Comedians Mike Rainey and Joe Mayo have been putting their talents to good use, starting the group Comedians for a Cause, booking comedy shows to raise money for various charities and people in need during the past few months. We caught up with Mayo to see what it’s all about.
How did the two of you guys start putting together shows as fundraisers?
We had been talking for well over a year now, and one night after I came from a funeral from a dear friend we went to one of Chip’s shows and wrote the gameplan on a bar napkin. After that we got our ass in gear and put on a show for Dustin Walls’ ball cancer.
Tell us a little about some of the shows you’ve already put on and have planned in the near future.
We have done I believe five to six shows already. Two for Dustin Walls’ Cancer, two for Autism, and one for my buddy’s son who passed at age 22. The next few shows we are planning are for Easter Seals, the National Kidney Foundation, another one for Dustin Walls, and the guy from Deftones who is real sick.
Are there any big picture ideas you have for grand fundraiser shows, for any specific causes?
Definitely, I would love to someday be putting on shows with national headliners support and big venues for anybody who needs our help. Nobody will be turned away.
Do you have any charities or issues that are close to your heart?
I myself had childhood cancer, Neuroblasthoma, the cancer that killed Alex Lemonade. I don’t take favor to one over the other but I guess I would like to see us help that cause one day, for sure.
How has it been setting up these shows compared to things you may have done in the past. Do you think rooms are more willing to cooperate when it is for a good cause?
It has been a lot of work, because Mike and myself are handling the bulk of the load. His fiancée Jaime has helped as well. Getting more venues is one of our top priorities at this point. Mojo 13 and Tailgators have been great and the Comedy Cabaret as well, but we had to pay for the Cabaret room. But being that it is a club who has to shut down for the night, I understand.
How do you thing crowds at fundraisers differ from crowds at other shows? Do you have a preference performing for one or the other?
I love performing regardless, but the crowds at benefits are generally more in tune to becoming friendly with everyone because it’s a feel good situation on a rather shitty circumstance. It’s awesome.
Is this the big project the two of you were hyping starting a few months ago — or can the Philly comedy community be on the lookout for something else from you two?
This in fact the big project we were talking about and yes, they can lookout for bigger and better shows raising more money for the chosen charities. We hope so, anyway. It really excites the hell out of both of us.
How can someone reach you if they’d like a show set up for someone in need?
We are in the process of developing a website but as for now we have a facebook fan page, Comedians for a Cause, that has all the contact info on it. E-mails, phone numbers and such.
I want to say in closing that every comedian who has either performed on a CFAC show or not has been extremely supportive in offering their services. It doesn’t shock me that humanity still on a whole is a strong force but it is overwhelming at times. Very exciting.