Dan Quinn is "busy as heck, but good."
The multi-tasking comic has just kicked off the Snowed In Comedy Tour, which he organizes and performs alongside Arj Barker of Flight of the Conchords, Edinburgh (Fringe) Award winner Pete Johansson and former host of Ed's Night Party, Craig Campbell.
The comedy quartet plays the Garibaldi Lift Company for two nights, on Jan. 13 and 14.
"I handle everything for the tour, and... we flew up north and had to drive from Terrace to Smithers last night, got in, then we went snowboarding today, had to get everything set for the show and doing interviews, making sure ticket sales were organized... yeah, I'm pretty busy," says Quinn.
So what's it like to be the guy behind the scenes and in front of the scenes onstage?
"It's interesting. You have to really be good at switching gears because I've got to go right up until showtime. 'You be here at this time,' all that sort of stuff... 'Is everyone paid?' Sound checks, that sort of stuff. So many levels when you're doing a theatre," Quinn says.
"Then all of a sudden it's 'OK, now do your act, be funny.'"
He says that since comedy is a constant factor in his life, it is not impossible to pull off.
"Throughout the year, you're building this new set for the next year. Each night is a new beast and you have to be ready for it," Quinn says.
So both the left and right sides of the brain get a workout.
"And I find they both get very tired by the end of the day," he laughs.
"Snowboarding probably doesn't help but it makes me happy."
Now in its sixth year, the Snowed In Comedy Tour was Quinn's baby from the start, and it has built a reputation in the comedy stratosphere. The four comics live in different parts of the world and see each other at different comedy festivals; Quinn visited Barker at the Melbourne Comedy Festival this year.
"It would be really hard to do this tour without friends on it. They help carry the show and they're funny, funny guys and it's good to be around them," he says. "We love being up in the mountains. There's a lot of camaraderie, for sure, and that's what makes it special. It shows up on stage, too.
"We had a great day at Hudson's Bay Mountain in Smithers and it snowed a bit in the last few days, Arj and Craig just flew in and it was their first days of the year snowboarding... We don't get to hang out much, but there are texts going back and forth, that sort of thing."
He's been up in Whistler twice already this season (he lives in Vancouver), and he's not bothered by the lower than average snow so far this season.
"Here's the thing about Whistler, you could get the next three days of 20 centimetres of snow every day and then boom! But I went and did Spanky's Ladder on Dec. 21. It was a bit scary but I had a lot of fun," he says.
Whatever the conditions are, the Snowed In Comedy Tour will trip around British Columbia's resorts and towns, play Vancouver and then head over to continental Europe for gigs in France, Switzerland, Austria and Norway. Hello, Chamonix, Verbier and Zermatt!
As do-it-yourself comedy tours go, it sounds nice. Do the other comics get jealous?
"Yes, they do. It's a very unusual thing to do, because we all have our own careers. This is something that we've brought together. We take turns going on in different order in the show. So it's not about one person, it's about the group, and we are all performing most of the year. Arj has just finished a massive tour of Australia, Pete and Craig have been doing these big tours in the U.K., where Pete was opening for Reginald Hunter, playing big venues with between 1,000 and 3,000 a night. Craig toured with a couple of others guys," Quinn says.
"Everybody's got their own thing and they come here. Hopefully, they'll keep coming back (to the Snowed In Comedy Tour), but if not somebody else would probably go 'OK, I'll take it. There's a long list of guys that have asked to be on the tour. It's very special... and it's not like you have to be a snowboarder. You can be a skier. We won't be prejudiced."
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