BEING A GIRL WHO DOES STAND UP COMEDY: THINGS I'VE LEARNED
I'm going to make being a female stand up sound worse than it is, it's the best. But I have discovered some hardships. Also keep in mind that I am an idiot who knows nothing, this list is more of a reference point for me than a hard list of advice.
- •You have to fight the jealousyI was shocked to find myself, a strong minded feminist, feeling threatened or jealous anytime another girl killed it during a show. When there is such a small pool and your peers are constantly comparing you to your fellow comediennes it's inherent. Or maybe I'm just a self conscious ass. But overcoming that and banding together is the BEST FEELING. Having funny girls group together is incredibly powerful.
- •Don't succumb to gross audience generalizationsI realized pretty quickly I got more laughs if I dressed down and unflattering than when I was looking cute or wearing anything revealing. This plays into the "they want to fuck you OR laugh at you, wanting both is threatening" trope that is probably true but can be fought. Women like Natasha Leggero and Amy Schumer are the 2 who definitely gave me the inspo to forget this BS and dress and act however I want on stage.
- •You'll encounter male comedians of all kindsAt first it seemed like every single one was ready to demean and degrade my friends and I if we did well at a show, but there are so many supportive dudes out there who want more women present in comedy just as much as I do. It took me a while to realize this, and there are still a fair share of dicks bein' dicks but it helps knowing bros will have your back along the way too.
- •Don't exploit the people you loveIt's easy to over share on stage (again, this may be a personal problem) because it's easy to forget that this hobby of yours is being seen by many people. Make sure if you tell jokes based on real experiences you keep it vague/made up enough that no one gets hurt. I learned this the hard way and it's up to you to decide, but in my experience very few gags are good enough to make it worth hurting/embarrassing a friend or significant other.
- •Accept complimentsIt's super hard but being gracious and grateful to people generous enough to compliment your set is good for everybody. Sometimes you'll want to act above it BUT YOU AREN'T!! It feels good and it makes the compliment giver feel good to know they made you feel good! This applies to all aspects of life I think, not just pleasantries exchanged outside comedy clubs.
- •You don't have to act like a ""dude""Another trap I've found myself in: you don't have to out-gross (see: masturbation jokes) your male peers to match them. Another thing all my female comic heroes have done well: managed to talk about sex and their bodies in a unique way that doesn't marginalize or demean.
- •People want to help you outIf you're nice and gracious people will hook it up. I'm always so excited to give people interested in standup open mic suggestions, advice, whatever (even if most of it is hella misguided) and other comedians are too. It is a tough industry and people can be mean, but I've been surprised to find how supportive the community can be.