Mini Q+A with Drae Campbell

inDrae has an eclectic career as an EMCEE, comedian, director, actor, storyteller and all around entertainer. Drae received a BFA in Theater from the University of The Arts in Philadelphia. Drae has appeared on many stages and screens all over but mostly in New York City. Drae hosts and curates a live monthly show called TELL. TELL is a queer storytelling show that happens every month at The Bureau Of General Services Queer Division and is now a Podcast. Follow Drae here!


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

“We’re not a monolith.”

Describe your worst gig.

I was working at Sesame Place theme park hosting a ‘Chromakey’ show. One of the little kids who volunteered to come on stage to participate got her hair tangled in the wheels of a little go kart prop. I panicked and started cracking jokes about “untangling this hairy situation.” She started crying. The dad had to come on stage and pull her hair out of the wheels. Eventually we all got through it. I had to do the same shows over and over all day long when I worked there and it was actually a good exercise for figuring out how to have fun and stay present and hit marks.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Burn it to the ground.

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny”?

To pull a coin out of their ear and say, “but what about THIS”!

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

I actually wanted to distance myself a bit from the stand up world because everyone seemed so depressed and I didn’t want to be a part of it. I focused mainly on my acting career. I started doing stand up again because the culture around it on and off stage started to change a little. It’s more diverse and there are less rape jokes. The format has expanded and that’s exciting to me.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Do as many shows as you can a week. Learn how to read the room.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

If someone asks you to take off your clothes, you take off your clothes.

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”?

Same thing it’s like to be a woman anywhere. Dangerous.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

Real actual talk: I’ve had a lot of trauma. Laughter and jokes are the primary ways I’ve been able to process and survive. Also, ladies seem to enjoy laughing so, that works out nice for me. Cuz I date ladies.

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Observe and ask questions. Find out who knows who and who runs what. Off stage, lean into communicating without trying to be funny necessarily . Always ask — even if you think someone is a big shot. The worst that can happen is they say no. Connecting with people is key. Be kind to folks. Always. Be considerate and timely, but don’t cheat yourself. If you feels someone is being shady or shitty, let them know and let others know. Go with your gut.

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?

My mom. Making her laugh was fun. Her laughter was infectious and it brought us together as a family.

What single word always cracks you up?

Muffin.


Drae has an eclectic career as an EMCEE, comedian, director, actor, storyteller and all around entertainer. Drae received a BFA in Theater from the University of The Arts in Philadelphia. Drae has appeared on many stages and screens all over but mostly in New York City. Drae hosts and curates a live monthly show called TELL. TELL is a queer storytelling show that happens every month at The Bureau Of General Services Queer Division and is now a Podcast. Follow Drae here!

Mini Q+A with Mary Beth Barone

Mary Beth Barone is a Manhattan-based comedian, writer, and actor. She was recently named one of Comedy Central’s Up Next and performed at their Clusterfest showcase in June 2019. Mary Beth can be seen hosting her monthly stand-up show at Peppi’s Cellar with Benito Skinner or at PUBLIC hotel in New York City, where she has a stand-up residency. She also hosts Drag His Ass: A F*ckboy Treatment Program, a show she feels very strongly about. Mary Beth currently hosts/produces the podcast Mildly Offensive. Check out her upcoming appearances here, and follow her!


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

Can you shut up?

Describe your worst gig.

I did survive a terrible set in Bushwick. The host brought me up as “the person who caused 9/11” and then the microphone broke in the middle of my set. I bombed HARD!

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Do the work, speak your truth, and f*ck everything else!

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

The unconditional support of my friends and family.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Try to learn one thing from every performance.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

A random audience member once followed me outside of a club after my set to tell me he really enjoyed my comedy but then proceeded to give me notes on some of my jokes. He said “you should be writing this down.” Mhm sure thing.

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”?

I love it except when I’m the only girl on a lineup and I need a hair-tie.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

We don’t use that word in my house 🙂

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

Flirting is easier now to be honest! It’s always been good to bring a levity to certain situations but I’ve definitely had many moments of putting my foot in my mouth.

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Get a great tape you are proud of and don’t be shy about sharing it.

What single word always cracks you up?

Smegma. I’m disgusting.

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?

My journey in comedy started because of a few different people and circumstances. Watching Broad City inspired me to take improv at UCB and watching Inside Amy Schumer was the kick I needed to try stand-up. So I guess you could say without Comedy Central, I wouldn’t be here!


