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Alumni

Letting loose with laughter

January 26, 2009

While many college students look forward to the weekend for entertainment, Wende Curtis ('87) found excitement the whole week. No, she didn't spend each night at a party; she was too busy having fun in the theater.

Wende Curtis

Comedy queen Wende Curtis

Curtis began CSU believing that she would study business, but her true calling was louder than her “pragmatic” voice and she declared performing arts as her major by the end of her freshman year. Between acting, directing, and voice classes and show rehearsals, Curtis spent every moment she could in performance and loved it.

“I had always wanted to be a performer and be in show business,” she says. With hundreds of hours invested in theaters and employment that began with her first job at age 11, Curtis knew how to work.

Love of the stage, business

Upon graduation, she managed a comedy club that just opened in Fort Collins, Comedy Works. Her involvement restored the club financially and, when other Comedy Works around the country asked for her help, Curtis began to recognize her potential in business and how she could combine it with her love of the stage.

“I hadn’t realized in the beginning or even in the midst of my college career that I had a huge natural sense for business and was probably just entrepreneurial by nature. I grew up with my father owning his own business and I worked for him as a kid and teenager. I think it set the pace,” she says.

Wildly successful business woman

That pace required Curtis to devote herself to her job and passion. She worked in different cities, helping clubs get back on their feet before moving on to the next venue. Eventually she came back to Colorado and to a Comedy Works in Denver. Though she did not imagine that she would one day own the club, her drive to know and do everything led her there.

With a second comedy club open in Greenwood Village, a Denver suburb, the stress waits to pounce, but Curtis is learning when to let go and just appreciate the success she has achieved.

“I love to garden! I think that it is one of the most therapeutic things I can do for myself. When there’s nothing left to plant, I just rearrange things I’ve already planted. I need some sort of creative outlet besides singing in the shower and the car,” Curtis explains.

Lots of healthy laughter

The work environment at Comedy Works also helps Curtis to let go of situations she cannot change and to open herself up to others.

“I laugh a lot at work and that’s a good thing. Laughter releases us. It’s hard to have your guard up when you’re enduring a good, hard belly laugh,” she says.

Comedy Works is located in downtown Denver and Greenwood Village.

This article was originally published in Around the Oval magazine. To subscribe to Around the Oval, become a member of the CSU Alumni Association.


Contact: Laura Puls
Phone: (970) 491-6533