#67: Alex Weimer
Alex Weimer is the Bug Theatre, overseeing the indie venue’s day-to-day operations, from backstage to the front of the house, as it continues to prove that small is good, supporting such time-tested entertainments as the variety show Freak Train, the Emerging Filmmakers Project, Equinox Theatre Company and various comedy showcases. True to its beginnings as a neighborhood nickelodeon, the Bug brings the underground aboveground and keeps people laughing all the way. What inspires Weimer to keep his little vaudevillian incubator in the Navajo Street Arts District rolling? Here are his answers to the 100CC questionnaire.
If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Mack Sennett or Hal Roach. My memory, as it is, tells me my earliest belly laughs were from watching slapstick. I love that stuff. I admire the skill it takes. As big as a fan I am of the work done in the early part of the last century, Harold Lloyd, Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang, etc., I know very little about it. So, kill your heroes! Maybe Sennett and Roach were complete bastards…I have no idea. Those people made a lot of funny, however.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
Since I was little, sneaking listens to my sister’s George Carlin albums, standup comedy has interested me intensely. At first it was because of the curse words I wasn’t supposed to be hearing. Later — recently, in fact — I realized the monumental importance of comedians. They point to and dissect the human condition like no other profession. I wouldn’t go so far as to say philosophy is bullshit — Nietzsche could be pretty damn funny — but the light that standup comedy shines on our brains…man, do we need that. I cannot do it, myself; I’ll leave it to the professionals. The comedy scene in Denver in the last few years really saved my life. Meeting the people in it and occasionally working with and/or for them has been such a great experience.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
What's your day job?
I work mostly at the Bug Theatre, where I am executive artistic director, technical director and janitor. I have worked there for eighteen years with many, many extraordinary people. And some schmucks, too, but I love it. I love my job! And all the different shows that get on the Bug stage, from meh to pro. I don’t know if people know the breadth of what happens there. It is an important place for art to grow and for it to be presented, and the people of Denver seem willing to fight for that. We fight for them to fight for art so they can fight for a place to fight for art. Film, theater, dance, standup, music — or all of it at the same time. That’s what happens there. And that is my day job.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
What we are doing now. Except there would be a rooftop gallery/blackbox/restaurant/classroom, and the entire floor of the theater would rotate, so you could choose seats or sit on an empty floor.
Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
I’m staying. What the hell else am I gonna do? I was born in Colorado, moved away for a decade-ish, did East Coast to West Coast, and then came back. I like the weather here. And the people. I know why one would leave, and why they would come back. Hopefully, I will still be able to fuckin’ afford to live here.
What's the one thing Denver could do to help the arts?
Vote for the renewal of the SCFD this fall. Holy jeez, is that organization important. So many nonprofit organizations would be dust without them. And leave your house and go out to see a show. I have Netflix, too. It’s awesome. The live experience, though, is where the spirit gets infused. Not always easy to do, though, and I am a hypocrite.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
Uh-uh. No way I’m answering that. I am friends with or work with some of them. I leave someone out, the next thing I know…someone has covered me with paint and clay, made a coat out of me, stapled a license plate or a cow bone to my forehead and is making fun of me from a stage.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
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Keeping the Bug Theatre operational, and working with the people who make it possible.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
Someone who figures out a way to attractively cover all these fugly new buildings?
Keep up with goings-on at the Bug Theatre online.