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Siemer brings comedy to Gaslight Theater

GEORGETOWN – Brown County was treated a night of gut-busting laughter on Saturday as the Gaslight Theater hosted a comedy show presented by the Brown County Chamber of Commerce. Patrons enjoyed two hours of in your face comedy that left no stone unturned or no subject off-limits.

Headliner Chris Siemer heaved a sigh of relief after stepping off the stage. After giving hugs to family and friends, the former resident turned regional stand-up star had time to reflect on what it means to come home and perform for the people who mean the most to him.

“Obviously my roots are here,” Siemer said. “These are my family and my friends. When you are in a comedy club, typically the room is dark, like blacked out dark, and all you got is a couple of spot lights on your face, which means you can basically see the rows right around the stage. I could see everybody’s face tonight. I know the lights were dimmed down but I could look out and see people’s faces. I’m looking out and I’m seeing faces I know and recognize and some that I love.”

Siemer had a big step during the performance. Not only were some of his family members in the audience, but for the sometimes raunchy comedian, his grandparents attended the show.

“My grandparents where here tonight,” Siemer said. “I wasn’t really expecting that but I’m watching their faces and I’m trying not to watch them too much for them to think I am just looking at them and their reaction, but I peak back to them quite a bit to see if they are enjoying it, if they are having a good time, and more importantly if they are liking what I am saying which is really important to me. And by people’s reaction it seemed like it went pretty well.”

Siemer said having his family in the crowded added to the butterflies. He said in the past he had told some of his family that his material might not be for them. He also said the night had some surreal moments as he stood on the stage in the Gaslight. He had performed his comedy show in the past, but not as the lead act. Now that he was the headliner, it added to the mystique of the performance.

“I was here probably last year with Jeff Tate,” Siemer said. “Now I want to spread these things out so there is excitement and people still want to come. Tonight was something else. It was my show, I am the main act. I think what you saw tonight is Brown County really coming out to see what Brown County is all about. I think I did them proud. I hope I did them proud. Tonight was really an out of body moment. When you saw me pause up there, it was like oh snap did he lose where he was, kinda, because things were going so good up there. I had to say what joke was a telling, where am I, am I doing Pirates of Penzance here again.”

Siemer said the feeling he got was the show was well received and people were impressed with the level of talent of the performers at the show.

“I didn’t think people even thought that even in Cincinnati there is talent like that,” Siemer said. “No one thinks people can be anything special where they are. I hate that. I felt that for a long time. When I started doing comedy, you start looking at all other performances differently to. Local doesn’t mean subpar. That is a very, very important thing. Just because somebody is local doesn’t mean they aren’t worth your time. Everybody started local somewhere.”

The talented comedian did however provide some precautions for family. The nervous Siemer warned his grandmother about what she may hear during the show.

“When my grandma came in tonight, I said you are going to hear some things I can’t take back and it’s going to be kind of gross,” Siemer said. “She was very understanding and she said ‘you do your thing, you just be you.’” Siemer said.

She came to Siemer because she had heard he was doing well and wanted to see him at his best but he said there is only one way he could do it, leave the hammer down and give it all he had.

“I think I did that tonight,” Siemer said. “I don’t think I left a whole lot unsaid. I mean I probably missed a couple lines here and there but in 45 minutes that is going to happen. I am over the moon tonight.”

Siemer said the entire trip from Cincinnati he was nervous and had butterflies in his stomach. He was worried about a little bit of everything from the time he got into the car. He was worried about filling the space, he was worried about if people would like the show and he was worried if folks would come out and support the community.

“Brown County made me proud as heck tonight,” Siemer said.

There were well over 200 people at the show at the Gaslight. Siemer called that number amazing. He said many of the comedy clubs they perform in have less capacity than that.

“I am doing a show that is different than other things that are happening out here,” Siemer said. “It is hard to get people. If I weren’t involved in there and I saw somebody put a poster that said we are going to do stand-up comedy in Georgetown, Ohio, I’d say to hell with it. I’m not going that. I was banking on that being folks reaction and I think we surprised some folks tonight.”

Siemer said he was overjoyed and over-the-moon with how well the performance went on Feb. 20.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the comic friends or my hometown,” Siemer said. “This is absolutely amazing. I am absolutely going to cry later on. When I got in the car the whole way out was just reflection. I am going home to do something bigger than me, bigger than I ever imagined. I am very humbled. I am real proud.”

Homecoming for comedian leave him with surreal moments on stage

By Brian Durham

Reach Brian Durham at 937-378-6161 or on Twitter @briand1738

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