Watching comedy is a mostly sedentary act. Comedian Gretchen Young, who's better known by her stage nickname "GretchYo," has found a way to make it move in so many ways.
She's the creator of a monthly comedy show series called "Destination Unknown" that puts audiences on a bus where they watch her and other local comedians perform a set while the driver takes them to an unknown destination.
"It's just a really unique experience," Young says. "Different people came out and some came by themselves. So it's a very easy way to get to network and get to know people. And it's fun to be able to stand up and do things on a moving vehicle."
The next edition of Young's traveling comedy show hits the road Friday evening starting at the British Beverage
Co. on Routh Street.
Young says she had the idea for a traveling comedy show for several months and decided the time was right to put it to the test, using vehicles from her startup transportation company Voy Technologies.
"I have a small startup that's basically a side gig to book transportation for corporate events or if you have to go to San Antonio or whatever," Young says. "So I have access to all these vehicles, and I knew I needed to produce a show."
"Destination Unknown" puts a comedy club audience on a mini coach bus and takes them to three unknown stops while comedians perform shows on the bus in between each stop. At the stops, they get time to mingle and grab some drinks at the three unannounced locations. The show concludes at its starting point, the British Beverage Co., with one last comedy show starring a headlining comedian. This Friday's traveling comedy show will feature performances by GretchYo, Elias Ashley, Shahyan Jahani and Tony Casillas.
Young did her first test show with a party bus, and the results produced something encouraging.
"I just tried it and it ended up going really well," she says. "It was definitely very intimate to perform that way."
Jahani says Friday's tour will be his first time touring on a bus, and it's hard to know what to expect except it's bound to be something fun.
"I'd imagine the crowd will be a little loose, maybe even a little rowdier than your normal theater show," Jahani says. "It's definitely a unique setting. It's different."
Casillas says he's relishing the chance to perform on a strange stage.
"It's going to be unique because I'm going to have to learn how to adapt while telling jokes on a small service on the front of the bus," Casillas says. "I'm excited for the challenge."
Young says the most impressive part of her show is how it brings audience members together in ways a traditional comedy club or theater can't replicate.
"The thing I like the most about it is how the group is mixed together," she says. "The last time, we had a group of four and everyone else came solo. Every time we got on the bus, they were sitting with different people."
It's also one more way to give Dallas' growing comedy community another place to perform.
"There's so much talent in Dallas," Young says. "You can get any kind of comedian you need."
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