Sam Miller at Le Voyeur

by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS

Olympia comedian Sam Miller will compete in this year’s Seattle International Comedy Competition.

He’ll compete in the first round of preliminaries Nov. 2-6, and if he finishes in the top five among that group, he’ll advance to the semifinals, including a Nov. 17 show in Olympia.

The host of the popular Olympia open-mic night Vomity, Miller tackles tough topics in his comedy, addressing his past addiction and “houselessness,” as he calls it. “I talk about drugs,” he said. “I talk about being incarcerated. I talk about law enforcement. People want to take things that are really complicated and make them really simple, and there are other things that are simple, and people want to make them really complicated. I think the best way to stop homelessness is just to have more homes.”

He knows it’s a complex issue, of course, and feels fortunate to have had a lot of help to find his way to a more secure life. He’s been sober for eight years and a comedian for two.

“The comedy stuff is going well, and I’m starting to make some money at it,” he said. That includes shows in Seattle in Portland.

At the moment, he’s all but ubiquitous locally, appearing at Vomity every Wednesday and doing an act as part of Lord Franzannian’s Royal Olympian Spectacular Vaudeville Show this weekend and next.

On Oct. 19, he’ll talk about his life and recovery from addiction at “Laughter, Not Stigma,” performing with comic Victoria Maxwell at South Puget Sound Community College’s Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts.

He recently opened for Brad Upton at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts and competed in the StoryOly Grand Slam, and he’ll perform as part of the Olympia Film Festival’s closing-night festivities on Nov. 12.

Then there’s his stint at the prestigious competition, which attracts comedians from all over the world as well as TV and movie executives, agents and producers.

“Comedy competitions are hard on the comedians,” he added, “because you’re already competing with each other. It’s kind of like having a marathon with a boxing match in the middle.”

What: Seattle International Comedy Competition Week 1 Preliminaries

Where: two shows in Seattle, one in Auburn and one in Kenmore, plus one to be announced

When: Wednesday – Sunday, Nov. 2-6

How much: $15-$30

Learn more: Seattle Comedy Competition

What: Seattle International Comedy Competition Semifinal

Where: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts,
512 Washington St. SE, Olympia

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17

How much: $25-$30

Get tickets: 360-753-8586 | Washington Center

What: Laughter, Not Stigma

Where: Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts,
South Puget Sound Community College,
2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia

When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19

How much: free

Learn more: 360-753-8586 | Washington Center