Mary Beth Barone is a Manhattan-based comedian, writer, and actor. She was recently named one of Comedy Central’s Up Next and performed at their Clusterfest showcase in June 2019. Mary Beth can be seen hosting her monthly stand-up show at Peppi’s Cellar with Benito Skinner or at PUBLIC hotel in New York City, where she has a stand-up residency. She also hosts Drag His Ass: A F*ckboy Treatment Program, a show she feels very strongly about. Mary Beth currently hosts/produces the podcast Mildly Offensive. Check out her upcoming appearances here, and follow her!

Mini Q+A with Lauren Ashcraft

Lauren Ashcraft is a Democratic Socialist comedian running for Congress in NY-12.

She went to comedy school and started to perform standup comedy throughout the city as a hobby.  In 2016 after wanting to create a safe place for comedians to practice their craft, she began to produce comedy shows.  Later that same year she planned a celebration show for the weekend following the 2016 presidential election, and when that did not go as planned, she decided to turn the show into a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in an effort to combat a feeling of hopelessness. Lauren continued to plan free monthly charitable comedy shows, aptly named “Collection Box Comedy,” at which she would showcase diverse comedic talent and collect optional donations from attendees for various 501(c)3 organizations she is passionate about.  Learn more about Lauren here! Follow her here!

Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

I always invite them to my upcoming fundraisers or send my donation link (I am running for Congress!).

Describe your worst gig.

I performed to an audience of 1 in a club at the very beginning of my career. The person was weirded out too so was reading a book as I was performing so as to not make eye contact. I powered through and probably have not been the same human since.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Bringer shows are scams

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

Comedy is where I made all of my best friends in this city. It also became my social life, my activism, and my outlet. Leaving comedy would have meant leaving all of that.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

“Keep your awkward delivery” which is a great relief, cause that’s… just me.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Literally every piece of advice that a non-comedian has ever given to me, especially when they interchange standup comedy and improve.

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy”?

The community of women and LGBTQIA+ comedians has been AMAZING and empowering to be part of. It fortunately and unfortunately a bonding experience to navigate industry together and stand behind one other.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

Gender is a spectrum. Let’s keep it comedian for all.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

I have anxiety and also social anxiety. The first time I got on stage I was shaking. Then I started forcing myself to go to more open mics and eventually started producing my own shows. Now look at me; I’m running for Congress!

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Produce your own shows, fill them with amazing people, perform along side them and practice, network, repeat

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?

If so, who, why, how?I was always so excited to turn on Kathy Griffin throughout my childhood, and am a storyteller myself, so I cannot say she didn’t inspire me!

What word always cracks you up?

GESCHIRRSPÜLER which means washing machine in German?

Mini Q+A with Danielle Perez

Danielle Perez is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actress best known as the woman in a wheelchair, with no feet, who won a treadmill on The Price Is Right. She appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live for her hilarious reaction to winning the awkward prize. A founding member of Thigh Gap Comedy, Danielle produces live comedy shows with fellow bad bitches Madison Shepard and Danielle Radford. Together they host GENTRIFICATION, a popular, monthly, diversity showcase at Avenue 50 Studio, in her hometown neighborhood of Highland Park. Follow Danielle here! Check out her upcoming shows here!

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Don’t wait around for other people to book you or put you on. Find your coven, make your own shit, and support the fuck out of each other. Create your own spaces, share opportunities, and lift up those behind you as you come up.

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny”?

Damn, it must suck to have no sense of humor or taste

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Never trust a comic who doesn’t bomb.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

I was out at brunch with friends. The server took our order, then returned to the table and said “the manager is sending over a complimentary flight of sweet waffles because they saw you perform last night you were really funny.” I love when strangers to, I love free waffles! Savor the wins and own complements!

What advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Never do bringers. A good set is your best audition. When you consistently start doing well at open mics, people will book you. Once you start getting booked, tape all your sets. Once you have a great tape, go to shows, introduce yourself to the bookers, and ask them for the best way to submit.

Danielle Perez is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actress best known as the woman in a wheelchair, with no feet, who won a treadmill on The Price Is Right. She appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live for her hilarious reaction to winning the awkward prize. A founding member of Thigh Gap Comedy, Danielle produces live comedy shows with fellow bad bitches Madison Shepard and Danielle Radford. Together they host GENTRIFICATION, a popular, monthly, diversity showcase at Avenue 50 Studio, in her hometown neighborhood of Highland Park.

Follow Danielle here! Check out her upcoming shows here!

