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Carmelahhh!

Last month, Doug Vandelay of CiTR’s Finding the Funny sat down with Racquel Belmonte and Carla Mah of sketch comedy duo, Carmelahhh to talk about their upcoming show, Blockbuster World. The following is an edited excerpt of their conversation for Discorder.

Who are you?

Carla: Together we are Carmelahhh, we are a duo based out of Vancouver. We do both improv and sketch. We also do many a thing on our own. My name is Carla Mah, I’ve been doing comedy for about five years. I started out doing improv and now perform primarily out of Instant Theatre Company. Elsewhere, I do lots of sketch comedy such as HERO Show, Mixtape and I used to do a show called Rapp Battlez: Wezt Coazt. Lots of stuff! But right now we’re just preparing for our next Carmelahhh sketch comedy show.

Racquel: My name’s Racquel Belmonte. I’ve also been doing comedy around Vancouver for about five years. I studied in Chicago at The Second City, and then I thought I should do that here. So I’ve been doing it since and it’s great, I do a bunch of shows around the city. Carla and I are also part of an all female troupe called Nasty Women and we perform every Monday

C: Every third Monday!

R: Every third Monday of the month, thank god you’re here. [Carla] is the brains, I’m the dead-weight to our duo. So that’s who we are, we’re little comedians in the city!

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Laughing Tape by R. Hester

You guys have an upcoming show, Blockbuster World. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

R: We started our sketch comedy run this year where we put on our own show. We go full out for them. We put on this large scale bi-monthly sketch comedy show. This will be our final one of the year.

C: There are props, costumes, cast. Lots of tech. This upcoming one is actually on my birthday, Saturday, December 2 and we always have them at Little Mountain Gallery off of Main Street. For a while there I was thinking maybe we’ll do a genre piece based off one movie, but then I thought ‘why should we just do one movie when we can do them all?’ Even more than that, infuse a little bit of our favourite video games or TV shows. So I pitched to Racquel: We get a weird text from our friend Marta. It says to meet her at this random location. She gives a pin drop on our phones. So we go to this abandoned building, then out of the darkness she comes out and says “I need you to follow me. Trust me, I need your help.” She reveals to us that she’s the heiress to the Blockbuster empire. Of course, the Blockbuster empire has tanked because of online streaming, so she wants to exact her revenge on all these services by creating a revolutionary product that will change the whole media world. But she needs our help to test it, because it’s only been her working on this solo. The whole idea is us going into “Blockbuster World” and getting sucked up in there and things go awry.

It sounds like an episode of Regular Show.

R: Yeah. It’s just one big episode of Black Mirror.

What’s next for you both?

R: Carla and I are very lucky. We get asked to do shows together and separately, which is a blessing either way. I know for sure we do have some things lined up with Nasty Women. We have a show coming up on the third Monday of December at the Biltmore Cabaret and that’s going to continue happening until we all die. The goal is to eventually tour with Carmelahhh. It would be nice to bring our audience to a different venue, as well. We like creating these massive experiences for our audience and I think Blockbuster World is probably the most extravagant one that we’re going to build for them. They’re going to get sucked in too, and I love that.

C: When we sat down last year around this time we had goals we wanted to achieve and one of them was creating this show. When we were thinking about what we could build with this show we didn’t want to be restricted by one format or theme, we wanted to create a space where we can make anything we wanted. While it’s good to keep to a format everybody knows, we just wanted to do whatever our imagines would give to us.

R: I think that’s the beauty of working in a duo with your best friend. We know each other so well and it’s different when you’re working in a group of people and everybody has these voices, whereas Carla and I have such different comedic styles and voices but they complement each other.

C: We always say, it’s cheesy but she’s the mac to my cheese, the Yin to my Yang. We’re the Ying Yang twins.

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You can keep up to date with Carla and Racquel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @carmelahhhduo. You can hear the full interview on the Monday, November 29 archived episode of Finding the Funny on citr.ca.

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Laughing Tape by R. Hester