Thursday, 21 February 2013 09:45

Jackie Kashian: Queen of the Dorks

Written by  Josh Spanninga
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Jackie Kashian
Dr. Grins, Grand Rapids
March 8 and 9, show times at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
$17.50
laughfestgr.org, (616) 356-2000

Podcasts are all the rage these days. Whether you're a political junkie, music snob, science geek, foodie or basically a fan of any subject, chances are there is a podcast out there tailor-made for you. And if you happen to be a fan of fandom? Look no further than Jackie Kashian's "Dork Forest."

"I have people on the show that talk about something they love, something they're very enthusiastic about for an hour," Kashian said. "It could be anything from baseball to comic books and science fiction."

Topics highlighted in past episodes include (but are not limited to): origami, ventriloquism, LARPing, Aquaman and Dungeons and Dragons. She even broadcasts live versions of the show where she travels, meets up with a "local dork luminary" and records the podcast live (one such episode features her interviewing a man who transformed his DeLorean into a replica of the time machine in Back to the Future).

It's no surprise that Kashian makes her living having conversations with people. She's always been an avid talker, which got her into comedy. The story involves seven shots of tequila, a Sam Kinison show and Kashian's loquacious personality.

"I was immediately told by management to shut up and that open mic was on Sundays," Kashian said. "I came back three weeks later and did a little stand-up comedy."

This incident kick-started what would become a lucrative career for Kashian, complete with a half-hour televised comedy special, guest appearances on "The Bob & Tom Show" and two comedy albums (the most recent, It Is Never Going to Be Bread made it onto Amazon.com's "Best of 2010" list). She tours extensively, sometimes spending literally half the year on the road.

She has also performed her one-woman stage show titled, "It's a Terrible Burden Being Right," which is comprised of her telling in-depth, poignant personal stories. Some of the material from this show is also featured in her stand-up act, though she presents it in a condensed format.

"When you take a story and you turn it into stand-up, what you do is just end up tightening it up," she said.

On March 8 and 9, Kashian will be part of LaughFest's Clean Comedy Showcase, where fans can see the act she's honed over the past 15 years.

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