Each month, Dallas Comedy House highlights an individual nominated by their peers as Performer Of The Month. To cast your vote for a performer, simply fill out this form.
The recipient this month is Devon Kodzis, an electric storyteller and all around awesome person. Whether speaking in front of a packed house or just having a conversation someone, Devon is able to completely engage an audience. Behind the scenes, Devon works tirelessly as a storytelling instructor and as one of the producers on Gettin’ It to help others fall in love with the craft.
Here are a few words from the individual that nominated Devon for Performer Of The Month:
“Devon radiates happiness and joy. She can tell a very serious story full of laughs and a very funny story with a serious undertone. Give her an award!”
I asked Devon a few questions to better get to know this delightful person.
If you could be stuck on a desert island with one type of animal, which would you choose?Devon: A raccoon! They're smart and wily little scavengers and would not judge me for my habits or hygiene.
What was your first exposure to Dallas Comedy House?
Devon: I was looking to pick up theater classes in my new city when I moved here, so I googled "Theater Classes" and DCH popped up. I took the first storytelling class with Julia Cotton and Maggie Rieth Austin and I've been in love with the community ever since!
Who were some of the performers that helped you out early on?
Devon: Julia Cotton, who taught the storytelling class I participated in and got me into teaching/TAing/producing- the vast majority of what I do now to her. Maggie Rieth Austin, Katy Evans, Frank Buttafarro, Jill Nastasia, the list goes on, everyone I've met here has been so supportive and kind!
As a storytelling teacher/performer/fan, you’ve seen the telling of many tales. Can you share your favorite opening line you’ve heard for someone’s story?
Devon: "It's hard to be both a slut and an introvert." - Casey Elder
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about performance?
Devon: There is a lot of power in well-placed silence- a good performer can control the emotional temperature of the room, often without saying anything.
Whenever I’ve seen you perform, you do a fantastic job telling the story you’ve honed, while still being present to the audience. How do you strike that balance?
Devon: Ohhh that's something I struggle with every time! I try to listen to the crowd- literally tuning in my ears for little cues as to how they are feeling about a piece (laughs, gasps, bored silence) and adjust my pace, physicality, and asides accordingly. I try to make the story a kind of back-and-forth, versus something that the audience watches.
David Allison is writer and performer at the Dallas Comedy House, who can currently be seen with Ballast Point, David & Terry, Gerald and The Rift.