Mini Q+A with Kate Robards

Kate Robards is an award-winning writer and performer based in New York City. Kate’s play trilogy Mandarin Orange, Ain’t That Rich, and PolySHAMory have racked up awards and performances across the country and abroad. Kate is a graduate of UCB improv and the one-year professional acting program at The Barrow Group.  She performs stand up and improv regularly in New York City, and has a standup series called Strawberry Milk. It’s just as good as it sounds.

Buy tickets to the monthly Strawberry Milk: A Standup Comedy Show on 7/26 here!


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

Start your own show and book the people you love the most! Know that there is no right or wrong path to making your way in comedy. It is just sticking with it!

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

Allow yourself to change, always.

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

Lauren Weedman. Even though she doesn’t identify as just a comedian, she’s a performer, writer, actors and she’s hilarious. I saw her solo show BUST at Studio Theatre years ago and was blown away by her work. The comedy and drama of it all made me say, I want to do that. Plus she’d written this hilarious book “A Woman Trapped in a Woman’s Body.” I was and continue to be in awe of her and her work.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life?

I waited tables and worked in restaurants in high school and undergrad. I was literally using my personality and jokes for tips.

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

Fun! I’ve found strength in my fellow female comedians. I have started two female helmed comedy shows in NYC. I love it!

Describe your worst gig.

I’ve bombed a lot. I don’t beat myself up about it and instead I just celebrate every time I get on stage. I constantly remind myself ART AIN’T FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. Yes, comedy is art.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Trust your instinct. Your jokes may not work initially but don’t abandon them. Tweak your premise and see how you can get the audience. Trust yourself.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

You should wear sweatshirts. Don’t dress like you dress because women won’t laugh at you because they’ll be jealous that their date wants you not them. Of course this was from a male comedy club owner.

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

I’m still coming up, but my most essential trick to stick with comedy is to surround myself with good, kind people who believe in me and encourage me. This is crucial. There are some people who don’t get it. You can love them, but put your blinders on to negativity. My mom wrote me an inspiring email that has become a mantra after I was a finalist for Sundance Episodic Lab but was ultimately rejected. I have it memorized. The subject was- Keep on truckin’ The body of the email just said, “You are strong and work hard. You are in a business that does not necessarily reward being good. Much of it is based on luck, a twist of fate, or something strange that cannot be planned. Keep on going. Adjust when you need to. Remember to be kind to yourself a well as others. Love you”

Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

Thanks for listening, contributing, coming. If you want me to work with you on your performance, I do coach aspiring comics and performers. Hit me up after!


Kate Robards is an award-winning writer and performer based in New York City. Kate’s play trilogy Mandarin Orange, Ain’t That Rich, and PolySHAMory have racked up awards and performances across the country and abroad. Kate is a graduate of UCB improv and the one-year professional acting program at The Barrow Group.  She performs stand up and improv regularly in New York City. She performs a monthly standup series called Strawberry Milk. Buy tickets to the monthly Strawberry Milk: A Standup Comedy Show on 7/26 here.

Mini Q+A with Jo Firestone

Jo Firestone is a Brooklyn-based comedian who can be seen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Joe Pera Talks With You, High Maintenance, Shrill, The Chris Gethard Show, and more. She can be heard on Maximum Fun’s Dr. Gameshow, a podcast she co-hosts with Manolo Moreno. Her album, “The Hits” is available on Comedy Central Records, and if you like puns, check out Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers. She is very willing work with animals please consider her for animals. Jo also performed at our first GOLD Comedy LIVE!


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

“Stop it, father.”

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

This question is unnecessarily morbid. Just try to be yourself and dive into what you think is funny.

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

😘

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

Supportive friends. Some really memorable shows.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Lukas Kaiser once told me if you need a bigger audience at your show, offer free pizza. It works without fail.

Describe your worst gig.

There’s so many bad ones they all blur together. I guess that’s somewhat comforting— you do years of “worst gigs” and you won’t remember any of them on the day you have to fill out someone’s questionnaire.

Feelings about the word “comedienne?”

Seems like it should be a fancy cheese.

Photo via: Mindy Tucker


Jo Firestone is a Brooklyn-based comedian who can be seen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Joe Pera Talks With You, High Maintenance, Shrill, The Chris Gethard Show, and more. She can be heard on Maximum Fun’s Dr. Gameshow, a podcast she co-hosts with Manolo Moreno. Her album, “The Hits” is available on Comedy Central Records, and if you like puns, check out Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers. She is very willing work with animals please consider her for animals. Jo also performed at our first GOLD Comedy LIVE!

