Robbie Kirkhuff, cARTel Indoor Stage Manager, spoke with www.theartofla.com about his involvement with BROKECHELLA in selecting comedians to perform at this year’s event and how volunteering in 2014 lead to that opportunity. He also spoke about the changes in organizing the comedic talent and creating a lineup that relied on more cohesion and structure.
“Last year was my first year with cARTel,” Kirkhuff said. “I knew some of the people and they needed volunteers. I went and volunteered, and then last year, they had the smaller indoor stage with acoustic acts and some comedy. So we were really happy and excited about it. This year, because we had it last year, and people heard about it and it’s just been growing more and more. Like last year, it’s been the biggest we had so far. People notice and are talking about it. This year, when we sent out the email about it, we got double the submissions we thought we would get. A lot more people heard about it and were submitting. It’s great for DTLA. Your bands and artists that go around town and do their thing wherever they can, we can bring everybody together.
“I’ve been doing comedy for four-and-half to five years. Last year, I hosted a bunch of the shows. This year is definitely more thought out in terms of the comedy. It was a last minute what we did last year. It was the first time we had it. We didn’t have anything down. We told comedians to just do their thing. Last year, we had a small selection. This year, we have bigger names. We have a bigger show coming. Last year, it was a handful of comedians. This year, we put more effort and thought into getting more comedians. When you’re looking for someone that is funny, you’re not looking for something specific but you want to know if they are confident. A lot of people don’t get to perform in front of large crowds and this festival gives them that opportunity.
“We have a Broke Comedy Hour. Its comprised of L.A. comedians. It’s a showcase. All the comedians are doing eight minutes each. All the comics with the bigger names are doing 15 minutes each. They 20 comedians performing altogether.
“We have also have hip hop and comedy thing called “Can You a Kick It.” There will be a projector and they will show clips of weird hip hop things and the comedians will joke around with the audiences.”