Funny Business: My Double Life as a Sketch Comedian
By Travis A. Sirois, CPA
During a normal year, when busy season ends, most CPAs are looking forward to a little bit of down time. But when busy season ends for me, it is time to start preparing for comedy tours with Wilmington, NC based comedy troupe “Pineapple-Shaped Lamps.” We had three stops at major conventions in 2019, including Florida Supercon in Miami Beach, Richmond Galaxycon in Virginia, and Raleigh Galaxycon in North Carolina. At each convention, a group of around 15 of us hosted 12 to 15 comedic events including sketch comedy, improv, dramatic readings, and shadowcasts. We hopped in cargo vans and lived in hotels with each other as a family for a 3 to 4-day weekend. Performing comedy with this special group of friends was the ultimate reward after a grueling tax season.
I found Pineapple-Shaped Lamps while I was in college getting my Masters in Accounting. I was waiting to meet up with a friend in downtown Wilmington when all of a sudden, I found myself in a writer’s room meeting for a local sketch comedy troupe that wrote, produced, and performed a monthly sketch comedy show. One thing led to another, and I was back the next week. And the next. By the end of the month, I was pitching my own ideas for sketches to the writer’s room and soon became a regular contributor. At first, I only wanted to be a writer, until one day an actor for the monthly show dropped out at the last minute, and I was thrown on stage for the very first time. That was over four years ago and since then, I have used every chance I get to perform sketch comedy. Through Pineapple-Shaped Lamps, I have been able to perform at multiple venues in Wilmington, NC, Magic City Comic Con 2016, Florida Supercon 2016 – 2019, ConCarolinas 2016 – 2017, Miami Improv Festival 2016, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival 2016, New South Comedy Festival 2016, Louisville Galaxycon 2018, Richmond Galaxycon 2019, Raleigh Supercon 2017 – 2018, and Raleigh Galaxycon 2019.
(Raleigh Supercon 2018 after an improv-based game show)
However, as I have grown in my accounting career, the group has been assigning me more accounting-like responsibilities on tour. I have typically been in charge of the cash box and keeping up with the merchandise inventory.
Due to the pandemic, most in person performances in 2020 have been postponed or cancelled. As a result, I have taken a step back from sketch comedy in 2020. However, this has not stopped the group of creative people still operating at Pineapple-Shaped Lamps. If you are interested, you can still catch full-fledged virtual theatre comedy through live streaming events! Check them out at www.pslcomedy.com or follow the Pineapple-Shaped Lamps on social media to know more about upcoming virtual and in-person events.
If you are a performer or a performance-based company, I would love to hear your story!