Mini Q+A with Grace Holtz

Grace Holtz is a Chattanooga-based comedian and performer. She previously was a co-host for the Once a Month comedy show and helped lead GOLD Comedy’s Comedy Camp at the Chattanooga Public Library.


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

That even with a microphone and a PA system my voice will never be as loud as an arrogant man still putting his two cents in at a comedy club where he used a Groupon.

BRIEFLY describe your worst gig.

I told several anti-police force jokes before a cop approached the stage to tell me to shut up. I would’ve used the retort to that heckler but all I did was give him my license plate number.

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

Realizing no one had my voice in my city. I felt unique for one of the first times in my life.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Make your strongest joke your last.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Wear makeup.

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

Same as a man. Just harder.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

Lose it.

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

Always get to know out of town comedians in your town. Each booking could lead to a level up.

What single word always cracks you up?

Duty

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

Joan Rivers and my bff who is way funnier and never had the guts to do it.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life?

Understanding that all people have a voice. It’s not your responsibility to change their voice, but empathize and move on if they don’t deserve your ears.

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

Your talent is to turn your pain into humor and help someone else’s pain shrink a little bit. Even if your audience doesn’t like you, you’re the one walking home with a paycheck.


Grace Holtz is a Chattanooga-based comedian and performer. She previously was a co-host of the Once a Month comedy show and helped lead GOLD Comedy’s Comedy Camp at the Chattanooga Public Library.

Read Alex’s bio here.

Mini Q+A with Veronica Dang

Veronica Dang is an award-winning director/actor/writer and comedian. You may have seen her on TV or teaching people about Yellow Fever at comedy clubs around NYC. Check out her webseries Subway: The Series, which is on Marie Claire’s list of “Webseries You’ll Want to Ditch Netflix for.” She also started NYC’s 1st Asian American sketch comedy team Model Majority. Their live shows have been on Timeout NY’s list of “Best Comedy Shows in NYC.” 


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

When I do standup comedy, most people feel sorry for me so they don’t heckle. But if they did, I would just say “Mom and Dad, I’m so glad you finally came to see me!”

Describe your worst gig.

I was a costumed mascot for a famous children’s cartoon character at a public park event in 90+ degree weather. I couldn’t see, had trouble breathing and moving in a large, heavy costume with big head and feet. I wasn’t allowed to talk but had to do photo ops (where adults can be a bit handsy), play tennis with two thumbs, and dance battle while baking in my own sweat all day.

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

Eat whatever you want and keep doing comedy no matter what other people say. Comedy world doesn’t need more privileged mediocre white heterosexual males with mommy issues.

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

Walk away. I don’t need that kind of stupidity in my life.

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

The world is messed up and I need comedy to help me deal with it. It also really helps to create your own work, that’s why I make my own films which have won awards 😉 and started NYC’s first all Asian-American sketch comedy team, Model Majority.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Always be doing comedy and you won’t actually die on stage.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Replace all minorities and women in your script with white men.

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

I don’t know. What is it like to be a man in comedy? It seems like a lot of dick and pedophilia “jokes.”

Feelings about the word “comedienne?”

I prefer comedian but will accept any label that indicates I’m funny and doesn’t use racial slurs or insults.

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

Helped me avoid being bullied and beat up.

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

Produce your own shows/work and make friends with people who know bookers or have own shows.

What single word always cracks you up?

manamana

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

Not one person, but one entity. My family inspired me to be a comedian because I needed a way to complain about them without them knowing.

Photo via: Leslie Hassler


Veronica Dang is an award-winning director/actor/writer and comedian. You may have seen her on TV or teaching people about Yellow Fever at comedy clubs around NYC. Check out her webseries Subway: The Series, which is on Marie Claire’s list of “Webseries You’ll Want to Ditch Netflix for.” She also started NYC’s 1st Asian American sketch comedy team Model Majority. Their live shows have been on Timeout NY’s list of “Best Comedy Shows in NYC.” 

Read Lynn’s bio here.

