Thursday, August 16, 2012

Local comic earns chuckles, aid for Aurora, Colo., families - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Local comedienne and former member of the National Guard Amy Capiross took an oath to protect and serve.

Now, she's able to use laughter to help people in need across the nation.

Having rallied a group of Pittsburgh's talented young comics, Ms. Capiross organized a Sept. 1 show, "Rockin' Out For A Laugh," at Greensburg's Palace Theatre to provide aid for families affected by last month's shooting in Aurora, Colo.

Twelve people were killed and 58 wounded at an opening for the "The Dark Knight Rises" in the Denver suburb.

Ms. Capiross, of New Kensington, began organizing the show the morning after the tragedy occurred.

"I was fired up. Since it was filmed partially in Pittsburgh, I wanted to represent Pittsburgh [aid]," Ms. Capiross, 31, said.

She reached out to her followers on Twitter and received several responses -- including one from the New York City-based band, Face The King, who will appear at the show. Local band Shooting Ghost will also play.

Scheduled to lend their wit are comics Nick Froehlich, Chris Kemp, Paris Knight, Derek Minto, J.Russ and magician Lee Terbosic.

The proceeds from "Rockin' Out For A Laugh" will be donated to a fund to aid the families and victims, said Karla Maraccini, deputy director of community partnerships for Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper's office.

"This fund will only be used to meet this immediate and long-term needs of victim and their families," she said.

Though she had no connection to Aurora or those involved, Ms. Capiross said she was still outraged at how the civilian shooter gained access to a gas canister and a gas mask.

"I was in the military and I know our gas masks were carefully kept track of," she said. Ms. Capiross was in the U.S. National Guard from 2001-09 and served as a machine gunner military police officer.

A fitness instructor at the YMCA in New Kensington by day, Ms. Capiross has been doing stand-up since last March when she was asked to co-host The X Morning Show on radio station WXDX.

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