Interview: Comedian Shane Torres

Editor Shenyah Webb, Interview, April 19th, 2013

"There were so many creative comedians in Portland then..."

comedian shane torres

Nailed Magazine conducted a series of interviews with comedians for the 2013 Bridgetown Comedy Fest in Portland, Oregon.

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NAILED: You were placed in the top three for the past two years in “Funniest Person in Portland” contest, which is pretty rad, I might add. When did you begin standup, and what led you there?

SHANE TORRES: Thanks! I started standup a little over five years ago. A few things led me to standup. One was a good friend of mine turned me on to Hicks, David Cross — before that I really only knew of a few huge comedians like Cosby. I still love Cosby, but it just made me think about how there were all these other hysterical people out there. Finding out about those guys was like when you hear about a great band for the first time and your appreciation for them leads you to more great music. Another was I saw a local show at The Bagdad in Portland and I remember how funny the locals were and it made it seem a little more possible to do. There were so many creative comedians in Portland then and now, but I saw it and thought, “these guys are trying to be original and do it their way.” I feel very fortunate to have come up in a comedy scene that encourages me through its creativity.

NAILED: The Portland Comedy Scene seems to have really taken shape over the last decade, or less for that matter. How has the growth impacted your performance (if any)? Being that it was so small for so long, did you struggle in the beginning stages? Did you experience any awful moments?

SHANE TORRES: Undoubtedly the scene has grown quicker than I think most of the locals have expected it to. It’s fucking incredible that we are getting comedians from other cities moving here because they have heard such good things about it. Portland is a place where a comedian can really develop and get their chops a little more refined before trying L.A. or New York.

The growth has helped everyone — more stages and chances to get up. More people you look forward to seeing every night. The most helpful for me though I think has been the fact that with more growth it gave us more audiences to perform in front of. That is one of the ways you get better, by doing it more and more. I think everyone struggles in the beginning stages. Some people more than others, but I think everyone is a little worse and a little better than they think when they start standup. There are a few bad moments, but one great show makes you forget the bad ones — at least for the duration of your set.

NAILED: When was the last time you nailed it?

SHANE TORRES: Honestly it’s been so long I can’t recall.

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Shane Torres is one of Portland’s favorite comics, performing locally and across the country for over five years. He has placed in the top three for the past two years in Funniest Person in Portland contest. In the past six months Shane has competed in The Seattle International Comedy Competition, and performed at The Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta. Shane also performed at Comedy Central’s comics to watch at Helium Comedy Club. The show he co-produces with Sean Jordan and Ian Karmel, Funny Over Everything, has been bringing high tier comedians to Portland’s comedy scene since 2011, furthering the ever expanding comedy fan base in Stumptown. The Portland Mercury even said they liked him one time.

This interview was conducted during Portland’s annual Bridgetown Comedy Fest, which takes place on the weekend of April 18 – 21, 2013. Click here for information on shows that feature Shane Torres during the 2013 festival. [Photo Via: Flickr]

Shenyah Webb

Shenyah Webb is originally from Detroit; she studied Psychology at Michigan State University, and later finished in Industrial Design with an Art Therapy minor at The College of Creative Studies. She lives and works in Portland with her husband and son. She is a visual artist, and musician under the name Lithopedion. Her self-titled EP was released in 2013. Shenyah is the Arts Editor and a Contributing Editor for Nailed Magazine.