Mini Q+A with Chloe Prendergast

Chloe Prendergast is a British-American student and performer who grew up in Atlanta, GA. Chloe is the winner of Yale’s 2018 Last Comic Standing competition, after which she opened for SNL alum Sasheer Zamata at the school’s winter comedy show. She is the president and founder of the Coven, a stand up collective at Yale for women and gender nonconforming people, and the Publisher Emeritus of The Yale Record, the oldest existing humor magazine in America. Outside of comedy, Chloe has worked on the US Senate races of Democrats Michelle Nunn and Jim Barksdale and the Georgia Governor’s races of Sen. Jason Carter and Rep. Stacey Abrams. She is currently working on her senior thesis in the Political Science department at Yale on the use of humor in Northern Ireland as a social and political force throughout and since the Troubles. You can follow her on Twitter @prenderghost! 


BRIEFLY describe your worst gig.

Doing a stand up audition in a full theater to three people, all typing notes on their computers! Scary and distracting!

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?

Your life is as interesting as anyone else’s!

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny?”

Oh no! This person has been living in a bunker with no women and no television for the better part of the last 50 years.

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

I am very far away from “up” in comedy.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

You should do stand up!

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Oooh you should turn this [mildly weird event] into one of your little jokes!

Favorite response to “What’s it like to be a woman in comedy?”

It’s a constant battle between being funny and figuring out what to do with my long, long hair!

Feelings about the word “comedienne?”

Is it French?

What single word always cracks you up?

Aubergine (that’s French!)

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian?

Eeek! There are too many amazing, funny, talented people to name just one.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

Being able to tell jokes about my regular life puts lots of not ideal situations into perspective. Seeing the funny parts of bad things makes them easier to handle.

Photo via: L. Thomas


Chloe Prendergast is a British-American student and performer who grew up in Atlanta, GA. Chloe is the winner of Yale’s 2018 Last Comic Standing competition, after which she opened for SNL alum Sasheer Zamata at the school’s winter comedy show. She is the president and founder of the Coven, a stand up collective at Yale for women and gender nonconforming people, and the Publisher Emeritus of The Yale Record, the oldest existing humor magazine in America. Outside of comedy, Chloe has worked on the US Senate races of Democrats Michelle Nunn and Jim Barksdale and the Georgia Governor’s races of Sen. Jason Carter and Rep. Stacey Abrams. She is currently working on her senior thesis in the Political Science department at Yale on the use of humor in Northern Ireland as a social and political force throughout and since the Troubles. You can follow her on Twitter @prenderghost! 

How to write a (funny) cover letter

Let your humor shine through so they meet the real you.

I freaking love Glossier. I love it so much, I’ve brought every single one of my friends who visits NYC to their store, and I’m pretty sure a lot of the people working there know who I am by name. Plus, my friends always ask me about my favorite products and recommendations. I own every single flavor of their Balm Dotcom, use multiple Glossier products multiple times a day, and feel that I have earned the title “Glossier Queen.” Basically, the next step in my Glossier Journey™  would be to work for them. Or, maybe even better: get them to hire my mom (aka BEST Take Your Child To Work Day EVER). 

BACKSTORY/SPOILER: So I wrote a cover letter to Glossier about why they should hire me and my mom. From Glossier: crickets. WHAT? BUT! The founder of GOLD happened to see my letter, loved it, and hired me to write this article. So I did get a gig—and Glossier, I’m not giving up!

What’s so important about a cover letter? 

You are not a resume. You are a person. A cover letter is someone’s first impression of you, so it should show that you would be a good addition to the team—not only qualifications-wise but personality-wise. 

That’s why a cover letter doesn’t need to be meep morp robot-y. Stand out—be funny! From a decade (holy cow that’s a big number! Gimme an O! Gimme an L! Gimme a D!) of doing theater auditions, I’ve learned that you must stand out to be remembered by the director, which will increase the chance of you getting cast. For those of you who’ve had experience with theater, think of a cover letter as an audition. 

You want to be professional and show off your skills—and you want to stand out. Here’s how!

5 tips for using humor to make your letter sound human

Whether it’s for a summer camp counselor, baby food taste tester, or the CEO of a modern lifestyle brand that rhymes with “Doop,” here’s what you need to get your cover letter the attention you deserve.

1. Say hello! (to a real person)

Research the proper contact, and address them by name. No one wants to read a letter to “Whom It May Concern,” unless their name is Whom It May Concern. Once you know who they are, say hi! It’s nice. I like to say “Hello, name of person who you’re writing to!” with an exclamation point because it shows that I am excited to apply for this job and do good work! Just not too many exclamation points after that! I think you see what I mean!

