Though his dad is a magician, Nate Bargatze never felt destined to be in show business. "I guess my dad's career played into it in the back of my mind," he says. "But I didn't think, 'I'm going to do standup.' It just kind of happened." At first, he had a go at improv after a buddy suggested they both move to Chicago and give it a try. After a few months, though, Bargatze decided it wasn't for him. "I don't think I was ever good at just going crazy," he explains. He took a standup comedy course, and soon found his groove. "Standup looks like it would be harder, because you're by yourself." However, it's that very aspect that appeals most to the Tennessee native. "Standup is on my terms," he explains. "As far as structure, I know what's funny, and I'm making it funny." In improv he often found himself going in a direction onstage that he didn't find humorous. "I like to think of myself as a storyteller, but in joke form," he says. "I don't think I'm a storyteller like Ron White. My longest joke is like two minutes. But now I'm trying to look at a topic from every angle." 18+; 21+ later shows.
Aug. 31-Sept. 4, 8 p.m.; Sept. 2-3, 10:30 p.m., 2011