Tickling you in a special way

Comedian and improviser Bri Pruett is a Portland native and Portland State graduate. She writes a sex and dating column for the Portland Mercury, “Let’s Do it! with Bri Pruett”.” Pruett regularly performs at Portland’s Helium Comedy Club, Curious Comedy Theater and Action/Adventure Theater.

This will be her third nonconsecutive year participating at Bridgetown Comedy Festival, happening this year May 7–10.

Let’s Do it with Bri Pruett!
Thursday, May 7, 8–9:30 p.m.
Rotture’s lower stage
In this spinoff of her sex advice column, Pruett hosts Bridgetown’s sexiest lineup featuring Beth Stelling, Maggie Maye, Derek Sheen, Anthony Lopez, Shane Torres, Ken Reid and Bryan Yang.

Colleen Leary: Can you start by telling me about your time at PSU?

Bri Pruett: I graduated in 2008 I think…I have a degree in arts and letters distributed between English and theater, but mostly took film classes. There wasn’t a film degree when I went there, so I sort of DIY’d my film degree.

CL: Now that you’re working in comedy, do you stand by your decision to earn your degree?

BP: It’s really useful to me. I don’t know if it was useful to have finished, but I really need to have a strong knowledge of character and writing for comedy. I do have a lot of freelance writing on top of stand-up, so it’s been really valuable for that.

CL: Last year’s Set List Show Open Mic was one of my favorite shows at Bridgetown—you were great on that.

BP: Yeah, that was a lot of fun. I hope there’s another open mic to hop on. Any time there’s an open mic with a lot of comics around, they’re trying to make each other laugh. And that’s when comics are at their best. They’re really working hard for their peers.

That’s what’s great about Bridgetown. I think it’s the best way to meet people that are on their way up that you would have never seen in other circumstances.

CL: What’s changed in the years you’ve been performing at Bridgetown?

BP: It’s gotten a lot bigger—bigger venues and then this year the shows are just as big but there are less comedians. Less comedians means they’re allowed to be pickier about talent, which I think is great. More resources go to those comics who are accepted and the competition makes them work even harder.

CL: Which shows are you particularly excited to perform on?

BP: They gave me my own show on Thursday night—it’s based on my column in the [Portland] Mercury, “Let’s do it with Bri Pruett.” It’s a group of comics that I really like: Maggie Maye from Austin, Beth Stelling from LA and Anthony Lopez from Portland. I’m stoked to host that one.

I’m also on the incredibly popular, incredibly fun Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction show. It’s exactly what it sounds like—ridiculous fan fiction based on pop culture references, and it’s judged. The whole thing is ridiculous.

CL: I talked to Ian Karmel yesterday and he said you might not be in Portland much longer. What was that about?

BP: Well I am here for a while. I still have a lot to learn from Portland audiences. There are still a lot of opportunities here I want to take advantage of right now because I’m a mid-level comic. I’m seeking an agent; I’m looking for auditions. Those things just aren’t in Portland.

Because of opportunities like Bridgetown, getting smaller opportunities here will give me bigger opportunities when I do move to a larger market.

But I hope that means he’s going to hire me for something.

CL: Yeah, maybe you should ask him yourself what he meant by that.

Bri’s Bridgetown Recommendations:

BP: I’m a huge fan of Guy Branum. He has a new album out. He’s a really, really smart guy…His performances are gigantic because he’s a gigantic person—literally.

Beth Stelling is someone folks may have not seen either. She’s really smart, really chill. She’s a good fit for Portland because she’s so relaxed on stage. She’s comfortable and that makes the audience feel comfortable.

I also really like the Grawlix guys from Denver. I became a fan of theirs like two Bridgetowns ago. And now they’re sort of kicking off.

Bridgetown is like MusicfestNW for comedy nerds. It’s exactly the kind of thing comic fans want. When someone is just your taste, it can’t be beat. I hope the readers go out and find something that tickles them in a special way. That sounds terrible.

Four-day passes for the festival are $99 and available at bridgetowncomedy.com.

To see Pruett’s website, click here and to see her Bridgetown schedule click here.