By D.L. Russell
Special to Frost Illustrated
It was this love of laughter that eventually led him to pursue his dream of bringing comedians he’d enjoyed seeing on ground breaking comedy shows like BET’s Comic View, Russell Simmon’s Def Comedy Jam and Martin Lawrence’s 1st Amendment to Fort Wayne.
Ervins said didn’t really know where to start, but he believed if he was able to offer a more edgy style of comedy, locally, people would come out to see it. So with nothing more than his own enthusiasm and a little help from his “right-hand-man,” Cortney White, Ervins formed Sold Out Arts Entertainment and jumped into the role of comedy show promoter. He began by posting an open call for comedians on the popular internet site, Craigslist.com, and it didn’t take long before Sold Out Arts Entertainment had enlisted comedian Master Major as the headliner for its first show. Next he needed a location, which the Neon Armadillo was more than happy to provide.
Since that first show in June of 2012, Ervins admits he has learned a lot about promotion and his shows have evolved into more of an event, than simply a comedy show. An evening of “Grown Folks Comedy,” now incorporates comedians, improvisation, crowd participation, spoken word performances, and even live music. Sold Out Arts Entertainment has also helped local comedians like Marlin Hill, Kool Kat Duane, and Miss Lowe hone their skills while networking with other performers.
In the last year, Sold Out Arts Entertainment has promoted more than 15 of their “Grown Folks Comedy” shows, in four different locations around the city, along with hosting smaller events such as wedding receptions, and local company parties.
Upcoming events from Sold Out Arts Entertainment include a “Grown Folks Comedy,” show featuring Amber James on June 29, the company’s first “Latino Comedy Explosion,” featuring comedian Glen Martino on July 13, and their second Gospel comedy event, later this summer.
Ervins said his longterm goal is to be the Midwest’s premier provider of urban entertainment through his promotions and if his success over the last year is any indication, he’s headed in the right direction.
Name: Sold Out Art Entertainment
Owner: Kevin Ervins
Specialty: Urban Entertainment
Contact: (260) 425-0066
This article originally appeared in the June 26 print edition.