2. Introduce yourself with ~pizzazz~

Tell them a little bit about yourself. Just a taste—like you have experience in something that relates to what you want to be doing. This is a good place to be authentically funny, or at least charming, if it feels natural. 

Here and elsewhere, this doesn’t mean you need to write an actual joke with a setup and a punchline and a clever tag. It’s more an opportunity to add a bit of very specific and colorful detail, like, if you’re me: “I own every single flavor of Balm Dotcom and am on my third Boy Brow.” (Humor is like ranch dressing. A little with some carrots, broccoli, etc. is good. Great, even! But most people are really weirded out when you just eat a whole lot of it with a spoon.) Also: this is not the place for self-deprecating humor, like “College was awful, like me!!1!1!1!1!!!!” 

3. But also be straightforward where needed.

People like people who make them laugh, but they also like people who are the right fit for the job with a good work ethic and passion. Be clear about:

  1. What gig you want.
  2. Why you want to work there: What are their values? Mission? Why work for them instead of somewhere else?
  3. What you can help them with: Childcare? Research? Taking over multinational corporations? Get specific about the tasks you are ready to roll your sleeves up to do.

This is where you show that you know when to be funny/charming and also when to get down to bizness.

4. Do! Not! Sell! Yourself! Short! 

When you talk about your qualifications, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through, even as you aim to communicate concrete and important info. Try to paint a picture and describe, rather than just using Resume Words like “detail-oriented” or “self-starter.” Instead of saying you’re “super-organized,” you can say that you color-code your color-coding pens inside a color-coded pencil case. In other words, where it’s not too forced, show, don’t tell!  

5. End with a call to action

Tell whoever you’re emailing what you are hoping to get from them, other than a job: a response. For those of you who are new to writing cover letters, it sounds a bit strange to tell them to respond, but ya gotta do it. Schedule a Skype call or meeting IRL—just do what you’ve gots2do.

The easiest way is just to slide it in during the sign off.  Try “Looking forward to hearing from you soon.”

I’ll end by sharing with you my letter to Glossier. Maybe it will be helpful to you—or maybe they’ll see it here and reconsider. (See: I’m SHOWING, not just telling, that I’m “dedicated.”)

Good luck landing your dream gig—by being yourself!


Hello friends at Glossier!!

My mother and I are beloved fans of Glossier. Both of us would ~love~ to work at your company; alas she has had over two decades of startup experience, including “IPO” (her words, not mine), which was funded by the Lauder family, therefore she would be a better fit for a job. She is, as you probably just read, very experienced with high growth startups, but more importantly, awesome, innovative, and smart. I think she would make an excellent addition to your team. (LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/tereza)

Now let’s talk about me: I attended a year of school at Leaf Academy in Bratislava, which focuses on Entrepreneurial Leadership, focusing on design thinking. Through this program, I’ve helped to plan multiple events such as Model European Parliament SK, Startup Weekend Bratislava, Sensorium Digital Arts & Culture Festival, and Výťah Space Conference. In addition, I have extensive experience with social media (being Gen Z, of course).

This past year, I’ve discovered my passion for the environment and sustainability—specifically sustainable skincare and clothing brands. It is extremely important to me, as someone who will be alive to experience the effects of climate change, that lifestyle companies that use their power as drivers of how people go about their lives step in and take action towards climate change. 

I own every single flavor of Balm Dotcom and am on my third Boy Brow, I never go downtown without stopping by the Glossier store—I always bring my friends. In fact, most of my friends refer to me as something along the lines of “Glossier Queen” which is accurate. I attend school in Europe but will be home from July 1st to August 30th. If you wanted to hire me instead, I think my mom would be okay with that.

Our favorite Glossier products are Boy Brow, Lash Slick, and of course, Generation G in Leo, Jam, and Poppy.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read (or not – that’s okay too) this email. Although this is written in a jokey way, I really think she would be a great addition to the team. I would love nothing more than a “take your kid to work day” at the Glossier office.

If you would (hopefully!!) like to reach out to my mom, her LinkedIn is above.

Sincerely,

     Margot Hulme

PS: This is not my mother writing this as a joke; it is me Margot ( https://www.instagram.com/margotkh/?hl=en)


Photo via: Glossier


Margot Hulme is a high schooler living in New York. Not upstate NY, but just outside New York City. When she’s not studying for the SATs (shoutout class of 2021), Margot is probably playing piano or browsing the King Arthur Flour catalog. Ya know, just for fun.