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Bridgetown Q&A: Four Questions for Barbara Holm


We are knee-deep in the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. It’s Saturday, the day with the most shows, the largest expected crowds, and it is also 4/20. The laughter-inducing haze that will surely obscure visibility on Hawthorne today won’t hurt the chances of today’s performers, but it may affect crowd responses. People may be too stoned to clap, but in their self-contained universes, they’ll likely be giggling.

For a perspective from one of today’s performers, CultureMob caught up with recent Seattle ex-pat Barbara Holm. She’ll be performing tonight at the White Owl Social Club at midnight, with Laura Kightlinger, Blaine Capatch, and others.

Tom Mohrman: How are things since moving to Portland?

Barbara Holm: I’m happy that I moved to Portland. I miss a lot of my friends, but Portland has an amazingly thriving scene of smart, unique, alternative comedy. It’s kind of like what Seattle was six years ago. Everyone is so funny and they seem to be working really hard at stand up. I really love and look up to so many Portland comics like Shane Torres, Ian Karmel and Sean Jordan and lots others. A lot of good comics from around the country are moving to Portland right now because it’s such a magical wonderful place for creativity to flourish.

TM: Does the same stuff still make you laugh as it did a year ago?

BH: More and more what’s making me laugh are things that are well written, ridiculously relatable, and at the same time completely unexpected.

TM: How is it different for you at Bridgetown this year?

BH: Every year I have more and more fun and am less shy. It’s such a wonderful experience and it’s really helping me grow as a comedian to watch all these shows and it’s inspiring me to want to try harder and put more of myself into my act. The festival is so well booked and I think it is one of the most important events for the art form of comedy. It reminds me how wonderful stand up is and how it can help people.

TM: What has been the most exciting so far? What are you looking forward to?

BH: I’ve really loved seeing so much good stand up. I am looking forward to the Tomorrow Show tonight with the very funny Ron Lynch. You’ll probably be reading about it after it happened, in the future. How did it go? Was it okay? How’s your jetpack?

Follow Barbara on Twitter @barbara_holm