Double (XX) Fest 2.0 Night of Solo Performance: The Birth of a Piece

by Kris Keppler

Writer/Performer in Double (XX) Fest 2.0’s Night of Solo Performance

I used to do lots of comic roasts and singing telegrams, two a month for a couple years until the economy went bust in 2008.  I loved doing them as they’re very interactive and I get to sing.  I still do them, but only a few times a year now.

I really missed these little solo performances so when a friend who ran the Balagan Theatre late night show told me she’s looking for short performances I signed up.  I work out 3 times a week and I always have unusual experiences at the gym.  I wrote down these experiences and strung them together for my midnight performance.  Balagan packed them in that night, it holds 50.  Performing for a crowd at least 15 years younger than me made me really nervous.   I didn’t totally fail but didn’t totally succeed that night.  And that taught me a lot.

I took my solo piece now aptly named At the Gym to a workshop for solo performers.  I learned even more about what worked, what came off as offensive and that I needed more commentary.  Then, I didn’t perform it for another year.

I joined Biznik, an online networking site for small businesses and joined a musician’s group on the site.  The group organized a fund raiser for the Mosaic Coffee House in Wallingford as a Biznik event.  I volunteered to perform At the Gym, as the only non musical performance of the night.  The audience was a bit older but they were business people expecting music.  I looked out of place wandering around in my work out gear.

I reminded myself it’s a conversation between me and the audience as I took the stage.  The audience laughed and continued laughing.  There is no better sound for a solo performer to hear.

I’ve added some more bizarre characters to the show and renamed it Does This Happen to You: At the Gym.  I’m looking forward to performing the show at Stone Soup’s Double (XX) Fest 2.0 on April 21.


Kris Keppler did comic roasting and singing telegrams on a regular basis for several years until the economy went bust.  The roasting and telegrams dried to a trickle. She will be performing Does This Happen to You: At the Gym  as part of Stone Soup’s Double (XX) Fest 2.0 this year for the Night of Solo Performance on April 21 at 8pm. Tickets available for all Double (XX) Fest 2.0 programs here.

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