot Cafe’s Facebook page
Why the “Yellow Dot” cafe? Ziyi says that when she first moved to the United States certain business names were difficult to remember and she wanted to avoid that. She wanted a name that was east to remember, happy, and simple much like her cafe.
The Fremont location of the Yellow Dot Cafe is also unique in that it provides dinner options, staying open until 8:00PM and offering beer and wine. Menu items range from $5-10 and include wraps, sandwiches, salads, and of course, burritos! Happy Hour is from 3PM until close and features $4 beers and $5 BBQ Sliders.
More information about the Yellow Dot Cafe’s Menu and hours can be found here. The cafe regularly posts the Soup of the Day on their Facebook page as well.
Although it’s somewhat belated, Welcome to Fremont Yellow Dot Cafe!
The Yellow Dot Cafe’s new outdoor seating area. Image from Yellow Dot Cafe’s Facebook page.
Tags: Breakfast, coffee, Happy Hour, Yellow Dot Cafe
April 10th, 2014 by Cara
Of course Trolls stroll! And so should you! The 13th Annual Troll Stroll takes place this Saturday April 12th from 1:00-5:00PM throughout the Fremont Neighborhood.
What does this Troll Stroll entail? Besides a fabulous rhyme, it also supports The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, while participants get to enjoy some sipping and tasting their way through Fremont. That’s right, as participants stroll about the Center of Universe they get to do a Fremonster’s favorite activity: eating and drinking.
Remember, this is consumption for a cause! The event benefits The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, whose focus is searching for a cure to this disease which affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States.
“Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening, genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. People with CF inherit a defective gene that causes a buildup of thick mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs.” – from cff.org
While research and new developments have increased the life expectancy for those with Cystic fibrosis there is still much to be done. So this Saturday do what you can, have a drink, and raise awareness!
Today is the last day to register at the $45 price ($60 day of) or there is the option for VIP Check-In for $75 ($20 tax deductible). Participants receive a drink ticket for each participating bar and select appetizers will be available as well.
Participating locations include:
Norm’s Eatery and Alehouse
Nickerson Street Saloon
Red Star Taco Bar
9 Million in Unmarked Bills
The Red Door
LTD Bar & Grill
The George & Dragon Pub
Tags: Cystic Fibrosis, Drink tickets, Fremont Troll Stroll, fundraiser
April 9th, 2014 by Cara
There are other bridges out there, other Fremont bridges in fact, but the history, color combo, and operation of our Fremont Bridge adds up unlike any other. Of course its unique, its Fremont!
The bridge raises an average of 35 times a day
The Fremont Bridge opened on June 15, 1917 (it’s 97!) and the centennial is not that far off. The blue and orange paint job was chosen by a 1985 poll by Fremont residents and facilitated by the Fremont Arts Council. Below the surface, the Fremont Bridge had some serious maintenance done starting in 2006. It was a $41.6 million restoration to be specific, with the final tests conducted in 2008.
Pedestrians, cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, bikes, and boats. Every day the Fremont Bridge sees it all. The bridge crosses the Fremont Cut, part of the Lake Washington Ship canal, which is part of several inter-connected bodies of water linking Lake Washington to the Ballard Locks and through the Locks, the Puget Sound.
It is a “double-leaf bascule bridge” yes, we had to look that one up. For the casual observer it is essentially a drawbridge and opens in the center. What the casual observer may not see but might appreciate knowing is that it is opened with a weighted system using huge concrete weights and minimal motor power. Oh and there is someone up there in that tower! The bridgetender!
While it’s obviously shorter than the neighboring Aurora Bridge, by any standards the Fremont Bridge is not very tall at all. The clearance below the bridge is only 30 feet! This means any sailboat with a mast taller than that has to signal (one long horn, one short horn) and request the bridge be raised.
