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Courtesy photo




Mike Koutrobis with Steve Guilmette and Paul Landwehr 

When: Saturday, Jan. 17, 8:30 p.m.
Where: Headliners Comedy Club at the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm St., Manchester
Tickets: $15 advance, $20 door at headlinerscomedyclub.com




Big screen
Mike Koutrobis relishes movie role

01/08/15
By Michael Witthaus music@hippopress.com



As 2014 drew to a close, Mike Koutrobis began sporting hair atop his normally shaved head. The comic’s shiny dome returned a few weeks later, however. It was all for art — an appearance in a film produced by no less an icon than Martin Scorsese.

“I’ve done background work on maybe 15 movies that have been in this area, anything from man on the street to whatever they need me for,” he said. “I’ve been auditioning forever; I finally grabbed a role.”
Bleed For This is the story of boxer Vinny Pazienza. Written and directed by Ben Younger (Boiler Room, Prime), it’s set for release later this year. Breakout actor Miles Teller (Whiplash, That Awkward Moment) stars in the film, which also features veterans Katey Sagal and Aaron Eckhart. 
Though Koutrobis’s screen time is brief, he enjoyed the cast member trappings. 
“Nothing is as exciting,” he said. “You come in and they give you a trailer. Well, it’s my own little room, but it’s still a trailer. Usually you’re in a line of 200 people waiting for coffee, but now they’re waiting on you.”
He plays a ring announcer, a role Koutrobis is familiar with. Among his many jobs — comedian, deejay and ordained minister — he occasionally works an MMA fight. This experience came in handy when Younger announced plans to “change a couple of things” on the first day of shooting.
“I’m like, ‘What?’ I had all my lines memorized,” said the comic. “Luckily, ring announcers are always holding their cards. He said, ‘Just write it on those and hold them.’” 
Koutrobis talked while sitting in the lobby of Manchester’s Radisson Hotel, where he would headline in a couple of hours. It’s been a busy year, one in which he’s been able to devote the bulk of his time to standup and acting. 
“Three years ago I quit my day job. … I became a guy who would take anything, a DJ gig, a wedding, whatever I needed to do,” he said. “Now, there’s rarely a weekend where I’m not working at least Friday and Saturday, if not Thursday [as a comic].”
He’s also encouraged by the growth of regional clubs. 
“There are good rooms opening, and enough steady ones where I can get in once or twice a year,” he said. “It’s a great security blanket.”
His standup act continues to focus on the difficulties of understanding women, despite an occasional glimpse of common ground. For example, one prostate exam is all it took for the 40-something Koutrobis to get why his girlfriend doesn’t relish trips to her gynecologist. 
Despite a crowded schedule, Koutrobis always takes time out to perform benefit shows when asked. Often, he promotes them, like the Feb. 8 fundraiser in Lynn, Mass., for fellow comic Bob Seibel, who’s battling brain cancer. 
“We’re not rich people, but if we can use our talent to help one of our own it’s not even a question,” he said. “Yes, let’s do it.”
Although gratifying, film work recently proved a bit frustrating for Koutrobis. The massive computer hack at Sony exposed him to the same identity theft as Angelina Jolie and other Hollywood big names. 
“I’ve worked for Sony on some of these movies, and I got a letter saying some of my information might have been compromised,” he said. 
It’s a weird form of validation, mused the comic. “I guess I’ve made it if I’m on Sony’s compromised list.” 
 
As seen in the January 8, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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