Mini Q+A with Kelsey Caine

Kelsey Caine is a beautiful New York comedian and writer originally from Texas. Her family describes her comedy as, “Stop telling jokes about us. It hurts your brother’s feelings.” She is most well known for her viral satirical character Penis C.K., who’s making fun of exactly the sex offender you’re thinking of. Kelsey is a New York Times contributor, a Miss New York USA pageant state finalist, and a controversial performance artist. Kelsey is a graduate of The New School with an MFA in Creative Writing, double majoring in Writing for Children and Nonfiction. Inspired by the #MeToo Movement Kelsey began advocating for sexual assault education in schools, focusing primarily on all-boys schools. She is writing a book on the topic entitled “What To Do With #MeToo” represented by Sarah Phair at Trident Media Group.


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

Since I’ve been doing stand-up as my beloved satirical character Penis C.K., who’s mocking exactly the sex offender you’re thinking of and all sex offenders, my favorite thing to say to trolls on the internet that say they hate Penis C.K. is, “Yeah, that’s a good thing. He’s a sex offender.”

Describe your worst gig

I’ve had some people leave during Penis C.K., which I totally understand. Especially if you’ve experienced sexual assault, then I’m sure it’s hard not to think about your own experience. And for that I’m truly sorry. I’m a sexual assault survivor and my intent is to try and help bring attention to the very common sexual assault that people face everyday and are told not to talk about, not to trigger survivors. I’m trying to trigger sex offenders into seeing the pain they’ve caused. I say that very clearly during my performance. Most audiences get what I’m doing and like Penis C.K. I’ve mostly had great shows audience wise, but Penis C.K. has deeply upset some comedians. My worst show was definitely being hate Instagram storied by another comic on a show. He didn’t watch my full set, but he really hated the concept. He didn’t think it was what stand-up comedy should be and wanted me to stop. It was really strange because I had never met him before, and he was so mad at something he didn’t even fully watch. You can totally hate Penis C.K. There’s a lot of comedy that I hate. But I would never tell another comedian what to do, except not sexually assault anyone.

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

Don’t acknowledge them.  Block them.

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

I’m really funny. I know it. It’s just true. Everything else is just practice.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Open with your best joke. Then the audience will trust you and think all of your jokes are that good, but it’s a trick. You tricked them! The rest aren’t as good, but they’ll never know.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

I should dress hotter. My mom said it, but still.

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

I tell them the truth, it can be horrible. Why do you think so many comedy legends are sex offenders? There’s no HR in comedy, and there are so many stupid fucking boys who legitimately think harassing people is okay or even funny. I know rapists who are national headliners. It’s terrifying. But that’s not everyone. There are also great people in comedy. Who are kind and funny and make it worth it to be a woman in comedy.

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

Being funny has always helped me. I couldn’t read until I was nine. Because I have dyslexia. And being funny really helped me deal with that. I never thought I was dumb even for one second. I really thought reading was going to blow over, and that it was unnecessary to learn how to read. I’d gotten that far without knowing how to read. That’s a hilarious perspective. It’s gotten me far in life.

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

Okay my god, please don’t do bringer shows. If you have people that will come out to watch you do comedy PUT ON YOUR OWN SHOW. Your own show will put your name out there better than being on any bringer show. In my experience, club bookers don’t even watch their bringer shows. So who are you doing it for? It’s hard to realize that just going to open mics and hanging out around at comedy clubs isn’t going to make you famous. Look at what the people you perceive as successful are doing. They probably host their own show, or podcast, or make Instagram videos, or write funny articles. Do that, try everything!

What single word always cracks you up?

Context is everything. No single word is funny, even if one word makes me laugh it’s because of the context. But there is a video of Jerry Seinfeld breaking down the “funny words” in one of his jokes, and it’s hilarious. He says something like, “CHIMP, DIRT, PLAYING, and STICKS. Out of seven words in my joke, four of them are funny.” I just don’t think about comedy like that, and I love hearing people talk about it. It’s so funny.

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian? If so, who, why, how?

My parents. They kept telling me I could become anything I wanted to be, and I took them up on it. My dad is still the funniest guy I know, and now I know a lot of guys who think they’re funny. And when the day is done, my mom is still my biggest fan. Even though a lot of my content truly makes her uncomfortable.

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

Don’t worry about the people who hate you. People are going to hate you, and the people who hate you aren’t going to help you. Find the people who like you and think you’re funny, and work with them. Start your own show. Start your own open mic. Have something to offer people. You don’t have to wait for people to book you, you can start booking the people you want to work with. Put yourself in a position of power.

