If you happen to see comedian Robert Pidde before Thursday’s Laugh Out Loud show at Mountlake Terrace High School and he looks a little petrified, don’t worry.
It’s something he deals with every time he steps out onto the stage.
Pidde, who will be emceeing the comedy benefit show for the family of Mountlake Terrace football player Michael Hunt, is used to battling his nerves.
“I get stage fright every single time I go onto the stage,” Pidde said.
After he hears that first laugh, Pidde feels fine.
“Before I go on stage, I question everything that led up to that moment in my life,” he said. “One laugh and I know why. … I get it now.”
Pidde has worked with local comedian Kermet Apio, a friend of the Hunt family, and was more than happy to be a part of the benefit show for Hunt, who suffered a severe broken leg during Mountlake Terrace’s first football game of the season in September. Hunt spent four days in the hospital and continues to need physical therapy. Apio was looking for a way to support the family and came up with the idea of doing a comedy benefit show for the family.
Apio and his comedian friend Mike Coletta will be performing. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $20 (adults) and $10 (students, high school age minimum) will be available at the door.
Pidde has been writing comedy for seven years but only started performing the last couple of years.
“I actually started when I was 18. I knew I wasn’t very good at it,” Pidde said. “But then after about five years I started to like some of the things I was writing.”
Pidde doesn’t quite know how to describe his sense of humor.
“I’m a very spastic guy,” he said. “I enjoy poking fun at what I find to be ironic about human nature.”
At Central Washington University, Pidde majored in philosophy and minored in theater. His philosophy background is quite different from most of the comedians Pidde has met in Seattle. In fact, he’s only met one other performer in Seattle, who has a background in philosophy.
“It really helps me break down the way I see the world in a kind of logical way, an objective manner,” he said. “If I can see something … in an objective way turn out to be incongruent, I pull from there the sort of irony of the situation.”
The first time Pidde stepped out onto the stage was when he opened for a friend’s band. The establishment the band was playing wanted a comedian to perform for about 10 minutes.
“It went very well,” Pidde said.
The second time, Pidde admits, didn’t go quite as well. But two years later, Pidde continues to enjoy being a comedian.
“I see myself doing standup comedy,” he said. “As long as people are laughing, I’ll keep doing it.”
In his role as emcee, Pidde will be warming up the crowd to the idea of enjoying a comedy show. At many charity events, people aren’t necessarily there for the show but to be around and to support their friend.
“It’s difficult to do comedy,” Pidde said. “The focus needs to be on the performer.”
For more information on Thursday’s Laugh Out Loud Benefit show at Mountlake Terrace High School, check out the event’s Facebook page
– By David Pan