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Esko man wins trip to state fair during lunch

John Hansmeyer, 23, was excited when he heard the voicemail telling him he had won the talent show at the South St. Louis Fair in July.

The Esko resident has been performing comedy at open mic venues around the Duluth area for several years. He was performing at Beaners and Dubh Linn Irish Pub every other week to perfect his comedy. While he had some success, he also bombed at times.

“It was awkward,” said Hansmeyer. “I just wanted to hide in a sleeping bag for life.”

He took two years off, then after watching “Sleepwalk with me” with comedian Mike Birbiglia, he was inspired to get back on the comedic horse again.

He said if he is performing and even the crickets leave the room, it is a humbling experience, but after watching his favorite comedian he realized it happens.

However, when he does nail an act, it’s a fun and addicting experience.

“One time I killed it and it was so surreal,” Hansmeyer said excitedly.

Hansmeyer favors impersonation comedy. He won the talent show by performing impersonations of Sponge Bob, Patrick Star, Edna Mode (The Incredibles) and Gollum (Lord of the Rings).

Hansmeyer decided to enter the South St. Louis Fair talent show during his lunch hour at work. The show was delayed and Hansmeyer was concerned about getting back to work. As he began his act, a group of kids showed up to watch the show. After he performed he had to rush back to work. The organizer called and left a message he had placed first and would be competing with 30 others at the Minnesota State Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

“It was the best lunch break ever!” said Hansmeyer.

Hansmeyer is a 2013 Esko graduate and number four out of nine children.