Photo via: Mindy Tucker


Kelsey Caine is a beautiful New York comedian and writer originally from Texas. Her family describes her comedy as, “Stop telling jokes about us. It hurts your brother’s feelings.” She is most well known for her viral satirical character Penis C.K., who’s making fun of exactly the sex offender you’re thinking of. Kelsey is a New York Times contributor, a Miss New York USA pageant state finalist, and a controversial performance artist. Kelsey is a graduate of The New School with an MFA in Creative Writing, double majoring in Writing for Children and Nonfiction. Inspired by the #MeToo Movement Kelsey began advocating for sexual assault education in schools, focusing primarily on all-boys schools. She is writing a book on the topic entitled “What To Do With #MeToo” represented by Sarah Phair at Trident Media Group.

Read Alex’s bio here. 

Mini Q+A with Adrianne Chalepah

Adrianne Chalepah is a standup comedian, writer, and mother of four. Raised in Kiowa/Comanche/Apache territory in Oklahoma, she began her career in entertainment at age 20. She has been honored to open for First Lady Michelle Obama and share the stage with comedy legends such as Margaret Cho, Dane Cook, and Jarrod Carmichael. She is author of Funny Girl, an anthology of women comics and writers, and founder of the all-female indigenous comedy troupe Ladies of Native Comedy. In 2019, she was featured in the Netflix series Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy. She is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.


Describe your worst gig.

Laughlin, Nevada. Old rich retirees apparently aren’t into my jokes.

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

Be unapologetically yourself.

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

Your mom is funny.

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

I needed it for sanity.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Do your thang.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Wear a tutu on stage.

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

I don’t know. I’m not convinced I’m a “real” woman.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

Meh.

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

Network. It don’t matter how funny you are if you don’t know the right people. Unfortunately, being an introvert, this is hard to do… Good luck!

What single word always cracks you up?

Fuddruckers

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian? If so, who, why, how?

My dad. He’s a funny guy and he schooled me in film and comedy.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life?

Humor is therapeutic. I come from inter-generational trauma as an indigenous person whose ancestors survived genocide. Comedy is ingrained in us. We survived because we never forgot to laugh.

Photo via: Ceylon Grey


Adrianne Chalepah is a standup comedian, writer, and mother of four. Raised in Kiowa/Comanche/Apache territory in Oklahoma, she began her career in entertainment at age 20. She has been honored to open for First Lady Michelle Obama and share the stage with comedy legends such as Margaret Cho, Dane Cook, and Jarrod Carmichael. She is author of Funny Girl, an anthology of women comics and writers, and founder of the all-female indigenous comedy troupe Ladies of Native Comedy. In 2019, she was featured in the Netflix series Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy. She is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.

Read Lynn’s bio here.

Mini Q+A with Emily Winter

Emily Winter has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR’s “Ask Me Another,” TV Land, Fusion TV, Glamour, and The Barnes & Noble Review. She’s an NBC Late Night Writers Workshop script judge, and co-creator of WHAT A JOKE, a nationwide comedy festival that raised more than $50K for the ACLU in 2017. Emily’s standup has been featured on SiriusXM, and she’s performed at SF SketchFest, Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, The Limestone Comedy Festival, and others. She runs two Time Out Critics’ Pick comedy shows in Brooklyn: BackFat Variety and Side Ponytail, and hosts a podcast that reached #1 in Podomatic training podcasts, HOW TO PRODUCE LIVE COMEDY. Her work has been profiled on The TODAY Show, The AV Club, Buzzfeed, Lifehacker, The Miami New Times, Bustle, someecards, The Boston Globe and others.


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

When I was still pretty new in comedy, I told a bad male heckler, “You’re so hot. Too bad you’re an a**hole.” The room lit up, and I was really proud of myself because I still was insecure on stage. That moment gave me a lot of confidence.

Describe your worst gig.

I was once bumped from a show in Miami because a person in a rabbit costume wanted to do spoken word. That hurt.

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

Be kind, but do what you want.

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

Life without standup comedy felt a little bit like I was floating through New York City, desperate for meaning, attention, and purpose. Standup comedy changed all that. It gave me goals and a very concrete reason to get up, get out, and work.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Punch up, not down.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Don’t wear dresses. (I’ll wear what I want!)

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

It got me a job once! I made my former boss, a book packager, laugh during my interview, and he said he hired me to come up with book ideas because he liked my sense of humor.

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

Just keep plugging away. I know it’s so hard to hear. But when you get better, unfortunately YOU’LL be the first to notice. It’ll take some time for the rest of the world to catch on. So keep writing new jokes and weaving them into tried and true material to broaden your set while also showcasing your skills.

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian? If so, who, why, how?

