KINGMAN - Kingman-born comedian Amy Blackwell returned home for "Dinner and a Laugh Comedy Show" Aug. 2 at the Monkey Butt Bar and Grill. The night featured Blackwell as well as fellow comedians Donnie Johnson and Andy Steinberg.
This was Blackwell's first show in Kingman since getting back on the comedy circuit in 2009.
"It was a really good turnout," said Blackwell. "A lot of people from my graduating class came out to see the show. It was really awesome.
"People have these days that are so awful and stressful, and to just laugh is good for your body and soul. There is no better way to listen to live comedy than standup. You can sit there and relate, and I'm right there with you. We can laugh at the misery and stresses of life together."
Blackwell grew up in Golden Valley and graduated from KHS in 1995. She didn't know she wanted to be a comedian until a few years after high school.
"I just stumbled on it. A guy name Brian Biggs had some shows in Kingman, and I ran into him one night and introduced myself. We were talking and he asked if I had some material. I lied and said I did, and I spent the week writing jokes I came up with while hanging out with my friends."
Since then Blackwell has moved around a bit, doing comedy in Las Vegas and running a show in Sierra Vista for a few years. She took a break for a few years to spend time with her children. Blackwell eventually moved to Phoenix in 2009 and has been performing ever since.
Her career highlights include opening up for Elayne Boosler and Louie Anderson, touring the West Coast and Texas, and participating in the Ladies of Laughter competition in New York City in 2012.
When asked for advice on becoming a comedian, Blackwell was more than willing to share her experience.
"Anybody that wants to do it, do it! Don't hesitate," she said. "You won't regret it if you give it a shot. There are always opportunities out there. I never ever thought I could be a comedian because I grew up in Kingman, but you can do whatever you want!
"Go and do shows in the community. You can circumvent the system: if there's no comedy in your town, make comedy in your town. Just start it. Nothing's holding you back, just find out what you need to do to make it happen."
Blackwell is not sure yet when she'll return to Kingman for a show, but is looking forward to coming back and performing again.
"It was the first time doing comedy in their venue. The owners want me to come back, but I'm not sure when that will happen. I'm hoping to come back and get more people out to the show."
Blackwell's next performance is at the Tempe Center of the Arts on Sept. 19. For more information on Blackwell and her work, visit her website at www.amyblackwellcomedy.com.