Jon Dore was one of the best entertainers I’ve ever witnessed.
I have attended everything from ballet to indie rock festivals around the world, and I have never seen someone control the stage and wield their craft quiet like Jon Dore did on Saturday night in Red Deer, Alberta.
From start to finish he was in absolute control.
With a tongue so sharp it could cut tomato slices, he was able to take a conservative crowd on a journey they may not have been ready to take. Few people could use the line “God raped Mary” on a stage in Red Deer, and not have a biker gang member named Bubba meeting them out back to take out their knees. (Red Deer has not only a large conservative faction, but also a large Hell’s Angels headquarters.)
I sat in absolute awe of a guy at the top of an art which I had just five days earlier taken my first foray into.
After Jon had finished his set (which he finished masterfully,) I sat back in awe, with my brother at my side.
I had to process what I had just witnessed.
It was both inspirational, and daunting to see just how strong Jon’s performance was as a seasoned professional.
I had made some people laugh when I was on stage.
Jon had made some people question fundamental beliefs.
And that’s what great comedy does. A comedian who is at the top of his game will fundamentally change how you look at a situation; when you leave the room you can no longer see that situation in the same light.
Jon Dore gave us this gift.
For example, I can no longer look at the name of my hometown, Red Deer, without thinking of a grandma asking a teenage granddaughter if she’s on her period. (You can fill in the blanks.)
After witnessing this, which was a near spiritual experience for me, I was given the opportunity to meet this extremely talented man.
My brother knew the GM of the bar we were at (Fratter’s Speakeasy,) and asked her if I could have a chance to talk with him. He told her that I had performed for the first time earlier this week, and that I write this little blog here.
I was introduced to Jon backstage, and it was completely natural. Him and I shared stories, he told me about his first time on stage, we talked about the creation of jokes, and then, at the end of it all, he asked me my name and told me he was excited to see where I could go in stand up.
I love stand up, and it was a thrill to see it performed at such an incredibly high level.
I have a long road ahead of me.
Thank you Jon Dore for inspiring me to continue down it.