Trixx is a funny dude. No two ways about it. And what makes him hilarious is that everything he talks about is so fundamentally TORONTO that you can't help but relate.
On the evening of Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the Janet Mallett Theatre (St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts), Trixx performed a two-hour one-man stand-up comedy show to a packed house. No opening act, just a musical introduction from DJ Lissa Monet, and he jumped right into it...starting with Drake's "Starting From the Bottom" and immediately started discussing the thoughts we ALL have about the song and video...
The unspoken words.
You can count on him to speak his mind, and that's what made the show great. From the taboo topics like oral sex, to the familiar subjects like raising children, Trixx had a conversation with the audience, and naturally spoke about the things we all discuss, and the events that we're all aware of. And he did it in his expected hilarious form, and didn't miss a beat.
No one was safe, from the latecomers to those sitting in the front rows, he went from his routine, to audience interaction effortlessly, and never once did it feel like he was performing a "set" of jokes. It was all fresh material too. Things I hadn't heard yet, and judging from the outbursts of laughter and applause, the jokes were new to everyone.
It was a fun night. Like really fun. I've seen him live before, and gladly pay my money to support his shows and endeavours because he's super talented, and because I love to see people from Toronto working hard, following their dreams, and doing it well! And staying humble.
Hip hop artist Kardinal Offishall was in the house that evening, enjoying the show, and I immediately thought about how we all went from seeing Kardi on the weekends, out at the club like the rest of us...or performing at Windsor Sports Weekend...a familiar face, amongst familiar faces. And then I remember the day I saw Kardi on the Jay Leno show with Lindo P and other familiar faces right there on stage supporting him. I remember how PROUD I felt. Not because I know these brothers personally...because I don't. Not because I feel obligated to like them because they're from my hometown...because it's more than that. I felt this overwhelming sense of pride because they stuck to it. They hustled, they worked, they created, they performed, they were visible, they were relatable, and after years of pursuing their passion...their efforts exploded. They made it. They were exactly where they should be: receiving recognition.
So when I see Trixx, I feel similar sentiments. Like here's a brother that's been around, we see him on TV all the time, and he's someone who's career growth is taking place right in front of our eyes. Someone who is destined for greatness, and it feels good just to be a part of the process, and to be able to support the journey. I feel it's our duty as Torontonians, as people of the community, and as recognizers of true talent...to make sure we help catapult him even further forward.
The last time my friend and I saw Trixx live, we nearly dead. Eyes watering. Foot stomping. Struggling for air. Etc. I realized there is no greater joy than extreme laughter...and the best part about laughter is when it is so innately connected to your life experience, that it is speaking directly to you. Just like a good song, or a good book...when you FEEL the message on a personal level, it makes it that much more unique.
So despite his YouTube videos that I browse on occasion for a good chuckle, I was happy to be a part of his growing in-person fan base...again at the Jane Mallett Theatre. And as per usual, Trixx had me in tears!
Like where else are you going to hear jokes about the Dickie Dee (ice cream man), about how different ethnicities respond to their national "shout-outs" at the club, and punchlines told in Ghanaian, Jamaican, or Canadian accents. Discussions about Brampton, Degrassi, riding the TTC, and stories about the attitudes of Toronto males and females. The combination of themes, dialect, ideologies, and pace was sooo ridiculously TORONTO that it was just funny by nature.
Trixx is a funny dude. Like, I can't stress this enough. And the reason I keep writing about him, and supporting the cause is because I believe it's our responsibility to MAKE SURE that the talented people who are driving our culture forward, giving us a secure Canadian identity (as blacks, and as an "urban" community as a whole), and really and truly just being positive role models...receive and deserve our support.
I feel this way about the writers, the musicians, the DJs, and the entire creative community, because I know that it's not easy. It's not easy to come to the conclusion that being an artist is THE way you prefer to make a living and pursue your goals. It takes a special individual to turn their back to conventional methods of employment, and put their heart and soul into an industry that is riddled with anomalies and insecurity. It ain't easy atall.
So when we have someone like Trixx who won't quit, who's hustling, and who's doing a good job at it...we are responsible for his success. We are responsible for making sure that his stories are told, that his jokes are shared, and that the feelings of joy, and laughter, and upward mobility are shared and supported.
We have to buy tickets to his shows, and then come back the next time with additional friends. We have to let people know how good he is, and openly celebrate his successes. We have to be the force behind him, and many others, because it's that energy and love that brings out the best in all of us.
On Saturday night I laughed. I laughed from 8:30pm, straight through intermission, and into the second half of the show. I laughed at the ease at which Trixx told his stories, and casually moved between themes and jokes. I laughted at the reactions of the people around me, and the impromptu incidents that sparked additional comments from the comedian.
It felt good, because it was all new material, and new insights into common and familiar incidents. It felt like home, being surrounded by your peers, hearing about things you could relate to, and knowing that everyone in the room was there to support and stand behind Frankie Agyemang as he continues to soar towards stardom.
I can't wait to turn on the TV one day soon and see Trixx following in the footsteps of Russell Peters and the countless other Canadian comedians as they share our stories with the world. It's all about being proud of our culture, and Trixx efficiently represents the face of Toronto, and the voice of our people...regardless of what background you're from. It's that cultural pride and cultural responsibility that helps us to drive our culture forward. Shout out to his management Ree Ree Productions for always moving real professional.
All elements help us to define our place in Canada, to promote and strengthen our identity internationally, and to celebrate the unique stories and people and experiences that we all have. It's great to celebrate these things, it's great to be able to laugh out loud, and I really look forward to seeing what's next for Trixx. So far, so good!
Written by Stacey Marie Robinson for Kya Publishing's "Urban Toronto Tales" blog.