Photo courtesy of Michael Eccleston
Photo courtesy of Michael Eccleston

Although the doors formally opened at 8pm, people started filtering in at 7:30 to ensure they’d get a seat. By 8:15, all the seats were taken. More people filtered in to the standing-room only space that was left.

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photo by Dylan Hanor

Tyrell “BearPuncher McSavage” warmed up the crowd with a stand up comedy set.

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photo by Logan Sorenson

 Tommy Milagro followed with another warm up set, instructing the crowd on the finer points of tequila and Mexican-German culture.

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photo by Dylan Hanor

Wildcat Strike served as the house band for the evening. They launched into some intro music, and I took the stage to a brilliant, beautiful crowd.

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photo by Dylan Hanor

 

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photo by Jory Allen

The show is rooted in my belief that people are much more similar than we are separate; it’s the interests of a corporately controlled government that lead us to believe we are so different from one another. My goal is to create fresh, fun, provocative entertainment that leaves my audience with a more keen understanding of our potential collective unity.

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photo by Dylan Hanor

Blah blah blah…  More monologue. Trying not to carry on too long….

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photo by Dylan Hanor

Noted Libertarian and hypnotist Jake Shannon joins me on stage.

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photo by Dylan Hanor

Jake led the audience through a brief state of hypnosis. The whole room was silent, which is remarkable for a bar environment. Everyone stood, closed their eyes, and followed Jake’s instructions to visualize and tune into various sensations.  He had extraordinary control of the room.  Following the excercise, everyone sat down. Every table was buzzing with people comparing their experience with that of their neighbor.

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photo by Logan Sorenson

Following Jake Shannon’s segment on hypnosis and the power of words, stand up comic Blake Bard took the stage. I won’t give away any of Blake’s jokes, but for now it may suffice to say that his bit about “this bar having a gay night” and “mormon girls are too kinky for me”, were hysterical.  Beyond being funny, his comedy dovetailed perfectly with the messages that were conveyed in my monologue and Rocky Anderson’s remarks.

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photo by Logan Sorenson

(L to R) Jake Shannon, Blake Bard, and Paul Duane discussing comedy.

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photo by Dylan Hanor

During the intermission, I got a chance to catch up with a few of my dear friends in the audience. Pictured here, the lovely Michelle Williams.

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photo by Dylan Hanor

Cathy Provines came down from Park City to see the show.

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photo by Dylan Hanor

Following the break, former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson joined us on stage.

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photo by Logan Sorenson

When asked about his vision for Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson spoke passionately about SLC being a city where everyone is welcome.  His remarks were frequently punctuated by applause breaks from the audience.

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photo by Carly Singleton

“I don’t remember running into you up in Logan”, said Mayor Anderson, as we spoke about both of us being born & raised in Logan.

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photo by Dylan Hanor

“But SERIOUSLY, Mayor Anderson, what is the deal with airplane food?”  That didn’t really happen. During my preparation for the show, I learned that Rocky played the guitar in a band when he was younger.  I tried to get him to play the guitar for the crowd.  We offered him copious amounts of booze in order to pick up the 6 string on the band stage, but he politely declined.  Maybe next time we can persuade him to belt out some “Freebird”.

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photo by Dylan Hanor

I knew that Rocky Anderson would be a great guest, and yet he completely surpassed my expectations. The crowd absolutely adored him and his no nonsense stance against political injustice, regardless of which party it’s coming from.  He lambasted President Obama, comparing him to the worst of George W. Bush’s presidency.   I could have conversed with Rocky for hours, but we only had a 20 minute slot, which flew by faster than any of us wanted.  At the end of the show, an audience member approached me and said, “I thought that I didn’t like Rocky Anderson, but I can’t believe how many things I agreed with him on! He is great!”.  This, my friends, is what the show is all about.

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photo by Logan Sorenson

Wildcat Strike finished out the show with a couple of great songs from their debut album, which you can check out here: http://wildcatstrike.bandcamp.com/

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photo by Dylan Hanor

I’m thrilled at the success of our inaugural show. The staff at Metro Bar were wonderfully helpful and encouraging. Many thanks to Jeff Hacker and Kevin Snow from Metro.  Thank you to Tommy and Tyrell, our warm up comics, for taking time to come down and entertain the crowd before the show.  Jake Shannon, I wish we would have had more time to talk  on stage. We’ll do this again. Blake Bard, thank you for the killer comedy set, people loved your unexpectedly apropos jokes.  Mayor Rocky Anderson, thank you for taking time to appear on the show.  More people than I can count have approached me and expressed appreciation and inspiration in regards to your remarks during the show.  Thank you to publicists Charlynn Hamaker-Patterson and Miguel Mendoza for your invaluable assistance.  Many thanks to our sponsor, SLUG Magazine for promotional support.

The next show is on 12 April and will feature former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, actress Deena Marie and music by the Jonnie Gale Project. Complete show information can be found at www.PaulDuane.net/show

VIDEO:

Former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson discussing Salt Lake City and the LGBT community.

 

Rocky Anderson sharing the experiences of his life that inspired him to champion diversity.

 

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