Stand-up comedy comes to Santa Barbara

CHRIS PLATT and ANTONY MARCHIANDO

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Everyone likes to unwind and have a good laugh with their friends, but City College Student Rosalee Wollman is turning her comedy into a career.

Rosalee Wollman: “Well I think like a lot of comics I’ve had a really horrible, tragic life, so I sort of have a ‘laugh or die’ philosophy.”

Three years ago, Wollman was writing shows for theatre when an audience member recommended she try stand up comedy. She gave it a shot and fell in love.

Rosalee Wollman: “Once you get that feedback from the audience, once you get that first killer laugh, it’s sort of an addiction. And I am at heart an addict so I was hooked.”

Today, she continues performing stand up and is also trying improvisational comedy.

Rosalee Wollman: “It’s very very difficult. It is difficult to write material. It is difficult to rehearse it, memorize it, get up on a stage and remember it when people are drunk, stoned, not paying attention and/or heckling and throwing things at you. But it’s really very cerebral when it gets down to it.”

Wollmann moved from Santa Cruz to Mexico, but performing for tourists didn’t last long. When she arrived in Santa Barbara, she met Carol Metcalf, a comedian who has been performing for 20 years.

Carol Metcalf: “I met Rosalee because she came to one of my shows when I was doing comedy at the Blind Tiger. And she said ‘Hey I would like to do stand up.’ So I said ok, and she asked me to mentor her.”

Metcalf organizes a comedy night for fundraisers and charities at Max’s Restaurant & Cucina once a month. She met the owner, Henrietta Forystek, years ago and brought up the idea to have a comedy night.

Metcalf and Wollman will both be going on tour later this year around California and Carol will eventually be heading to London.

Rosalee Wollman: “Well we’re going to be performing around California. We’re going to go down to L.A. and Carol’s already a regular at Flappers and so we’re probably going to be at Flappers and the Comedy Store and some of the venues in L.A. which is really exciting to me.”

Rosalee wants to write a sitcom one day and is currently working with Emmy-nominated writer Paul Clay to create a show.

Rosalee Wollman: “Well my ultimate desire is to be in a sitcom. I really like the idea of working with an ensemble and also being one of the writers. I’m working with one of the most popular sitcom writers in Santa Cruz and I’m hoping that we’re going to collaborate and write something that can be used for the screen.”

Rosalee says she’s found a nice little home at Max’s. Both Wollman and Metcalf will continue to perform there on the second Sunday of each month.

If you can’t wait to see the comedians in person, check out Rosalee Wollman’s YouTube channel and Carol Metcalf’s website. The event calendar for Max’s Restaurant and Cucina can be found here.

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