Being new to a city is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. On the one hand, there is so much to do and explore, and on the other, there is so much to do and explore!
This is the start of my fourth month in San Francisco. I have a grocery store, a pharmacy, and a few favorite neighborhood joints (Woodhouse Fish Co., Spicy Lime Leaf, Fraiche, and Chez Maman). I know the routes of a few bus lines, and I’m starting to feel like this is home.
So, when I heard from a friend about SF Sketchfest — a two-week long comedy festival with various events spread across the city — I knew I had to go. There’d be improv, chats with people known for their hilariousness, and good ol’ fashion stand-up — all to the tune of $10 to $40 per event. I was solidifying my San Francisco residency with participation in this festival. I was such a local.
A few weeks later I was sitting at my desk at work when I remembered the festival. I did a quick Google search only to find out the festival had started a week before, and that that night Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen of Portlandia (and SNL!) were hosting a chat THAT WAS SOLD OUT.
Ugh, the perils of being new (and busy at work). I’m still finding SF blogs for local events and organizing my Sosh calendar. (Have you started using Sosh? It’s like Pinterest for activities, and I’m hooked! <– This is life in SF. If you aren’t using the latest app or social calendar or ride-sharing program, you are no one. I succumbed quickly.)
Anyway, there was another week of the festival and though my favorite improv show ever — UCB’s ASSCAT (the one where I saw Amy Poehler and then embarrassed the hell out of myself) — was also sold out, I was set on going to an SF Sketchfest event.
So I chose a Saturday night stand-up show at Punch Line in the financial district featuring Chris Gethard. I felt confident in his resume touting UCB participation and authorship of a book Seth Meyers recommends.
Chris was really funny too. And, the performance felt personal, not just because of his embarrassing stories explained from his anxiety-ridden perspective, but also because we were practically sitting on the stage.
The night was a great success. I highly recommend seeing Chris perform if he’s ever in your city. And that’s the thing with comedy: one day a comedian is the short guy wearing noticeably casual shoes for being at a bar at night, and next thing you know they’re screaming “LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!” at you from your TV.
And, really, events and festivals like SF Sketchfest are the reason I moved back to a city. Though it was a bit of a personal battle to get to one of the events this year, I do feel more San Franciscan now that I’ve participated. You can bet that next year I’m marking my
calendar latest social calendar app with “SF Sketchfest.” By then I’ll be like, I was here last year so I basically know everything about this event.