Loud Secrets draws comics, poets

The first of many monthly spoken word open mics kicked off Monday night


Photo by Emilee Wentland

Cullen Ryan announces plans for future “Loud Secrets” events. The next Loud Secrets is set for 7 p.m. Monday, March 4 at The Venue.

Wisconsin’s recent way-too-far-below-freezing temperatures were a topic of interest at the first ever “Loud Secrets” spoken word open mic night at The Venue behind The Plus.

Local comic and UW-Eau Claire student Hannah Kabelitz said the winter weather was perfect for wearing onesies.

“I look damn good in a onesie,” Kabelitz stated to a crowd of about 30 Monday night. “It’s because … I have a centered body. I know that because a homeless man told me that once in those exact words.”

Kabelitz joined a line-up of 10 comics and poets at the spoken word event. The only rules? Participants have to be signed up by 7:30 p.m. and no music is allowed, said Cullen Ryan, co-founder of Clearwater Comedy and the organizer of the event.

“It’s performance and I want it to feel intimate,” Ryan said of the name Loud Secrets. “So it’s just kind of a fun little term or phrase that doesn’t really mean anything that makes you think of the thought behind it.”

Ryan said he created the monthly show because at The Plus’ usual open mic nights on Tuesdays, comics go last, so they don’t usually start until much later in the night.

Ryan kicked off the show by telling the story of a man who grew up in a small town. During a huge blizzard in the 70s, this man thought he saw what could only be described as a Big Foot-like creature, which he found out much later was an eccentric local man in a fur coat and pointed hat.

The last of the cold-themed jokes was delivered by Sarah Coffey. She talked about her car not being able to start due to the -53 degree temperatures last week.

“My car died because the hamster in the wheel just froze to death,” she explained, jokingly. “Thankfully, I upgraded to a guinea pig.”

Comics weren’t the only stars of the night, however. Two local poets, Chanel Harwick and Soren Staff, also performed on stage with poems both long and short.

The night concluded with the opportunity for the performers to mingle and bounce ideas off each other.

“The goal of this is that we all interact with each other afterwards,” Cullen said. “We talk about each other’s work, we try to make each other better.”

As for the future editions of Loud Secrets, Ryan hopes to see variety in performers and types of performances.

“I hope that people take chances with this,” Ryan said. “If you’re a comedian, you should try new jokes with this. This is about being open and expressive and trying new things.”

Wentland can be reached at [email protected].