For obvious reasons the bridge isn’t raised from 7-9AM and 4-6PM. However, it is still very frequently raised, sometimes as often as 35 times a day. Often times the Fremont Bridge is referred to as one of the busiest drawbridges in the U.S. or even the world. Since we don’t have the data to back that up we’ll just say it is a VERY busy bridge.
Some other fun bridge facts:
The Bicycle Counter is Seattle’s first bicycle counter and came to be through the efforts of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Cascade Bicycle Club. It is located on the Northwest side of the bridge and greets cyclist and pedestrians alike with the count of how many bicycles have cross the bridge for the current day and over the current year. Bonus: The data collected by the bike counter is presented with Tableau software, a Fremont-based tech company!
Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let the bridge down! Oh…wait a minute…
Located in the Northwest tower of the Fremont Bridge Rapunzel stands out just above the Bicycle Counter and enlivens our imaginations as we pass by. The artist, Rodman Miller, is a Fremonster and had a hand in much of the art that characterizes Fremont. Be sure to wave Rapunzel a “hello” next time you go by! It looks rather lonely up there.
Image courtesy of rodmanstudio.com
The Elephant and the Alligator located in the Northeast tower of the bridge is based on a tale from Just So Stories For Little Children by Rudyard Kipling, the author of The Jungle Book. The scene depicted here is from “How the Elephant Got His Trunk.” (Hint: the alligator tugs on it!) This is another neon installation by local artist Rodman Miller.
Image courtesy of www.seattleoutdoorart.com
More information about these two neon installations can be found in the Fremocentrist’s Public Art Inventory.
So next time you find yourself crossing the Fremont Bridge, take a look around and consider just how old, colorful, well-functioning, and quirky that bridge is!
Also, an interesting piece from the Seattle Times archives by Connie McDougall which includes the bridgetenders’ perspective.
Sources from SDOT, the Seattle Times, and the City of Seattle.
Tags: Bicycle Counter, Cascade Bicycle Club, City of Seattle, fremont bridge, Rapunzel, sdot, the Elephant and the Alligator
April 7th, 2014 by Cara
April is recognized as National Poetry Month by the Academy of American Poets and with spring in the air it seems the perfect time for Fremonsters to embrace their inner poet.
This evening from 6:30-7:45 pm the Fremont Library will host An Evening of Poetry featuring Sylvia Byrne Pollack, Jennifer Bullis, and Michael Schmeltzer.
An Evening of Poetry is a quarterly event series hosted by Seattle Public Libraries where local poets read from their work and discuss poetry with the audience. Tonight’s event is presented in partnership with Floating Bridge Press, a local non-profit focused on recognizing and promoting the work of Washington State’s poets.
Don’t let National Poetry Month end this evening! Check out 4Culture’s Poetry Bus program or the Academy of American Poet’s list of 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month.
Fancy yourself a poet? Send us your Fremont inspired poetry by Friday April 18th and you could be featured on the blog! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: An Evening of Poetry, Floating Bridge Press, Fremont library, National Poetry Month
April 4th, 2014 by Cara
While we are all about words here at Fremont Universe sometimes in Fremont you need to see it to believe it! Check out Fremont Universe’s new Instagram for all the wonderful things, big and small, in Fremont we want to share with you.
Hey #Rapunzel I dig your long locks #publicart #fluorescent #Fremont
Have a photo you’d like us to share? Send it our way at email@example.com with the appropriate photo credit. And heck, while we’re at it #fremontuniverse
Tags: #fremontuniverse, Fremont Universe, Instagram, Rapunzel
March 31st, 2014 by Cara
Katie Stemp, a Seattle-native and the Local Representative for World Heritage Student Exchange contact Fremont Universe recently to spread the word that the organization is seeking local host families for international high school students. As the Local Representative Katie helps match high school exchange students from around with world with qualifying families. She says students love being placed in Seattle, probably for the same reason we love living here!