I wrote my first standup joke after enduring a physical assault. I’d always wanted to try standup, but I never NEEDED to try it until I was depressed and desperate for an outlet for my sadness, rage, and my joke about it all. I’m not glad that the assault happened, but I’m glad I made lemons into lemonade.


Emily Winter has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR’s “Ask Me Another,” TV Land, Fusion TV, Glamour, and The Barnes & Noble Review. She’s an NBC Late Night Writers Workshop script judge, and co-creator of WHAT A JOKE, a nationwide comedy festival that raised more than $50K for the ACLU in 2017. Emily’s standup has been featured on SiriusXM, and she’s performed at SF SketchFest, Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, The Limestone Comedy Festival, and others. She runs two Time Out Critics’ Pick comedy shows in Brooklyn: BackFat Variety and Side Ponytail, and hosts a podcast that reached #1 in Podomatic training podcasts, HOW TO PRODUCE LIVE COMEDY. Her work has been profiled on The TODAY Show, The AV Club, Buzzfeed, Lifehacker, The Miami New Times, Bustle, someecards, The Boston Globe and others.

Photo credit: Phil Provencio

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Read Cassandra’s bio here. 

Mini Q+A with Christie Buchele

Christie Buchele is an up-and-coming standup comic from Denver, Colorado, who also co-led GOLD’s debut hybrid F2F version of our online class at Park Hill Branch Library in Denver. Christie made a name for herself by the heart-wrenching and hilarious realities of being a woman with a disability. Christie has been featured on Viceland’s, Flophouse; Hidden America with Jonah Ray; and Laughs on Fox. Christie has performed at both the Crom Comedy Festival in Omaha, Nebraska, Denver’s own High Plains Comedy Festival and Hell Yes Fest in New Orleans. Follow her


Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

Thank you for your input! I am up/out here actually creating and putting myself out there. So I REALLY appreciate the opinion [of someone] who does nothing but tear others down. (BIG SARCASTIC SMILE)

Describe your worst gig.

I had to follow a duck that was pooping on squares for a raffle. They wanted a Jeff Foxworthy type but they got me! They did not laugh. I got boo’d and my Dad was there to watch it!

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

There will be comics who are less funny than you, and comics that are more funny than you. Never let any other comic work harder than you.

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

The community. Comedy creates a family for you everywhere you go. If you are a comic, comics in other cities will be there for you and take care of you when you come visit and its a really special network. If you don’t feel supported in your community, start building your own or move to a more supportive comedy community.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

When people tell me to try and conform my voice to what the club or corporate scenes want in order to be more “accessible.” Straying away from my own authentic voice has never served me.

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

I don’t feel like people really know me until they have seen me do stand-up. It’s this amazing tool to introduce myself to the whole room and make them comfortable. I am a person with a disability so I feel like it really helps me feel more comfortable around so many new people because I get to explain my disability to everyone at once.

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

Get onstage as much as possible. Actually WORK your jokes. A lot of people come to mics and try new stuff every time and they never sharpen the jokes they already have. Mix in new stuff with more established stuff so that you can get new stuff and also show the other comics and bookers what you can do.

What single word always cracks you up?

When I refer to my legs as gams

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian? If so, who, why, how?

Josh Blue was the first person I saw making jokes about having a disability. Because of him I knew I could too. Now I get to work with him all the time.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Just keep showing up.

Christie Buchele is an up-and-coming standup comic from Denver, Colorado, who also co-led GOLD’s debut hybrid F2F version of our online class at Park Hill Branch Library in Denver. Christie made a name for herself by the heart-wrenching and hilarious realities of being a woman with a disability. Christie has been featured on Viceland’s, Flophouse; Hidden America with Jonah Ray; and Laughs on Fox. Christie has performed at both the Crom Comedy Festival in Omaha, Nebraska, Denver’s own High Plains Comedy Festival and Hell Yes Fest in New Orleans.

Christie co-hosts a witty relationship advice podcast, Empty Girlfriend, which earned best Comedy Podcast by Westword Magazine and best Podcast for Sexpot Comedy in 2017. As one third of the Denver Comedy powerhouse, The Pussy Bros, Christie reps the Mile High City hard while crushing audiences with a wry, biting style that’s a bit sweet, a and a little bit surly; proving time and again you can say almost anything with a smile on your face and a gimp in your step. Follow her

Photo Credit: Carnefix Photography

Read Cassandra’s bio here.

