Haley Heynderickx is not an easy roast target, but she is prepared for the worst. The soft-spoken singer, who once entered a National Public Radio contest with an acoustic ballad about the edge of the world, is hardly inflammatory. She is from Stockton, Calif.
Tonight, Heynderickx will be the newest fodder for Art-Mondo, a Kickstand Comedy improv show that takes local musicians' original work and twists it into skits. Regurgitating music as improvised theater, Kickstand's monthly event invites musicians to perform, then its veteran improv group interviews the singer and riffs on each song.
Before playing Kickstand, Heynderickx explained why she's OK with actors cannibalizing her work, and why she loves Whose Line Is It Anyway?
WW: What local comedy do you like?
Haley Heynderickx: I've only gone to a couple of local comedy shows. When you're so involved with the music scene, it's hard. I am kind of bad at intermingling.
So this is you intermingling?
It's like, how does comedy become accessible if you're not used to seeing shows? Maybe you just watch it online. This is for the people who are used to going to shows, but not seeing comedy.
I am just going to do my best to not cry if it turns into a roast. I think everyone needs to be roasted at some point, and I'm ready if it comes to that.
Why do you think they would roast you?
The stories for my songs can be cheesy. I love to cram a lot of emotion into them. I have a few really cheesy songs—like about my parents' first date—things I'm sure would work well for a comedy set. We all have our mild masochist side, and mine is prepared for the worst.
Do you have your set list planned?
I know I'll play "Fish Eyes," and probably "Drinking Song." These guys are working on the fly and thinking off the top of their head, so I want to feel out the night. If they're struggling, I might give them something serious. If they're killing it, jumping in to my ego and subconscious, I might pull back and just give them something cheesy.
Is it hard to let your songs be raw material for actors to riff on?
When you love something, you have to let it go. Those songs are therapeutic for me. I needed them when I needed them. When you finish it, you have to let it out. To share them with comedy makes me really joyful, because I love comedy.
What's next for your music?
Sitting on a stack of songs, a complete album, and just waiting to find a way to record them.
see it: Art-Mondo featuring Haley Heynderickx is at Kickstand Comedy Space in The Siren Theater, 315 NW Davis St. 8 pm Wednesday, June 22. $5 suggested donation. All ages.