But what about live comedy? A Reston native is trying to make it a more regular event here as well.
“I went out and scoped out the comedy scene, and I’m bringing the best comics back to Reston,” said Robin Rex, a six-month veteran of comedy who has already started her own show-booking company, Funny Friend Productions. “We don’t have comedy [here], and I want people to have a place to go to see comedy, good shows.”
In July, Funny Friend Productions put on its first show at Café Montmartre, a longtime favorite venue of Rex. The show had about 75 attendees and was a success for all involved, she said. Another show at the restaurant (1625 Washington Plaza N.) is planned for Sept. 23.
“I grew up on that side of Reston, and I’ve always loved being at Lake Anne,” said Rex, who now lives in Centreville. “There’s places is Centreville [to do shows], but Lake Anne is where my heart is.”
Rex, 43, is a 20-year high school teacher who said she has been performing at venues around Northern Virginia this year as she begins to gain experience in the comedy business. She got started at the suggestion of a co-worker who also works as a standup.
“He just thought that I would be good at it because I’m talking all day [and] I’m good at keeping the kids’ attention, at being funny,” she said. “I finally had my opportunity and I went for it, and from my first night people have started asking me to do other shows.”
She said she has been intimidated at times in the past months as she has started getting her feet wet in the business, but that her confidence is building and she is comfortable once she gets on stage.
“I’m still beside myself nervous, but once I get up there I’m able to flip a switch,” she said, saying her brand of comedy is influenced by standups such as Amy Schumer. “My friends say, ‘You don’t look nervous at all,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I’m dying on the inside.’ … But I just put it out there, and I’m not embarrassed.”
The Sept. 23 show — planned as Rex’s 44th birthday celebration — has numerous area comedians on the bill. In addition to Rex, the show will be headlined by Franqi French, who also grew up in Reston. Other standups slated to perform are Sumedha Ahuja Bahri, Kevin Skington, Wendy Wroblewski, Gil Segev, Leon Scott, Dan Kaufman and Steve Coltrain.
“What’s great about it is I’ve had the past six months to go around [the DC Metro area] and listen to other comics, and then I could handpick the ones that I want to book for my shows,” she said. “Also, it’s my birthday, so I have some of my friends who are comedians on the lineup.”
A door charge of $10 will be collected. Doors will open at 7 p.m., with the show starting at 8.
“[Attendees] probably want to come [early] and get a table and eat, because it was standing-room-only last time,” Rex said.
For information about this show, or to inquire about bringing a Funny Friend Productions show to another venue, connect with Rex on Facebook.
Photo courtesy Robin Rex