Interviews DustySlay(JAM)787*

Published on May 23rd, 2014 | by Ballard Lesemann


Dusty Slay Returns for the Ongoing Stand-Up Series

Metronome Charleston and the Charleston Music Hall have teamed up once again to present the third Stand-Up Series showcase in a series of local stand-up events. The lineup for this weekend’s show will feature veteran stand-up comic Dusty Slay as the host. Slay will be in town after more than two months of residing and performing in Nashville. Local comedians Lauren Hope Krass, Vince Fabra, and Michael Brocki fill the bill.

Slay chatted with Metronome Charleston this week about his latest adventures and the Sunday’s big gig at the Charleston Music Hall.

Metronome Charleston: We heard you’ve been making rent money in Nashville by selling pesticides to Lowe’s and Home Depot.

Dusty Slay: Yep. It’s a seasonal job that only lasts a few months. I’m thinking I can work at this job and make money while working toward become an actual working comedian. Hopefully, by the time this job is over, I can make that happen. I’m learning the ropes of Nashville while doing this day job. I dunno … I’m just saying potentially.

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Metronome Charleston: You’ve only been in the Music City for a short time now. Have you had good luck with gigs around Nashville and the Southeast so far?

Dusty Slay: I’ve actually been getting some good gigs. I went to the Comedy Zone in Charlotte, N.C. two weeks ago and did five shows with Josh Blue, a comedian with cerebral palsy who won the Last Comic Standing a few years ago. I got paid to do 25 minutes each show. It was great.

It’s great to be so close to different cities around the Southeast, too. I have some shows coming up at the Laughing Skull in Atlanta, and the drive’s not too bad at all. It’s easy to travel to places like Birmingham, Louisville, and Charlotte from here.

Metronome Charleston: Have you become acquainted with the main venues in and around Nashville yet?

Dusty Slay: I recently did a small local showcase at Zanies, the main comedy club here. I got to open for Pablo Francisco at the club when I first got to town, and I thought it would be relatively easy to jump back into to Zanies, but it’s not so easy. I’m on the list, though … but I’m at the bottom of that list! I know I’m on their e-mail list, so that feels pretty good.

I was in Charleston for 10 years, and I knew the place well. Here in Nashville, there are so many interstate highways and stuff, it’s hard for me to get home from gigs sometimes! I’m learning my way around though. The comedy community here is really nice. I’ve become friends with a lot of the comedians in Nashville through doing a lot of open mics. I plan to record a live album on June 1 at the Black Raven in Nashville, too. I have a good audio recorder.

Metronome Charleston: What do you miss the most about living and performing in Charleston?

Dusty Slay: I dunno … I used to live downtown, so I could walk just about anywhere I needed to go. Here in Nashville, I have to drive a lot. It’s such a change. I miss all of my Charleston friends and spending my days off at coffee shops and stuff. But it’s also exciting to be somewhere where I hardly know anyone. It’s a new adventure. I never run into someone on the street who used to know me when I drank too much and caused trouble, you know? I’m not really missing stuff too badly, because I was ready to try something different.

Metronome Charleston: It’s a strong bill of performers at the Music Hall this week. It seems like relative newcomer Michael Brocki is the rookie to watch.

Dusty Slay: Mike is a very new comic in Charleston. He just did Jailbreak and the Most RACES Show on Earth!, winning second place in their competition. He’s in town from Illinois. We became friends right before I left for Nashville. Mike’s very funny, likable guy, and he only been writing jokes for a short period of time. I like the guy. Mike’s a great new addition to the scene. He hasn’t performed a show this size yet, so that’s exciting.


Dusty Slay (photo by Marshall Bowles).

Metronome Charleston: It’s always great to see Vince and Lauren on stage. They have their own distinct styles.

Dusty Slay: I think they’re all going to bring the heat. Vince recently lined up a few local shows where he had 20 minutes per show to try out all new stuff. He’s been working hard, and he’s pumped. And Lauren is just coming off of her musical comedy show [Princess Charming, recently performed at Theatre 99], and she’s ready to go. We’re all excited about hitting the Charleston Music Hall stage. I think there’s going to be a lot of positive energy that evening for sure. For me it’ll be really nice to reconnect with old friends and reenergize a bit.

The 2014 Stand-Up Comedy Series continues at the Charleston Music Hall on Sun. May 25 with performances by Dusty Slay, Lauren Hope Krass, Vince Fabra, and Michael Brocki. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $10.

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Top photo by Jessica Mickey.




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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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