Katie’s request struck a personal tone with me. When I was a sophomore in high school my family was approach with a similar request that lead to a wonderful experience hosting a student:
Our guest’s name was Ana and she was from Spain. Galicia actually, up in the north where they speak with a slight lisp. She had already done a brief program in the UK and was determined to improve her English. Although her program was only a month long it was a thrill to have her and it has had a lasting impact on my life.
Watching her experience my everyday world as an incredible new adventure was unforgettable. We even made a movie called “Ana de Espana” that catalog her various reactions to things. Especially the Converse store, she loved the wild and colorful Converse the best.
I visited her in Spain the following year for two weeks, she later visited me in college, and now, ten years later we are still in touch. Ana now hopes to find a job in the United States so we can visit more and she can continue mastering English.
If you or someone you know are in a position to host an exchange student I highly recommend considering it. My family and I really had never really thought about it before we were approached about hosting Ana. Needless to say I’m very glad we did.
The program my family participated in was a shorter summer program and based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For questions pertaining to the World Heritage program please contact Katie, her contact information is listed below.
- Cara, Fremont Universe Editor
More information about the World Heritage Student Exchange Program:
Host an Exchange Student
World Heritage Student Exchange Program, a highly respected, non-profit, public-benefit organization, is seeking local host families for high school boys and girls from Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy, Thailand, China, South Korea, and the former Soviet Republics. Students are already awaiting word on their host families for the 2014/2015 academic school year (or semester). Host families provide room, board, and guidance for a teenager living thousands of miles from home. Couples, single parents, and families with or without children in the home are all encouraged to apply.
The exchange students arrive from their home country shortly before the 2014/15 school year begins and each World Heritage student is fully insured, brings his/her own personal spending money and expects to bear his/her share of household responsibilities, as well as being included in normal family activities and lifestyles.
If you are interested in opening your home and sharing your family life with a young person from abroad, please call local Area Representative Katie Stemp at (206) 218-4948. Please also visit our website at www.whHosts.com.
Tags: High School, Host Families, World Heritage Student Exchange
March 28th, 2014 by Cara
It’s Friday evening in Fremont and the clouds have moved aside if only for a little bit. The happy hour folks have reached elation and Fremont is preparing for another weekend. A long week and fickle weather haven’t dampened (oh dear..) anyone’s spirits. It seem’s Fremont is ready to frolic.
Fun fact: The City of Seattle likes our musicians! As part of a new pilot program 5 venues throughout the city have new “Musicians Priority” loading and unloading zones to help acts out. Fremont’s High Dive is one of the participating venues and sports a new sign as seen below. Musicians, venues, and promoters have been very positive about this move by the city and we can’t wait to see how it plays out here in Fremont.
The new priority parking for musicians in front of the High Dive
Here is a rapid rundown of the music you can find in Fremont this weekend:
Friday 3/28 (TONIGHT) HILLSTOMP CD Release Party, Heels To The Hardwood, and Blake Noble (Americana / Blues) :: $8adv / $10dos 8PM 21+
Saturday 3/29 Weatherside Whiskey Band, Deception Past, Hallstrom, and The North Woods (Country / Americana) :: $5adv / $8dos 8PM 21+
Sunday 3/30 FRANKIE PAUL, THE MELODIANS w/ Yellow Wall Dub Squad plus The Highlife Band and DJ Kid Hops (Reggae / Dancehall) :: $10adv / $15dos 8PM 21+
Friday 3/28 (TONIGHT) Red Heart Alarm (EP Release), Spanish For 100 (Farewell Show), and Stereo Embers (Indie/Rock) :: $8 9:30PM
Saturday 3/29 The God Damn Devil, Cinco Gringos, 7 Year Old Blind Girl, Anticulture (Punk/Rock) :: $8 9:00PM
Sunday 3/30 Theoretics , Funky 2 Death , Half Kingdom, Sam Miller, , and Daniel Blue of Motopony. Hosted by David Michael Stedman of Staxx Bros. (A benefit for a friend) :: $8 suggested donation 7:00PM
For High Dive’s complete calendar and additional details please visit their website. All shows listed are 21 plus.
