Back to Stage

Best of Olympia 2018: Sam Miller

Writer's pick: Best comic relief

Heroic comedian Sam Miller. Photo credit: Facebook

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

However 2017 may have treated you, Sam Miller had a banner year.

"I bought a house," he agreed. "I have a great job as a social worker, working in Tacoma. I got that job in 2017."  

Then there's his thriving side career as Olympia's pre-eminent standup comedian.

"I'm really happy with where I'm at," he said. "I have a lot of respect from other comedians and whatnot. That's a really big deal to me. And I'm in a spot now where I can do 45 minutes of good comedy in pretty much any room, and I just love getting in front of great crowds and doing great jokes and being honest.

"I do a lot of charity gigs around town," he added. "I still perform (at Vomity) a lot. That's where I work on a lot on my newer stuff."

Miller's work may not at first glance seem overtly political.

"A lot of my jokes are about being homeless and being addicted to drugs and being incarcerated," he said. "There are a lot of folks, especially on the right, that want to demonize homeless folks and drug addicts and people who've been incarcerated. ... I still hang out with a lot of folks that are in recovery and a lot of folks who still actively use drugs, and I hang out with a lot of folks that have spent a lot of time incarcerated. And honestly, those are the folks I prefer to be around.

"I think society deals with people who use drugs incorrectly," he continued. "The stigmatization of drug users, I think, creates an environment where it's easy to use drugs. We have this idea that we're gonna scare people into not using drugs anymore, but ... the reason I used to get high is because I was scared. And I'm still scared a lot of the time, (but) I've learned some new skills."

Miller wrote and co-performs a theatrical piece, The Jail Letters Project, based on correspondence with his mother while he himself was incarcerated.

"We (came) together a lot during that process," he said. "I'm doing stand-up comedy workshops for high-risk youth in high schools and middle schools. That's a part of my job now, and what I'm telling folks is that the number-one thing you need to be a great comedian is to be vulnerable. Talk about things about yourself that make you uncomfortable, and try to make that audience understand. Because that audience is uncomfortable, too. That's the thing, especially with men in this culture: We're taught we don't talk about being scared. We don't talk about being sad.

"I actually have a joke about the Volcano," added Miller. "I got voted Olympia's hero and how that looks really good for me but really bad for Olympia! All I did was stop stealing people's bikes."

Cascadia's First Ever Comedy Show, 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 18, Cascadia Brewing Co., 211 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, $5-$10 suggested donation, 360.943.2337

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search