Greg Ziomek was a staple in the Albuquerque comedy scene until he moved to Austin, Texas, last year.
The comedian is making his way back for a show on Tuesday, Dec. 17, in Nob Hill.
“It’s based off the open mic night that I used to run,” he says. “We do a PowerPoint presentation on a topic to update the audience on something educational. Then we go up to do the stand-up comedy show.”
Previous topics have included politics and space among others.
Ziomek will be joined by Anthony J Martinez, Cat Savage, Robert Eyster, Royal Wood III and Sara Hake.
Ziomek began performing comedy just under four years ago.
He had built a regular show in Albuquerque that brought national comedians to the area.
When he moved to Austin earlier this year to complete a residency in psychiatry, he didn’t want to stop comedy.
“I have been performing as much as possible in Austin,” he says. “I do work about 60 to 80 hours per week (at his day job). When my schedule allows it, I will find an open mic show. There’s so much stage time in Austin.”
Ziomek pulls comedy from his own life experiences and what he finds humorous.
“I started like any white male comic in his 30s. Right after a divorce,” he says. “I don’t believe any topic is out of bounds. The challenge with more controversial topics is to make it funny. Comedians often make the mistake of being angry with the audience, which is a mistake. You are supposed to make them laugh with you.”
Ziomek says he has no exact formula for getting material together for a show.
“Sometimes it can take years,” he says. “Other times, it’s really easy. It depends on where the joke is coming from and who you are as a comic. It requires more time and patience.”
Ziomek is finishing some new material for the Albuquerque show.
“It takes a few weeks for any particular joke to get good,” he admits. “That’s the challenge.”
Challenging himself to grow as a comedian is a big deal, which is why he surrounds himself with people who are better and more successful in the field.
“If I can’t be around them, at least I can watch them,” he says. “It’s important to go out and watch other comedians perform. It’s a friendly and open scene.”