The Fremont Abbey
Friday 3/28 (TONIGHT) AND Saturday 3/29 Abbey Grown: A locally sourced dance & music performance :: $10 student, $12 adv, $15 door
Have fun frolicking Fremont!
Tags: Abbey Grown, City of Seattle, frolic, high dive, musicians, nectar
March 27th, 2014 by Cara
The Fremont neighborhood and its many displays of public art have come to be a seamless partnership in the minds of the community and for many visitors. However, this partnership requires more than just creativity, it also calls for funding, planning, and of course, passion.
One particularly passionate person is Barbara Luecke who will be the featured guest for this month’s Fremont Fireside Chat on Saturday, March 29th, at 3PM at the History House. Barbara co-founded the Fremont Arts Council Solstice Parade and helped bring the Troll to Fremont. She worked at 4Culture for some time and is currently the Public Art Program Manager for Sound Transit.
A work-in-progress troll circa 1990, courtesy of the Fremocentrist.com
The completed troll! Image from fremont.com
This wonderful opportunity to learn more about Fremont’s public art and what it entails is sponsored by HomeStreet Bank and hosted by Kirby Lindsay of Fremoncentrist.com. The one-hour presentation is FREE and aims to foster friendly, casual discussion.
The Fremont Fireside Chat series will feature a different guest each time to share stories and details about a specific aspect of the ‘Center of the Universe.’ Keep an eye out for the next Fremont Fireside Chat!
As Fremont community members we get to enjoy Fremont’s art year round, let’s take advantage of this unique opportunity and learn how that art came to be.
See you at the History House!
Tags: fremont arts council, Fremont Fireside Chat, fremont troll, History House, public art
March 25th, 2014 by Cara
Literacy Source, a non-profit based here in Fremont, began twenty-eight years ago with an emphasis on Adult literacy instruction in the North Seattle area. Since that time they have grown to offer a variety of programs in addition to Adult Basic Education such as English as a Second Language, citizenship classes, and a high school diploma program.
With their expanding programs Literacy Source has also expanded their reach. In addition to offering classes at the Center in Fremont they partner to provide offsite classes at correctional facilities, schools, community centers, and churches throughout Seattle.
This month Literacy Source has seeking support from the community for the Student Book Fund. They hope to purchase the following materials with donors generous contributions:
- Sets of books for our student Book Club.
- Materials for our Adult Basic Education and ESL classes.
- Books for students at a variety of reading levels that can be checked out.
- Curriculum resources for volunteer tutors and instructors.
- Audio books for students to listen to and read-along with.
- Workbooks for student and tutor pairs.
However, Literacy Source aims to make this a literary campaign as well! All donors who contribute a gift of $25 or more by the end of March will be entered into a drawing. In this unique drawing two donors will be selected on April 1st and be asked to submit a short list of their favorite books. Fellow Seattleite, Author, NPR contributor, and of course, Librarian Nancy Pearl will take these lists and each will receive a personalized list of five book recommendations.
There is less than a week left in the campaign, to make your contribution head here.
Also, the 2014 Literacy Source Breakfast which last year raised $90,000 for programs will be held at SPU on May 7th, you can find registration here.
Fremont Universe loves hearing about local non-profits, organizations making a difference in our community, or those raising awareness about other communities. Let us know what organizations your support and are passionate about at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Literacy Source, Nancy Pearl, Reading Lists, Student Book Fund
March 24th, 2014 by Cara
Red Star Taco Bar is now open at 513 N 36th Ave, previously home to the White Rabbit, with a newly revamped space. The new design is strong in it’s simplicity and bold theme. With several beers on tap, a staggering display of liquor, and the a la carte menu Red Star is another stop to add to the hungry (or thirsty) Fremonster’s roster.
