Tristan Devin’s death last November at the age of 32 was a sad moment for Capitol Hill and the Seattle comedy scene that he played such a big part in. Below, we check in on two parts of Devin’s life that continue on.
Scratch, getting out of the food truck biz and into brick and motar deli action, moved in with Devin’s People’s Republic of Koffee last summer. Scratch’s Dan Feldman says that he and business partner Ian Thackaberry continue to move forward on 12th Ave:
Things are going really well for us here at Scratch Deli. We just got out liquor license and we have beer and wine (3 beers and a cider on tap, along with bottles and red and white wine). Business is going really well and we have our open mic music on Thursday nights, as well as open mic comedy on Friday nights. We will be hosting a poetry slam on Wednesday nights starting in March and a trivia night on a day tbd.
You can learn more at scratchdeli.com.
Following sudden and tragic death, many unfortunate and intrusive realities rush in. Tristan Devin devoted many long hours towards making the People’s Republic of Komedy successful, and following his suicide in November there was not only a hole left in the hearts of those around him, but also in the work that he did for PRoK.
Under Devin’s leadership PRoK’s flagship show Laff Hole become known nationally as a place for touring comedians to perform. Much of the work for the past two years dealing with booking, promotion (and the other thousand details) was handled by Devin, who took the reigns two years ago, allowing co-founder Kevin Hyder to be more hands-off with the organization.
“We’ve been soul searching,” said Hyder. “I feel that Tristan wouldn’t want us to stop,” PRoK’s Jessica Strauss said.
Since November PRoK has been on hiatus, and in mourning, but now with Strauss and Hyder sharing the booking responsibilities, Laff Hole is back. “I’m not stressed at all,” Hyder said. “I’m doing it because I love doing it.”
There is no plan at the present to try to find a single person who can shoulder all of the responsibilities previously handled by Devin. Instead those responsibilities are being shared.
The aims of the group have narrowed. There will be fewer national acts and a returned focus on local comedians. Rather than maintain the many spinning plates of lots of different shows, PRoK will be simplifying, at least for the time being. February features two Laff Hole shows at Chop Suey.
Hyder sees PRoK’s adaptability as the core of its endurance. “The reason we’re still a brand,” said Hyder, “and the reason we’re still marching forward, really, is because we’ve never really tried to keep too tight of control on anything.”
There will be a memorial service for Tristan Devin at Chop Suey on February 28th, 4PM. It would have been his 33rd birthday. The service will be a celebration of his life, with people from different aspects and times in his life speaking, and it will be open to the public.