#50: Mara Wiles
Mara Wiles broke into comedy doing improv with Denver's Impulse Theater, but soon made the shift to standup, becoming an integral member of the comedy scene and a regular attraction at local clubs and comedy nights. As a testament to her collaborative spark and likability, you'd be hard-pressed to find a stage in town that hasn't been graced by her presence, including some opening performances for national comics coming through Denver. She's often at Deer Pile and Syntax Physic Opera, where she performs as Moxie! with Kristin Rand; she was a hit at both the Laugh Track Comedy Festival (where she was crowned Best Comic in 2011) and the recent High Plains Comedy Festival. Keep reading to learn more about Wiles via her answers to the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword:If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Mara Wiles: I would go to Toronto in the '70s to perform with Gilda Radner during her Second City days, right before anyone got discovered, and they were just living to perform. I would tag along to SNL, too. She was so funny, talented and charming. Everyone who met her or saw her perform just fell in love. It would be amazing to see that magic up close during a really exciting time. Can you imagine the parties? Bill Murray holding court, John Belushi mixing it up, Aykroyd talking about creating his own vodka someday. What a time. She was such a light.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
I am loving on content creators. Especially strong, funny female voices who are writing and acting in their own stuff. I am a huge fan of Tina Fey. I rewatch 30 Rock a bunch and laugh at something new every time. She has such a unique comedy voice, and I am always interested in what she is working on. I am also fascinated by Lena Dunham and think she would be a real kick to meet and chat with. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Broad City are a comedy revelation. I love everything they are doing .
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
EDM. Maybe I don't get it, maybe I am not doing the right drugs, but I just don't get it.
What's your day job?
I do some freelance work, and I walk dogs! It's the best. I walk the sweetest pups and work for a great company, Sup Dawg Dog Walking.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
I would start a production company with a humorous but clever name. We would do all sorts of great stuff: TV, movies, podcasts. I would involve all of my creative friends and make their ideas come to life. We could all work together, and I could pay them well, offer sweet benefits, the fridge would be fully stocked with bevies, and there would be a free gourmet coffee bar. At night, we would have comedy shows in the space and celebration BBQs for all our awards!
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Denver is already pretty supportive of its performers, but for those who aren't, my advice to you is go to shows! If you hear of something cool that grabs your interest, go to it. As the city continues to grow, I would love to see more stages and venues pop in interesting spots.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
Erin Rollman: acting chops, cool haircut, sense of humor, reeks of humanity, killer fashion sense and commands the attention of the room like no other. Denver is so lucky to have her and the Buntport!
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
I will be performing in the Off-Center@The Jones production of Lord of the Butterflies, a retelling of Lord of the Flies with drag queens. I will be dancing in Butterflies, so that alone is price of admission. End of November, I will be in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver doing stand-up with Kevin O'Brien. Hopefully, I will be traveling to NYC and LA in the next few months.
I am really excited about a new sketch project called Buddy Buddy, that will include local comics writing and performing. Also, the Great Shake 'Em Up, an improv/standup show, and the Secret Talent show. It would also be cool to learn how to sew and go to yoga on a regular basis.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local comedy community in 2014 and beyond?
Jordan Doll and Nathan Lund are both so funny and great actors. Lund has the best giggle in town. They have good things coming to them. Aaron Urist is just getting funnier and funnier -- keep your eyes peeled for him.
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See Mara Wiles in Lord of the Butterflies, beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, October 25, and running through November 7 at the Jones Theatre. Come early for a sip at the tiki bar; tickets are $18. She also performs with Kristin Rand in the monthly Moxie! Presents The Kristin and Mara Show!, every third Saturday at Syntax Physic Opera, where she hosts a weekly comedy open mic as well. Keep up with Mara Wiles and her busy comedy schedule online.
To keep up with the Froyd's eye view of arts and culture in Denver, "like" my fan page on Facebook.