The space seems brighter and it is a challenge to figure out where exactly White Rabbit’s stage once lived (to the left of the loading door in the back). In addition to numerous high-tops there are several expansive booths, perhaps to tempt those moving in larger packs. The a la carte menu offers Pre-Taco, Taco-ish, Taco, and Post-Taco items all priced between $1.00-$7.00.
Following the recent Grand Opening Red Star Taco Bar is open everyday from 4:00PM until 2:00AM. Welcome to Fremont!
To find out more you can visit their website, Facebook, or Yelp page.
Know about new restaurants or businesses coming to Fremont? Curious about where an old favorite has gone? Send your tips and questions to email@example.com
Tags: bar, Red Star Taco Bar, Tacos, white rabbit
March 17th, 2014 by Cara
Fremont is ready for St. Patties! Ten of our neighborhoods best watering holes have come together to celebrate the most festive parts of St. Patricks day with live music, drink specials, and all shades of green. It all starts at 9PM tonight! There will be bagpipes and drums roaming from bar to bar, here is where you can catch them from 9 until Midnight:
9pm – Dubliner
9:20pm – 9 Million
9:40pm – Red Door
10:00pm – Barrel Thief
10:20pm – Hive Dive
10:40pm – Red Star Taco Bar
11pm – Ballroom
11:20pm – Norms
11:40pm – LTD
For more stationary music the Dubliner will have live bands, the High Dive – karaoke, Ballroom – DJ – No cover, and the Barrel Thief will have Tullamore dew irish whisky flights.
See signs of St. Patrick’s Day in the Center of the Universe? Send us your tip! firstname.lastname@example.org or share with us on Facebook
Tags: Bagpipes, Drink Specials, Fremont bars, live music, st. patrick's day
March 14th, 2014 by Cara
Perhaps the perfectly nerdiest of all holidays, Pi Day is here! March 14th or 3.14 will be celebrated in classrooms, offices, and amongst mathletes all around. In Fremont, Pie, makers of sweet and savory “hand held pies” will be going all out for the occasion according to their Facebook page. Pies will be available for $3.14 from Noon until 3:14PM AND the shop will reopen their Late Night Window from 9:30PM until 2AM for those math fans still about and about. Perhaps with 3.14 pints in them.
PI DAY MENU:
Savories: Chicken Pot Pie, English Meat, Triple Pig, Channa Masala, Pesto Mac + Cheese, Gluten Free Channa Masala
Sweet: Berry Awesome, Apple, Strawberry Rhubarb, Key Lime, Peanut Butter Cream, Lemon Custard w/ Raspberries, Gluten Free Berry Awesome
Breakfast: Tomato Basil + Swiss Scramble
HAPPY PI DAY!
March 13th, 2014 by Cara
Fremont is use to all sorts of funny things. Sometimes there are funny hats, funny sayings (e.g. De libertas Quirkas), or funny sights to be seen. However, ComedySportz brings a new kind of funny to Fremont; the endless possibilities, unlikely scenarios and unique challenges of improv competition. This may be a sport that Fremonsters can really get behind.
ComedySportz new set at the Atlas Theater in Fremont
Brought to Seattle in 2012, and previously located in Ballard, ComedySportz Seattle is one of over 20 ComedySportz Leagues found throughout the United States. While each league operates as an independent business they are licensed by the World Comedy League, Inc. and follow the same rules set down by the original ComedySportz in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Alex Grindeland, the Seattle league’s “Top Head Chief Principal Managing Director in Charge of Excessive Professional Titles” originates from Milwaukee as well. He decided almost three years ago that he wanted to move to Seattle and bring ComedySportz with him, but he couldn’t do it alone. Alex and his good friend Kesan Holt made their way west and introduced ComedySportz to Seattle two years ago this June.
