The 2020 Fairbanks Funny Festival is back in town.
The students came from all walks of life, a salsa dance instructor, a teacher, and even a professional nude model.
The new and some veteran comedians started class last Monday with the workshop hosted by local comedians Jerry Evans and Glenner Anderson. Later in the week, guest instructor, Jeff Dye, took over the class preparing the students for their performance in front of an audience.
"This is the first thing I'm doing for January and then for February, the first thing I'm going to do is go to prison...no, I'm joking," said one student.
The culmination of the Festival is the two performances where students get to test their mettle. First timer, and professional nude model, Valerie Robancho described the feeling of being exposed behind the mic versus the art class.
"I'm so much more comfortable being up in an art class being fully naked, because that's the real me. Behind a mic, it's a little bit different, in a sense that it's more of I'm trying to be more myself, but not really. And that's just completely weird and different for me," said Robancho.
Friday night was the first performance held at the Firehouse Theater located inside Dance Theater Fairbanks. The house was filled to capacity. Six new comedians, including Robancho took the stage - all of them opening for Dye. After the show, Robancho had a few thoughts about her experience.
"It was quite the rush. Very exciting, and I can't wait to do it, again. It's a lot of fun,” she said.
Five more comedians opened for Jeff Dye on Saturday night, as well.
The Funny Festival is specifically held in January to help lift spirits in the dark and cold days of Winter, and, according to the reaction of Friday’s crowd, it did not disappoint.
The Funny Fest continues next weekend with the United Way of the Tanana Valley's Comedy Roast on Friday and then one show on Saturday featuring comedian Jamie Lissow and veterans of the Funny Fest.
More information about next week's events can be found at unitedwaytv,com and Alaskacomedy.com.