If Portland’s stand-up scene can seem a crowded one, it’s about to get a bit smaller. Amy Miller and Sean Jordan have been working their comedic magic for years in Portland, but the two are moving to Los Angeles this month, following in the footsteps of the city’s other top-tier comics like Ron Funches and Ian Karmel (who Jordan will room with).
The duo are doing a final gig on Sunday, March 13, called Amy Miller and Sean Jordan’s Friendship and Pizza Party. Joining them will be a number of veteran comedians including Bri Pruett, Nathan Brannon, Hutch Harris, and more. We caught up with them to find out what’s drawing them to L.A. and what they’ll miss about Portland.
Amy Miller on why comedians leave Portland:
“It’s a different situation for comedy [than for music]. You can be really visible to the industry if you’re a musician and not necessarily living where that industry is. For comedy, that’s just not the case. There’s two cities, and you’ve gotta move to one of them.”
Amy on what you can and can’t do in comedy in Portland:
“One thing you can do in Portland is get a lot of stage time, and I think that’s part of the reason that each of us came here. I’ve been here three years, and the amount of sets you can do in a week is pretty staggering. It helps you become a much stronger comedian because you can perform all the time. Also, the community of comics.
Anything past that is what’s hard. You can tour, you can do road gigs and have this be your home base, but anything beyond is really, really difficult.”
Sean on what he’ll miss about Portland:
“I love everything about it here. I like how nice the people are. I like the stand-up scene. I like that there are skate parks everywhere. It’s just so much different than where I came from. I’m dug in. I have really good friends that I’ll know the rest of my life that I’ve met just through comedy in the city. It’s a very nurturing community. I just love it.”
Amy on what she’ll miss about Portland:
“One thing, because we’re moving to L.A., is water. I’m really going to miss water. … That’s a rough situation down there.
I’ll miss the comics, and I think what a lot of people experience is missing stage time when they go from a smaller market to moving to L.A. Especially the length of stage time, because right now Sean and I are in a position in town where we can do 30 to 45 minutes, sometimes an hour, kind of on a regular basis. That will not be the case, and it’s harder to work out that half-hour material when you’re doing five minute sets every night, because there are so many comedians.”
Amy Miller on January 2016 at the Doug Fir Lounge. Her story about discovering slavery was real starts at 10:03.
Sean Jordan on July 2015 at the Doug Fir Lounge: