Maui Comedian Chino LaForge to Play Guam
By Vanessa Wolf
Power Up Comedy’s visionary and CEO, Chino LaForge, continues to expand his horizons in the comedy scene. He will soon take his versatile stage show to Guam, headlining three shows next week at the Hilton Guam Resort in Tumon Bay from April 11-13.
Recently discovering family ties in Guam, the 26-year-old is excited to meet relatives and bring his brand of humor to the Mariana Islands.
“I’m beyond a level of excitement I’ve had for any tour,” said LaForge. “Being of Chamorro descent, and not having much involvement in that part of my culture, it’s going to be a very rich experience. Not just in terms of entertaining, but also connecting with my heritage.”
In 2011, LaForge assembled a motley crew of comedians on Maui to form Power Up Comedy, a production company that manages talent and produces performances across Hawai’i. He also runs an open mic night each Tuesday at Stella Blues in Kihei, and appears regularly throughout the Maui theatre scene.
He’s been featured with national acts like The Greg Wilson and Don Barnhart, and has shared the stage with such celebrated stars as Rosanne Barr, Tom Arnold, William Shatner, Aziz Ansari and Steve-o of MTV’s “Jackass.”
We caught up with the versatile comedian to find out a little more about how he got into comedy and where he hopes to see his career take him in the upcoming years.
Maui Now: What makes you tick?
Chino LaForge; Performing makes me tick. I have been using stage performance as an outlet/crutch/addiction of choice for about six years solid now. In the past three years, I have averaged three performances a week at least. It has gone from an experiment to a complete life purpose. I can’t imagine a full week without performing.
MN: Have you ever been to Guam?
CLF: This will be my first time in Guam. I am super excited because I have family there I have never met. This is not just an awesome opportunity for big shows for me. It’s an opportunity for a family reunion.
MN: Are you Yelping the heck out of the place or just planning to go with the flow?
CLF: When I tour, I don’t like to Yelp or over-research an area. I hit the pavement and ask the locals. It gives me the chance to discover cool, locals-only spots and also gives me a chance to speak to people in the area, and find out the overall vibe and sense of humor. I would never deprive myself of this process. I feel it’s vital.
MN: How did you get into comedy?
CLF: I got into comedy on my 21st birthday. I had done several styles of stage performing at that point (music and theater) and I yearned for more. I always had parents and friends telling me that this was my path. I set a goal at 16 that I would do stand up for the first time on my 21st birthday. It’s one of the few dreamer goals I actually followed through on. The first time doing comedy was horribly scary… and I knew I was hooked immediately.
MN: Where would you like to find yourself (literally/figuratively/fill-in-the-blank) in 10 years?
CLF: Where would I like to find myself in 10 years? Further down the path. I know “the biz” owes me nothing, and that there is no substitute for hard work. I plan on just being further down the line. I would LIKE to find myself super successful, and helping my community with the buckets of money I make, but these are just pipe dreams. Haha!
MN: Last meal: what would it be?
CLF: Steak and lobster. Prime rib. I work at Outback these days, so I see it constantly. It haunts me in my sleep.
MN: What are you most afraid of?
CLF: My biggest fear is that I will lose sight of my purpose or my philosophy in the midst of success. My true dream is to better my community and help the people within it. I try to keep myself humble. My mother does a great job of doing the same.
MN: Speaking of helping people within your community, would you rather wake up as Spiderman or Batman and why?
CLF: I would like to wake up as Batman. Something about the charismatic playboy billionaire by day, superhero with dark undertones by night sounds exciting. Plus, I’ll take armor over tights any day.
LaForge heads to Guam soon, but you can catch his act around the island when he returns.
Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (@mauinow.com)