Ricardo Caté enjoys being busy.
Though on Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, the comedian and cartoonist will be pulling double duty.
The Santo Domingo Pueblo artist will have a booth where he will sell his cartoons at the Gathering of Nations at Tingley Coliseum.
“I’ve never been,” he says. “It will be great to be in the environment and see what’s going on.”
Then at 9 p.m. Saturday, April 30, Caté will headline a night of comedy at The Hopper Pub & Pizzeria. The event is presented by Headliners 505 Comedy.
Caté’s life in art and stand-up comedy has been interesting.
In January 2004, Caté was in a desperate situation and took the bus to Durango, with the last $60 he had in his pocket.
“I got $5 back from that trip,” he says. “That’s all I had to my name when I got off the bus. I have three kids and I had to leave them to make some sort of life for them because staying home on the rez wasn’t enough.”
Caté went to Ignacio, Colorado, to find a job because there’s a casino there.
Luckily, he found a trailer park with vacant spaces.
He would roam the streets of Durango trying to sell his illustrations, which often were bought by tourists.
Caté missed a shuttle from Durango to Ignacio one night – and it changed his life.
“There was a comedy competition and the winner would get $50 to the restaurant,” he says. “I was hungry and it would be a place to stay warm.”
Caté says Snowdown Durango was taking place and he got on stage. The event was founded in 1979 to bring something fun, bright and festive to Colorado’s long winter.
“I noticed I was the only Native American in the room,” he says. “I began telling jokes and people were laughing. At the end of the night, I won the competition and got a pizza and some beers.”
Caté was confident in his skills and has continued his stand-up journey. After his win, the restaurant owner offered him $100 a night to do stand-up comedy.
He has also kept his illustrations going with his comic strip, “No Reservations,” which is published in the Santa Fe New Mexican.
The two worlds often influence each other as he is quick to draw hot topic related cartoons quickly.
“Sometimes if I get desperate, I’ll look to world topics for inspiration,” he says. “I’m grateful that the two mediums that I work with go hand in hand.”