TULALIP — The closest Wayne Brady has been to the Tulalip Resort Hotel and Casino is Seattle, but he told The Marysville Globe and The Arlington Times that he’s eager to try out a new venue.
“I’ll go wherever the audience is, from Manhattan to small towns,” Brady said, as he looked forward his two showings on March 29 in the Orca Ballroom. “And this won’t necessarily be the last time I’ll be here, either.”
Although Brady’s work in the entertainment industry ranges from starring roles in Broadway musicals to guest-starring parts on scripted TV shows and voiceover work for cartoons, many people probably know him best from his long-running stint as part of the cast on the improvisational comedy show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” which will be returning with new episodes later this year. However, Brady has never seen such high-profile jobs as the end goal of his career, because throughout the rest of his hectic schedule he’s always found time to stay on the road.
“There are stand-ups who land those sitcom gigs because that’s what they were aiming for, but I’ve never stopped performing live,” Brady said. “It’s how I’ve stayed sharp. No matter what I’ve done, whether it was ‘Chicago’ or ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ it would have suffered if I hadn’t kept doing that.”
According to Brady, he thrives on contact with live audiences, and described the sense of immediacy in their interactions as difficult to duplicate even in live television.
“There’s just this rush of instant reaction,” Brady said. “If you’re doing comedy onstage, you don’t have to wait for a critical review or a Nielsen rating. The club or theater or whatever the venue is will let you know, yea or nay, how they think you’re doing. It can be through a hush in the crowd or in the rattling of drinks, or more positive affirmation if you’re doing good. Either way, you get that feedback right away.”
Brady sees the challenges of live performance as akin to the enjoyable challenges that he feels everyone should choose to take on, regardless of their professions.
“The joy of live performance is that it’s live,” Brady said. “Nothing can replace it. Not everyone can do live performances, but we should all challenge ourselves, whether at work or in our lives.”
While Brady promised his Tulalip audiences that he would arrive fully engaged, he requested that they return the favor.
“I’m happy to come out here and bring my A-game, but I’d only ask that those who come out to see me do the same with their suggestions,” Brady said. “I’m going to challenge you guys too. This isn’t just going to be a show where you sit back and put your feet up. It’s improv, so you need to be ready for me to do anything, even if it means coming out into the crowd and interacting with you.”
Brady’s 8 p.m. show on March 29 is already sold out, but as of March 4, tickets were still available for his 11 p.m. show later that same night. For more information, log onto www.tulalipresort.com/entertainment/orca-ballroom.aspx.