Otto, live on the walk-in 

Comics are always cryi

Comics are always crying for stage time. Otto is making his own. On Saturday, the stage was the roof of a walk-in freezer in an alley behind Clearwater at the Crossing. Guerilla comedy. Amidst the overgrowth of grease traps and dumpsters, Otto and associates strung lights, put out the tiki torches and candles and assembled milk crates into a back-alley amphitheater. An alley has never looked so good. Nearly 100 people showed up, mostly friends and friends of friends by the looks of things, and even though butts far outnumbered crates, nobody was complaining. Otto is all about positive energy and he is contagious. People were leaning against chain link fences, standing, even sitting on the asphalt, but everyone was upbeat. The vibe was great, and surprisingly, so was the sound system. Brooke Showalter and Nick Goforth opened the show. Each has been playing around town for a while and both turned in short but solid sets. This night, however, was about Otto. While too many comedians are trying to perfect a shtick, or an angle or a stage persona, Otto comes across as 100 percent authentic. There is nothing contrived about him. And, it doesn"t hurt that he"s really funny. Otto"s act is equal parts anal-retentive and stream of consciousness. His material was stretched thin by the hour-plus that he was onstage, but his energy carried him, and the audience, through. Bouncing between stories about his muscle car, his scientist father"s yen to help the coyote catch the roadrunner, addiction and recovery, playing in a rock band and letting his dog shit in people"s yards - catch him and you win $5 - the crowd was never bored. Next up, Sept. 6, Otto is making a stop at the Fountain Square club Radio Radio to sing a tune with Bigger than Elvis.

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