By Aram Arkun
Demq: Laugh and the World Laughs with You
LOS ANGELES — Armenians have many tragic episodes in their history. Much of their music seems sad, and for many, black seems to be the color of choice. Are Armenians melancholy by nature? The writers and actors of the Demq group in California are doing their best to disprove this. In the past few years they have presented at least one stage show annually. It is different in scale from most other Armenian comedic shows, as usually at least 2,000 people assemble in a big auditorium. This fall they are preparing to present a new show, Cirque Demq Soleil, while, quite recently, some of their sketches have gone viral on social media (e.g. www.facebook.com/demqshow
According to one of the founders of Demq, Gor Kirakosian, he and a group of his friends began their collaboration in 1998 in Los Angeles. They were a group of Armenian guys just out of high school, 17 to 19 years old, and liked to joke around and do funny things. Most were born in Armenia but had moved to the US in the 1990s with their families.
They had an opportunity to participate in the Ashoun Voski or Golden Autumn concert, which had many different singers and performers. They did some small gigs here and there, and then, in 2001, they prepared a television program called the “Demq Show” for New Year’s. It was a success, and aired primarily on California Armenian cable stations for three years. They did one episode of this comedy sketch show every two months. It got very popular and they began work at many Armenian concerts.