After outgrowing their space in Ballard, ComedySportz found themselves a new home at the Atlas Theater. This new space is located within Atlas Clothing above the Bliss Boutique. ComedySportz hosts a Wednesday Improv Jam for all skill levels and offers two shows every Friday and Saturday evening at 8:00PM and 10:00PM.
However, no two shows are alike. Different games are played each time, the referee changes, a new audience participates, and a group of 7 Actletes from a roster of 26 take the stage. Who knows what will happen? No swearing at least or “potty humor.”
ComedySportz is an all-ages show and the Actletes challenge themselves to keep it clean and positive. If they slip up the audience or referee can call for a ”brown bag foul” and a brown paper sack is placed over the offending player’s head. The Atlas Theater does offer adult beverages at the bar located just to the left of the stage and remains open after the 10PM show.
The space has a high, curved ceiling and the balcony is home to a selection of vintage clothing. The audience fills the space in the provided chairs, around tables, and on stools. The set is painted with all the traditional Seattle icons and simply designed for the ever changing needs of improv. To the left and right of the stage each team has a “dugout” with a bench that rarely sit still on. From the moment the match begins until the final scores are tallied it’s “Game On.”
Alex, appearing in his referee uniform above, raised the curtain about the world of improv and ComedySportz for us:
Why improv? What is it about improv that makes it so accessible?
The audience is invested in an improv comedy match in a way no other type of theatre can achieve. We are comedy as a sport, and that part isn’t a joke. Its real. As you saw, our audience doesn’t just laugh, they gasp when they are amazed and they yell when they disagree with the referee’s call. They know they are seeing something that will never happen again and, for that reason, they are invested in the outcome. I love theatre, but I’ve only ever seen that level of audience involvement at a ComedySportz match and it’s why I love it so much.
What is the relationship between the Seattle Comedy Group and ComedySportz Seattle?
Seattle Comedy Group is a CSz Company, meaning we are licensed by CSz Worldwide to hold ComedySportz matches. There’s a bunch of standards and criteria a group needs to meet before they can play the sport of ComedySportz. It’s surprising, but comedy can be serious business.
Can you share more about how ComedySportz Seattle got started?
3 years ago I lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, playing ComedySportz with the Milwaukee team. (The Milwaukee ComedySportz team was the first ComedySportz, and has been around for about 30 years.) I decided I wanted to move to Seattle, but I didn’t want to stop playing ComedySportz… so I thought I’d bring it with me. I knew I’d need help, so I asked my good friend, Kesan Holt, to move out with me. We packed everything we could into my Pontiac Grand AM and started the drive out here. We definitely took the long route. We spent a month stopping in other CSz cities along the way to learn best business practices from their managers. Those cities included the Quad Cities, Buffalo, New York City, Richmond, Houston, Los Angeles, San Jose and Portland. We learned a lot.
When we got to Seattle we started doing improv comedy shows around town. We wanted to meet talented people to bring on board. It worked. We held try-outs and now we’re fortunate to have a roster of 26 really, really funny players.
Over the last two years as Seattle Comedy Group went along and gained fans, it eventually became clear it was time to get our own venue. Hence, the Atlas Theatre.
Why would you say Seattle Comedy Group is different than other improv or improv competition groups?
My roster is really good looking. Have you seen my cast? Everyone is so attractive! A rarity among comedy groups.
I’m kidding. (But I’m not kidding. They’re hot.)
More importantly (maybe), is that there’s an energy and sense of joy that my players bring to the matches. They love to play and they put all their attention to giving the audience a great show. Also, it’s a show for everyone, so they have to challenge themselves to be funny without being dirty, which makes them better players.
How does it feel to call Fremont and the Atlas Theater home now?
So good. It feels great to have a home and Fremont is the perfect neighborhood for ComedySportz.
Visit ComedySportz Seattle’s website for upcoming shows and ticket information. Going to a ComedySportz show? Let us know about your experience at email@example.com!
More News from North Seattle