Arts & Entertainment

Tattoo convention Sept. 26-28 in Kennewick to include comedy

Matt Baker has a bundle of tattoos on his body, but that's not why he'll be attending the annual Three Rivers Tattoo Convention, which is Sept. 26-28 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.

Baker will entertain visitors with his comedy routine while juggling just about anything, except maybe a Volkswagen Beetle.

At age 32, Baker says he has been blessed his whole life with great coordination.

"I was actually making some good money with my juggling act while I was still in high school," Baker told the Herald.

He conquered the Hacky Sack in middle school, and by the time he turned 17, he was invited by the Mars Candy Company to tour Europe for six months, showing Europeans how cool bouncing a foot sack off various parts of your body can be.

"I competed in a world (juggling) championship at that time too. But I finished second in my age group when I really should have won," he quipped. "I was probably born playing with a Hacky Sack, and being the youngest of four children I was always wisecracking for attention, plus the class clown."

He admits his personality has always been sarcastic, shooting funny barbs from his mouth about as fast as he juggles a Hacky Sack.

Baker's show at the tattoo convention is at 2 p.m. Sept. 28.

Baker has appeared on Comedy Central and America's Got Talent, where judge Piers Morgan called him "hip, funny and well choreographed; the total package."

Baker appreciated the praise and said he's always been more organized than most guys his age.

"I am lucky that I have a lot of natural abilities," he said. "But I've always been good at saving money because I really don't want to be doing comedy and juggling when I'm 50. Writing comedy scripts for others is really what I'd like to do, or maybe be a creative consultant. Don't get me wrong, it's cool to get paid for being goofy.

"But I don't need any fame. Just nice steady work writing for others would be great."

Baker grew up in Eugene, Ore., in a religious household where his parents didn't always understand his humor.

"When I told my parents I was quitting high school to tour Europe for the Mars Candy Company, they weren't too happy," he said. "There were some tough times when I was younger, but we're good today. I think they might even be proud of me."

Besides Baker's antics and sarcasm, there also will be a wide range of tattoo artists from around the Northwest demonstrating their craft at the convention.

There will be a performance at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 by hypnotic comedian and hypnotist Ron Stubbs, who was voted 2009 Entertainer of the Year by Hypnotic Edge Magazine.

Hours for the tattoo convention are from noon to 11 p.m. Sept. 26, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 27 and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 28. Admission is $15 each day or $35 for all three days. Tickets are available at the door.

The specialty shows are included with admission.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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