“[Receiving best comedian] took me down this memory lane of all the hard work I’ve put in since I moved here last year,” Wilson says. “Even in a small scene like Miami, you could accomplish this much.”
In addition to Wilson’s star rising, Miami itself is experiencing its own budding comedy scene. Since the grand opening of the Improv in December, this is the second standup showcase pairing local comics alongside comedians from a city with a booming comedy environment. (The "New York to Miami" showcase was held back in March.)
Of the four headliners, two are currently based out of Atlanta, a city that conditions its comics to perform at any venue for any audience.
“Atlanta comedy is very diverse. It could range from doing the stuffiest room with hipsters, then you go to a side of town where the entire room is black or more Hispanic,” says Ronnie Jordan, a comedy veteran whose TV credits include BET’s Comic View. “It gets you ready to do comedy for anybody.”
According to Jordan, the best Atlanta comics are all shooters, getting to the joke with no hesitation. This proves useful in a city like Miami.
“I’ve been doing comedy for 18 years, and there are certain places people tell you are tough, and you hear things like ‘so-and-so got booed’ — and Miami is known for that,” comedian Vanessa Fraction says. “Miami is known for being a bit tough. Early on in my career, I was doing the Miami Improv and they showed me so much love, so I’m excited to come back.”
From Atlanta to Miami. 8 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at the Miami Improv, 3450 NW 83rd Ave., Suite 224, Doral; miamiimprov.com. Tickets cost $35 to $45 via eventbrite.com.