Exclusive Interview of Erin Harkes… by Erin Harkes

This week I decided to tackle my first interview. Naturally, I was nervous about who I would choose. It would have to be someone interesting but also someone who made it easy for me.

Since I couldn’t find anyone like that I decided to interview Erin Harkes about her upcoming benefit this Sunday and see what else came up in conversation!

Interviewer (ME): Hello Erin! You look very nice today.

Erin Harkes: Thanks! So do you!

ME: Swell. So you’ve been doing comedy for a while now, right?

EH: About seven years.

Erin Harkes
Photo by Tim Reid

ME: Do you remember the first joke you told?

EH: Kind of. I actually did an open mic many years before I officially started comedy.

ME: And how did that go?

EH: Meh. It was 2004 and Ken and Barbie had broken up. I said it was because Barbie couldn’t really give good hand jobs with her hand shaped that way and held up my own hand rigidly. Then I stumbled off the stage, had another drink and eight years later started my comedy career.

ME: Did people laugh?

EH: I don’t remember.

ME: Aren’t you sober now?

EH: Very.

ME: So you do a lot of benefits in the capital region for non-profit organizations. What’s it like to care so much?

EH: It’s hard, caring this much all the time. I’m a giver. But it’s really the only way to keep myself out of hell. I’m not sure one exists but if it does I’m definitely going. Besides, it balances out my karma from all the other shows were I gouge people.

ME: And you’re doing one this week?

EH: Yes. We’re raising money for Trinity Alliance. It’s a great local organization devoted to meeting many of the social, economic, and educational needs of the community. Every year they have a fashion show and the models each raise money. I’m helping my friend Jeannine Trimboli reach her goal!

Erin Harkes
Erin Harkes
Photo by Bruhn

ME: What’s the craziest fundraising story you have?

EH: Well. I started raising money for diabetes when my good friend’s son was diagnosed. I signed up for the Tour de Cure in 2016. I had ever done a charity bike race before. I was pretty sure I had to declare that at one point. Anyway we had to sign up as an individual or part of a team. I was riding solo and filled out the online form. I registered as a “Red Rider.” I believed that was the category for people riding alone. When I got to the race I was nervous. I got my red bib and pinned it to the back of my jersey. At the starting line the announcer said “all Red Riders come to the front of the line!” I was like “don’t mind if I do!” Then throughout the race when people would pass me (and believe me when I say A LOT passed me) people were yelling out “GO RED RIDER!” I was so inspired and encouraged. I couldn’t believe how nice people were being. And I needed it because this was way out of my comfort zone. The next year I signed up again. I must’ve been paying better attention this time because I noticed that Red Rider was not for NEW riders; it was for riders with diabetes.

ME: So that’s why people were cheering you on? Because they thought you had diabetes?

EH: Yes.

ME: That’s really embarrassing. I can’t believe you shared that story.

EH: This interview is over.

Erin Harkes
Photo by Kiki Vassilakis

Erin and some of her philanthropic friends will be at Patrick’s Pub on Sunday evening to raise money for Trinity Alliance! Show starts at 7 – it’s recommended you get there early to secure your seat. There will be live music (also by Erin) leading up to the comedy show)

Patrick’s Pub is located at 606 3rd Ave in Watervliet. It’s a $5 suggested donation. (Suggested donation means we’ll gladly take more than $5.)

Erin is headlining. She hasn’t done comedy all summer. She has a lot to say.

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