When Chelsea Woodmansee's name was announced as the winner of Central Oregon's Last Comic Standing on Friday night, she may have been one of the most surprised people in the building. That didn't stop her, however, from bounding onto the Old Stone Church stage to join runner up Samantha Albert and third-place finisher Stan Whitton in a celebratory hug.
Having never performed stand-up comedy before entering the contest (which she did at the last moment), the 28-year-old office administrator managed to out joke more than 20 other comics, including her own brother, over the course of the month-plus-long contest. And as a reward, she took home more than $2,200 in cash, as well as offers to take the stage with local improve groups and appear at comedy showcases.
"I'd never done anything like this, unless you count my own living room," says Woodmansee. "But it was something I wanted to do for a long time."
Nevertheless, she came out on top in the competition, even if she had to shake off some nerves, thanks to routines that covered her weird dating history, the time she thought she passed gas, but actually crapped herself and plenty of other memorable and sometimes gross stories.
"I don't really tell jokes, I just make fun of my awkward life," says Woodmansee.
But again, part of appearing in the contest meant that she'd be going up against her older brother, Jake Woodmansee, a staple of the local comedy scene who took second place in last year's inaugural contest. The elder Woodmansee competed again this year, progressing to the semifinals.
"My brother was a big, big supporter. I've seen him and a lot of these other guys perform a ton, but my brother was definitely a huge encouragement to me," she says, and she appears to be dead on, judging from Jake's enormous celebratory reaction to the announcement that his sister had won.
So what is this young woman going to do with her winnings and newfound local celebrity status? She has no idea and from the sound of her voice it doesn't seem like she's give it much thought.
"I really don't have any cool ideas. I might actually buy a car because my car is a piece of crap," she says.