Since first opening in 2013, Ivywild School has become a hub for the Colorado Springs culture and food scene. The performance space has attracted a wide variety of up-and-coming musicians and always manages to draw in a big Colorado College crowd. This week, Ivywild welcomes comedy acts into the mix with Adam Cayton-Holland and Ben Roy. Both call Denver home and are a big part of the city’s comedy scene.
I found out a little more about Adam, learning about his experience performing for college students, being a college student, and all the cool projects he is up to at the moment.
You grew up in Denver? Have you spent much time in the Springs?
I grew up in Denver, yes, but I’ve spent a lot of times in the Springs. My sister was a figure skater and trained down there at the Broadmoor and the Olympic Training Center, so we’d be there all the time. My other sister went to CC and lived in the Springs for awhile, so I’m pretty familiar with Colorado Springs.
What were you like in college/at college age?
I grew up a lot in college. The first two years I was kind of lost; I went to Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and it was a big move moving out to the East Coast after 18 years in Colorado. I think I spent the first two years kind of floundering. Then, I grew up a bit and did really well the last two years. I wrote a humor paper called “The Monkey and the Penguin.” It was just satire, like The Onion, but focusing on my school. Once people started reading that and liking it, I did a lot better. I’m vain. I guess I needed the attention.
How did you get into the stand-up world?
I met a guy named Ben Roy, now one of my best friends. He is doing the show with me. We struck up a conversation at a bar, he told me he did stand-up. I thought that was cool, so he told me to check out an open-mic. The next week, I was at a dive bar called the Lion’s Lair watching my first comedy open-mic. Some of the comics were great, but most were garbage, and I knew I was funnier than that. I wrote jokes and came back the next week and have never stopped since. Nothing like bad comedy to make you want to jump in the game.
What is the comedy scene like in Colorado? Or Denver in particular?
The stand-up comedy scene in Denver—and Colorado—but really, Denver is amazing. There are so many talented comedians and great shows. It’s a really fertile, supportive scene. Denver has amazing comics doing their thing right now. It’s a fun time for the scene.
Is your comedy perceived differently around the country? What is it like performing for college students?
It’s not really perceived all that differently around the country. College students can be famously touchy. For the most part it’s just fine, but often college audiences can be more sensitive. It’s strange, you’d think, colleges would be more open and wild, but they’re pretty buttoned down.
You have a podcast too! How did you get into podcasting? What have you learned from sitting down with so many people to talk about “success” and “making it”?
I just kind of stumbled into a podcast because I host a monthly show called the Grawlix and we always have out-of-town guests in for the show so it just seemed to make sense that I sit down and podcast with all these great comedians we were bringing to town. I’ve learned that success is how you define it. Not anybody else.
What’s next? Do you have any projects in the works?
We (The Grawlix—Ben Roy, Andrew Orvedahl, and I) just recorded a pilot episode of a show that we wrote and starred in called Those Who Can’t for TRU TV. If it gets picked up, we’ll be making a Season One of the show. Our fingers are crossed! Ben Roy and I are also writing a script for Comedy Central right now. And then there’s the High Plains Comedy Festival I run along with Andy Juett. That will be in August in Denver. Always a blast!
Adam Cayton-Holland will be performing Thur. March 5th at Iveywild.
Doors open at 8pm.