A Capella comedy duo Dakaboom entertained the Armstrong community at CUB’s latest comedy event Nov. 11. Students enjoyed a performance fueled by musical theater, hip-hop and jazz, which inspired their modern vaudeville art form. Inkwell writer Takia Black sat down with the performers after their show for an interview.
How did you guys get started?
Pegler: I moved to Kenwood, northern California in high school and that’s where I met Ben. Jazz choir, the musicals, we did everything together. Then we went to different schools. One day we decided to put on a show for our old high school and it forced us to write an hour of material which we did and it went well. So we just kept it growing it from there.
Mclain: It didn’t suck that bad. Like let’s do it some more.
What is DAKABOOM? How did you come with that name?
Pegler: It’s fun to say. My ballet professor would instruct the class by sitting on [a] stool [teaching] us the moves by going tika tika daka boom daka daka boom. It was like nonstop. Me and theatre friends took the word and started using [it] for ourselves, it just became a positive expression, it didn’t have a definition.
How did you guys get on NBC’s Sing-off?
Mclain: I am a member of a professional A Capella group called Aurora…we used to be called SONOS. While were called SONOS we got a call from the show. They had heard of us [because] we have albums and stuff and were signed with a label. And they were like ‘come to the show.’ And we were like ‘Uh Yeah, TV? What? Awesome.’ It was actually one of the best times of my life.
And it probably helped you get great exposure
Mclain: Oh, Amazing exposure and if anything, [it is] a nice little tag at end of the resume. Even though I was on the show for only a month, it was still an amazing experience. I got to perform in front of millions of people doing what I love, bringing joy, creativity, and art making to the world. It was an honor.
What is your pet peeve in comedy?
Pegler: My pet peeve of comedy is when things get delayed. Things that I have seen before. Predictability.
Mclain: I also don’t care for stuff that is just blatant. I like subtlety in my comedy. So things that are just like “I’m going to swear and say dirty things and you’re going to laugh at me.” I don’t love that myself.
In all the cities you have been to, who was your best audience?
Mclain: Oh Jeez
Pegler: There so many cities
Mclain: We have so many uniquely different audiences. One of them was in Boone, North Carolina um or Boone, SC. Appalachian State.
Pegler: North Carolina
Mclain. App State. They had us come to their huge acapella festival and we hosted that and was like in front of thousands of people. Our people. A capella nerds. It was great. But some of the best audiences can be small. The energy’s you know, intense and everyone is there to laugh and everyone is there to have a good time. And those are the best shows to have definitely.
What makes you want to do this and why do you love what you do?
Pegler: I love giving to people. Comedy can do a lot of things. It can be very healing. It can be very distracting in a good way. I’ve been enjoying comedy my whole life and it’s done a lot for me. My favorite kind of show is when someone comes afterwards and says “I never laughed that hard in so long, I needed that and that was awesome thank you.” That’s my favorite part. That’s why I do it.
So everyone has a moment where they feel as though they have made it, like they have achieved star status. When did you realize “we got something here?”
Mclain: I think it happened for me when it was like the first show. We did it and we set a goal and it would seem almost unattainable and we accomplished that goal. And that within itself was like woah, that’s powerful to do and that’s special that we did that.
Pegler: I think there has been a lot of those moments collectively. Like it’s a new level now. I think when we did NACA it’s a festival. That’s how they find us. We did a NACA two years ago. We got WAY more gigs than we expected. We were thinking like 60 would be really good and we had like over 100. So I think that was a moment too, where I don’t have to do anything else for money.
If you could summarize comedy in one word what word would you use?
Mclain: That’s not fair. Ummmm.
Pegler: Don’t over think it.
Mclain: Comedy is open.