Tuesday, May 11, 2021



Comedy night a success, but fails to draw target audience of young adults

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Saturday night was a night of firsts for the Williams Community Center: It was the center’s first live comedy night, the first time it used its own (new) stage, and the first time it has hosted an event that was geared specifically toward drawing a younger adult crowd.

Williams Community Center board member and event organizer Melissa Baikie-Rick said that on almost all fronts, the event was a resounding success.

“(The comedians) are legit. They are straight up professionals,” Baikie-Rick said.

Julia Anne, Kul Black, and Rick Paulido were the comedians for the night, and each brought significant stand-up comedy chops to the stage. Two of those comedians are personal friends of Baikie-Rick; she met them while doing stand-up herself in the Sacramento region.

The overall turnout wasn’t bad, either: Around 40 people attended the free event.

The only thing that was disappointing for Bakie-Rick was the turnout, or lack thereof, from the target audience.

“Our goal for this was creating a night-life opportunity for younger adults, and that goal was not met,” Baikie-Rick said. “That’s where I’m stumped, is on how to get that information out: Enhancing the night-life options for the region was my number one goal… Comedy is meant to push boundaries and buttons. I don’t want it to necessarily be family friendly — we have activities for kids and seniors. I want the center to have something to offer for younger adults.”

But Baikie-Rick said she isn’t giving up on making comedy night a regional draw for young adults. In fact, she’s doubling down on it.

“I see this as being a county-wide fun thing to do. I’d like to see this happen throughout the year, maybe on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on financing,” she said. “If we can get this rolling to be a spot for comics, this is a perfect place. It’s right between Redding and Sacramento. Plus, if able to get established as a venue for stand-up comedy, it opens the door for Open Mic Night for locals.”

Baikie-Rick said that for future comedy nights, she would like to see some “fresh faces and cheeks in the seats.”

Beyond comedy night, she said that the Community Center could benefit from more diversity — including young adults — involved with volunteering and attending the board meetings.

“We need more help. We want to see all sorts of stuff happen here,” Baikie-Rick said. “As a group, we want to see more diversity in our center. In particular, we would like to see the Hispanic community more involved.”

Community members have to make a small donation to the Williams Community Center for the next comedy night. They should keep their eyes out for pre-sale tickets in the future, which Baikie-Rick said would probably cost in the neighborhood of $5.

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