City comedians share stage with NYC’s Olivia Grace
While described as “small, but close-knit,” the comedy scene in Williamsport is making itself known, bringing comedians from all over, including Olivia Grace who connected with Seibert for this opportunity to come to the Williamsport.
“I decided I wanted to tour more and started talking to people I know that tour a lot,” Grace said, “Dave Ross is an extremely funny comic out in LA who tours a lot, and he actually put me in touch with the Williamsport area comics. I admire Dave, for more than just his nice shoulders.”
Grace remembers watching old Dean Martin and Comedy Central roasts and MadTV with her mother, who “has a secretly dark sense of humor,” according to Grace.
“After seeing how much she laughed, I just knew it was something I wanted to do,” she said. “I was always a weird theater kid in school and would try to get people’s attention. I started doing stand-up when I was 16 and just ended up at a comedy mic in Fullerton, California. I tried stand-up that one time and have been hooked ever since.”
Grace has made many appearances on “Jeff Ross Presents: Roast Battle,” on Comedy Central and has also written and produced shorts for Comedy Central Digital Saturday Morning(ish) cartoon. She has even recently written for the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe.
Grace, who finds writing her jokes down on paper to “deafeningly quiet,” likes the instant feedback with stand-up, saying a lot of her work is trial and error. As far as inspiration, she said, “Usually I find something that irritates me to a point where I think about it enough to talk about it on stage.”
Opening for Grace is Kiersnowski and Seibert, who both have been staples in the comedy scene in Williamsport.
Kiersnowski said he started doing stand-up for perks — like a free bar tab.
“People said I was funny, so I gave it a shot and people gave me drinks,” he said. He had a short-lived stint in Philadelphia, and then moved to being an announcer for roller derby and MCing several Burlesque shows, to performing stand-up consistently for a year. His past venues include Civil War Cider in Lewisburg, The Fat Cat Grille and The Bar on Market. He and Seibert also host an open mic comedy night the first Wednesday of the month at Barrel 135.
“My favorite author was named Harry Crews. He always said that you have to get naked (in a metaphorical sense) for your audience,” Kiersnowski said about stand-up. “I adhere to that pretty strictly. I definitely make fun of myself quite a bit for laughs. Some of my material can tackle some serious subject matter since it can deal with my insecurities and fears. In that sense, it’s most definitely an outlet. Some of it is just plain silly.”
Seibert said that he’s been getting great feedback from the comedy shows in Williamsport. “It’s inspiring performing with different comedians; the audiences have been warm and a number of them keep coming out in addition to new people showing up.”
Grace said the show is “technically all ages,” but doesn’t advise the attendance of kids.
“I mean, it’s not really a good idea,” she said. “I have a dark sense of humor and I’m by no means a clean comedian.”