After years of being comedy nomads, a local couple has found its headquarters of hilarity. For the last year, they've provided a space for laughs to be made in Vermont.
It's not just a stage, it's their stage. Natalie Miller and Nathan Hartswick own the Vermont Comedy Club. "It's bringing something to Burlington that wasn't here before, filling a niche that didn't exist," Miller said.
Before the club, Miller and Hartswick worked out of a small space in Burlington's South End, teaching comedy classes and booking shows throughout the state. "We produced shows in barns, restaurants, bars, on docks out into the lake," Miller said.
After seven years of hard work, Miller and Hartswick's dream became a reality, opening the Vermont Comedy Club in the old Armory building on Main Street in Burlington. "It's a little surreal and sometimes we pinch ourselves that it actually happened," Hartswick said.
Improv and stand-up classes are a regular feature at the VCC. The groups meet two hours a week for six weeks. "They're helping you and giving you constructive feedback along the way. They're very supportive as teachers," said Shelly Mathais, a class member.
On this night the classes converge with other members of the community to check out the weekend's headliner -- Jenny Zigrino.
"I had heard great things from local comics and comics who were touring nationally. They were saying awesome things about it and I thought, when are they going to have me?" Zigrino said.
"It's so great to see people appreciate what we're doing here, and it feels so amazing to have this place we're people can come together and laugh, because I think now more than ever, everyone needs a reason to laugh," Miller said.
As the unmentionables take the stage to close out this night, it makes you think, Miller and Hartswick used to improvise where they'd host their next show. Now, the only improv these two do is in front of a crowd, sitting in their showroom.
The Vermont Comedy Club has hosted current Saturday Night Live cast member Sasheer Zamata and former star of the improv show, "Whose Line is it Anyway," Greg Proops. Former Mad TV Cast member, Matt Braunger, is this weekend's featured comedian.
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