How did you get started in stand-up comedy?
I moved from Mobile to Atlanta in 2005, because I had an opportunity to train for a job at AirTran. The day I found out I didn’t get the job, a friend took me to the Uptown Comedy Corner, and I realized that stand-up comedy is what I always wanted to do. I got a job there as a waitress and worked there for a year and a half, while going to open mics at other clubs around the city. Katt says I came up the Hollywood way: “You got a job in something you wanted to do.”
How did you connect with Katt Williams?
Last October I was co-headlining at Uptown for a whole week, and Katt happened to be in the audience for my last show on Sunday night. There wasn’t a big crowd, but I don’t care if the audience is two or 2,000, I’ll put on a show. Afterwards he came up and told me that I was the best female comedian he’d ever seen, and asked me if I wanted to go on tour with him. That was on Sunday, then on Monday his people called me to make the arrangements and I was on tour that Wednesday. We were in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve. I’m just pinchin’ myself — is this real? And I have been killin’, man. Katt has four comedians open for him and on the first show, he put me on first, for a five-minute set. Then I moved up to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, and now I go on right before Katt with a 20-minute set.
How do you build up so much energy in your stand-up performance?
First, I gotta get that first laugh as soon as I get out there. I gotta get out there and be a beast. People expect for women not to be funny. You’ve got to show confidence onstage. You’ve got to command a stage. Yes, I’m an attractive female, yes, I’m a mom, yes, I’m funny and yes, you’re gonna like me.
Is it harder performing for men or for women?
Last night, it was almost nothing but a male audience, and you could hear a rat piss on cotton, it was so quiet. Someone told me, you know you’re funny when you can make a roomful of men laugh. But if the women turn against you, you’re a dead woman onstage. Nine times out of 10, there are more women in the audience than me. I never wear anything distracting onstage. You never want to be in skirts or showing too much leg. You don’t want to be too sexy.
What are the other challenges of being a female comedian?
People tend to say that female comedians talk about the same things. They talk about sex and male-bash. Promoters try to take advantage of female comedians. It’s a male-dominated industry, so you also have to watch out for fellow comedians. Being away from my son is the hardest. People tend to judge you if you’re away from your child for three months at a time.
You describe yourself as an “underground comedian.” Does that refer to a kind of comedy, or that you haven’t been discovered by the mainstream?
More that I’m not yet in the mainstream — and in this business, everybody doesn’t get to go to the mainstream. You get a lot of comics who get bitter. But just because you don’t make it mainstream, you can still make a living. I can make $6,000, $10,000 a week, working 30 minutes a night. It’s a selfish job, because it takes up so much of your time. You’re always thinking about it, you’re always worrying about it, You can see that comedians would want to be Richard Pryor, but it’s not going to be for everybody.
You joke a lot about how you want a man to take care of you and don’t want to be an independent woman, but as a comedian, you’re in a very independent career. So do you really want a man to take care of you?
If I wasn’t living out my dream, I would still like to have a man to take care of me. I’m tellin’ ladies, I don’t mind being old school. I’m so dead-ass serious about it. I definitely want a man — you can put that in Creative Loafing. I don’t like to meet men after the show, because they think I’m the person they see onstage. Sometime they’ll come up to me and say “I’ve got a big dick,” or “We could go home tonight.” I’ve been trying to talk about that more in my show.
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