February 2022 - MAKE 'EM LAUGH: Brewing up laughs in Rio Rancho with Caryn Carson
By Sarah Kennedy :: Comedy Events Writer
Caryn Carson has performed as part of the Albuquerque comedy scene since she moved from Dallas a few years ago. Since most of the performers in Albuquerque host and produce their shows, she was eager to start one of her own. She would go on to create one of the hottest ticket events Rio Rancho has seen for years: The Comedy Night!, which takes place every second Tuesday inside The Brew Lab 101 on Southern Blvd.
Inspiration for the show struck on a couple of date nights out. “While the pandemic was at its height, my husband and I sought out restaurants and breweries with patios,” says Carson. "That's how we found Brew Lab 101 in Rio Rancho. Fast-forward a few months to the summer of 2021, and we're back at the Lab. We're sitting at the bar, and I'm looking at the Lab's stage, thinking, ‘This would be a great stage for comedy.’"
She proposed the show to Brew Lab’s owner, Scott Salvas, and they agreed on a special recipe for it - “PG-13 material, a handful of experienced comics on each show, and strong promotion.” Because Salvas has to perform and produce experience, "The Lab has high standards," Carson says.
Running a show of that caliber can be tough work. While producing The Comedy Night!, Carson learned that even the most seasoned show producer must juggle. Sometimes comedians will run late or even get their calendars confused. As a producer, she learned how to smooth these snags out at the moment.
"I am a fan of Black Mike (the stage name of local favorite, Mike Ogden), and I was delighted when he agreed to perform on Comedy Night!" However, the night of the show, Ogden was nowhere to be found. After a few frantic texts, he arrived panting and apologizing a mere two minutes before he hit the stage! He had mixed up the days. "Of course, when I got on stage to introduce him, I had to roast him. Forgetting what day it had to be about the most New Mexico thing ever.” The good news? “Mike was on fire that night. He had a killer set, and the audience loved him." Sometimes a little bit of chaos can have big rewards. That’s comedy!
So how do shows in the City of Vision compare to those in Duke City? Carson says, "Our Rio Rancho audiences seem more appreciative to have live comedy in their backyard. They enjoy clean comedy that makes them think."
The Albuquerque-based comics have no problem connecting with Rio Rancho’s audiences, and one performance stood out for Carson. "I have always admired young Tyler Lovely's stage persona and delivery style, but I wondered how a Rio Rancho audience would receive him. Here's the answer: they loved him." She added, "He crushed it, and I can't wait to have him back." Rio Rancho knows a good time when they see it.
The Comedy Night! takes place every second Tuesday at Brew Lab 101: Beer & Cider Co. (3301 Southern Blvd SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124). You can see Caryn Carson, Black Mike, and Tyler Lovely perform throughout the state. For information about upcoming shows, visit Albuquerquecomedy.com
Sarah Kennedy is obsessed with supporting comedy in New Mexico and can be found on IG and Twitter at @SarahKomedy