I like to laugh. Call it deflection, call it free therapy, call it what you will but I like it. I like it A LOT. I also get insane amounts of happy making other people laugh, which is how I became wrapped up in improv. The moment someone discovers I do comedy, I have put myself on a plank. Like clockwork, the next comment is ‘tell us a joke’ which is the equivalent of saying ‘prove it’. It’s like, what do YOU do, sir? Oh, you’re an architect? Please demonstrate. Tack on the fact that I’m a girl and the bar just got that much higher. Apparently men are inherently stronger AND funnier. (HUGE beyond overdramatic eye roll) I’m going to need so much wine to finish writing this…ALL the wine please.
Before you roll your eyes and assume I’m about to delve into a vagina monologue, relax. This isn’t a feminist crusade. I’m not going to get into the ridiculousness that is men buying women drinks and then expecting something in return as if that vodka soda was payment for services not yet fulfilled. Nope, not getting into that. This is strictly about funny females and double standards. Do me a favor and don’t pretend to NOT know what I’m talking about. We’ve all heard it or even thought it ourselves. ‘You’re really funny’. What comes off as sincere and approving is followed by ‘for a girl’. Um, thank you? It’s not like I’m a squirrel dressed up trying to be something I’m not but so glad I impressed you, being a girl and all.
I AM a girl. I’ve been a girl for 33 years. I don’t need a reminder. Being a girl is pretty dumb sometimes. To this day, I have to leave the room when anyone is using an eyelash curler. I have an eyelash phobia that they’ll all fall out at the same time and then there’s all the metal by the eye- I can’t. Reason 354 I haven’t gotten lasix. Also I don’t think anyone is like ‘oh man, she’s so awesome but I don’t think she curls her eyelashes…’ If my eyelashes are a deal breaker, eat so much Lysol. Everyone says all a girl wants is to find a man and get married. Correction: all a girl wants is to never have to shave again, still stay smooth and eat pizza without gaining weight. My paycheck cannot currently fund the amount of lasering it would take to make that dream come true…amongst several other dreams.
While being a girl is dumb sometimes, being a funny girl is the most dumb all of the time. Add the fact that I’m not hideous and the impressed meter just got steeper. I had a guy look at me like I had solved the riddle of the sphinx when I quoted George Carlin. It was like, really dude? I also know that our sixteenth president was Abe Lincoln and if you mix red with blue it makes purple! (Huge gulp of wine) I should have karate chopped him in the face.
When I perform, I always dress down. It’s a rule. I typically wear chucks, jeans, a forgettable shirt, minimal makeup and a pony. I try to channel my inner tom-boy because any distraction emphasizing that I’m a girl can be deadly. Cute is okay but pretty is intimidating and takes the audience an extra effort to get onboard. I wish I was kidding. Until you’ve made it big and society has validated your sense of humor, you can’t go charging onstage in a cocktail dress and heels like Miss Schumer. She had to earn that dress.
Comedy gets a bad rap. The last time a comedy won anything in the Oscars was Annie Hall. THAT WAS 40 YEARS AGO!! Making people laugh is just as hard, if not harder, than making people cry. People went nuts when Melissa McCarthy was nominated for her role in Bridesmaids for Best Supporting Actress. And before your mind starts overflowing with opinions let me say this: that performance was BRILLIANT. Many critics felt the bathroom scene was too much but no one bat an eyelash when Halle Berry won Best Actress for bouncing up and down on Billy Bob for 3 hours or when Natalie Portman won for padiddling herself while her mom was in the room. When it’s dramatic, it becomes artistic. Give me a break.
Comedy requires immense talent and is very demanding. Yes there’s cheap and crude comedy but great comedy is smart and observant and revealing. Making people laugh is powerful. There is a real strength in getting that kind of reaction out of people. It’s infectious and authentic and empathetic and can bring an entire room together. Laughter IS love. I have a tendency to be a funny girl…I don’t ever want to be funny FOR A GIRL- there’s a huge difference. Praise people with sincerity. Always find the laughter in life- not only does it burn calories and reduce stress but it looks so much better than your resting bitch face.