Local, traveling comedians to compete for $15,000


Courtesy of Chad Optiz

Chad Optiz performing at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valle.

Carlo Marzan

The San Francisco Comedy Competition, which showcased such acts as Ellen DeGeneres, Robin Williams and Louis CK, will be making its stop at Sacramento State for its semi-final rounds.

The San Francisco Comedy Competition is an annual stand-up comedy contest with different judges and locations throughout. The event is being brought to Sac State through a collaboration with UNIQUE Programs, which holds events every Thursday in the University Union.

UNIQUE Programs adviser Ajamu Lamumba said the competition has been hosted at Sac State for over 20 years and is a good chance for students to enjoy themselves.

The comics will be competing for a prize of $15,000 and the chance to join the likes of Dana Carvey of Saturday Night Live and Rob Schneider, who have won the competition in years past. The competition is a great opportunity for comedians to launch their stand-up comedy careers and potentially have their breakout moment.

Semi-finalist Krista Fatka has been doing stand-up comedy for four years, and circus performance in the four years prior. Fatka said she does a confessional type of stand-up routine in which she talks about her life as an exaggerated character of herself.

While she has been enjoying the competition, Fatka said she doesn’t plan on winning. She said she wasn’t the most experienced, nor the best performer, but still has confidence in her work and wants to enjoy the overall experience.

“There’s people literally doing like forward rolls onto the stage and singing their heart out,” Fatka said. “I’m not there on a performance level, but you know, I’m just going to stick to my jokes and give it all I’ve got. It’s just for the fun of it.”

Fellow semi-finalist competitor Chad Optiz of San Francisco has done stand-up for a little over five years and compared his comedy style to music. Similar to how music can have dynamic changes in volume and tempo, Optiz switches up the tempo and rhythm of his performance and tells a variety of different types of jokes to stand out from the competition.

Optiz said he looks to this competition as an opportunity to make stand-up comedy his career.

“I didn’t get in last year, but i got in this year and I’ve made a lot of progress since I moved up to San Francisco,” Optiz said. “It’s just another step towards hopefully making this what I do for a living. Showing them that I can do well at all kinds of different venues.”

The semi-finals will be held Sept. 21 in the University Union Ballroom at 8 p.m. and the event is free.