Mini Q+A with Iris Bahr

Iris Bahr is a critically acclaimed writer, actor, director, producer and novelist. Having starred on numerous television shows (for full credits see imdb.com) , she is best known for her recurring role as Svetlana (which she wrote and directed for Mark Cuban’s Hdnet) and her recurring role on Curb your Enthusiasm, where she plays the Orthodox Jewish Girl that gets stuck on a ski-lift with Larry David. Her critically acclaimed solo show, “DAI (enough)”, in which she plays 11 different characters in a Tel Aviv cafe moments before a suicide bomber enters, had an extended hit run Off-Broadway and won the prestigious Lucille Lortel Award for Best Solo Performance, as well as 2 Drama Desk and UK Stage Award nominations for Best Performance and Sound Design. She has performed DAI around the world, including at the United Nations for over 100 ambassadors and delegates. Her first solo show, “Planet America”, received an LA Weekly nomination for Outstanding Solo Show and is currently in development as a feature film. Her critically acclaimed third solo show, I LOST YOU THERE, just completed a run at the Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC. Follow her!
 

Favorite response to a heckler or troll?

Tears.

Describe your worst gig (noting that you survived).

Overnight gig in Connecticut, I was at a hotel where a massive Narcotics Anonymous convention was going on, which involved lots of edgy folks leaving every few minutes to smoke cigarettes.
 

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young (female/LGBTQI) comedian?

Don’t date another comic.
 

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

It involves either walking away or Karav Maga.

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

Daddy issues.
 

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Keep creating.
 

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Give up.
 

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

Classy.

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

It has definitely helped finding some light when dealing with profound loss and grief.
 

What single word always cracks you up?

ointment.


Iris Bahr is a critically acclaimed writer, actor, director, producer and novelist. Having starred on numerous television shows (for full credits see imdb.com) , she is best known for her recurring role as Svetlana (which she wrote and directed for Mark Cuban’s Hdnet) and her recurring role on Curb your Enthusiasm, where she plays the Orthodox Jewish Girl that gets stuck on a ski-lift with Larry David. Her critically acclaimed solo show, “DAI (enough)”, in which she plays 11 different characters in a Tel Aviv cafe moments before a suicide bomber enters, had an extended hit run Off-Broadway and won the prestigious Lucille Lortel Award for Best Solo Performance, as well as 2 Drama Desk and UK Stage Award nominations for Best Performance and Sound Design. She has performed DAI around the world, including at the United Nations for over 100 ambassadors and delegates. Her first solo show, “Planet America”, received an LA Weekly nomination for Outstanding Solo Show and is currently in development as a feature film. Her critically acclaimed third solo show, I LOST YOU THERE, just completed a run at the Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC. Follow her!

Read Cassandra’s bio.

Mini Q+A with Abbi Crutchfield

Abbi Crutchfield is a comedian seen on Comedy Central, truTV, and NBC. She is a UCB alum and founder of the long-running live comedy hour “The Living Room Show” in Brooklyn. This fall she will host Laugh Exchange, a new comedy app. Follow her on Twitter! @curlycomedy

Describe your worst gig.

Performing in a bar connected to a showroom that my co-workers were spilling out after seeing a colleague perform (I had recently been laid off). So they wanted to laugh and chat, and I was standing near them with a mic in this non-performance space (no stage or lights) just trying to do jokes. After some polite head nods, we all were just ignoring each other. They ignored the noise of the mic as I tried to power through their good time.

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

You’re doing great.

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

Why do you hate to laugh?

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

Encouraging milestones. And Drew Hastings wrote “PERSEVERANCE!” in my autograph book my first year of comedy.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Mike Birbiglia stressed the importance of writing. (“Write, write, write, and when you run out of things to say, write some more.”)

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

“Sleep with me to get ahead.”

 

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

I don’t sweat the small stuff.

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

Network with people and bring your A game on stage.

What single word always cracks you up?

Pooter-toot

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian? If so, who, why, how?

No. It was a ton of people over a period of time. Maybe the person who kicked it off was an older woman at a party who worked in the Foreign Service. She convinced me I didn’t want the line of work I was studying in college.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

It’s a title describing a personess who tells jokettes.

Photo via: David Schinman


Abbi Crutchfield is a comedian seen on Comedy Central, truTV, and NBC. She is a UCB alum, and founder of the long-running live comedy hour “The Living Room Show” in Brooklyn. This fall she will host Laugh Exchange, a new comedy app. Follow her on Twitter! @curlycomedy

Read Cassandra’s bio.