During the day, I work for a software company; bridging the gap between the engineers and our customers. I’m one of two women in my office and four throughout in the company. The men are nerdy and awkward and it took them four months for most of them to talk to me. I wear holey jeans, no make-up and stupid t-shirts to fit in. The three other women are strong, intelligent and the most helpful people I have ever worked with. After a year of learning from them, I have probably gained enough experience to double my salary if I ever decided to move to another company. But, I like my job, and it’s not about the money.
Comedy is strangely similar to the world of computer geeks…
When I first started in stand up, the only girl I saw getting up in the scene was Melanie Karnopp at Paris on the Platte. I thought that I had an edge because I was one of two women in Denver. I also saw how easy it was to always get a spot in an open mic and showcases because I was the only girl who showed up. From this I derived a theory, which was, “Women do not have to try as hard to come up with quality material in comedy because they always have mic time and a spot in the show. Guys have to work harder to get the early spots at places like the 404 and the Squire, which is why so few women succeed.” And I thought, “I’m going to be different.”
Then I started seeing women comedians all over town: The beautiful and funny Jodee Champion at Comedy Works, Timmi with her giant green notebook of new jokes at the the Squire and the Lair, Melanie Karnopp (aka Heather Snow) everywhere, Pam VanNostrem with her Denver Divas at the Improv, Nicole Qualtari blogging it up for all @DenverComedy, the hilarious Nora Lynch telling stories at the Narrators, Jill Tasai, Mara Wiles and Alicia Jacobs helping Team Charpie win the Funny Final Four, Cougar Carol with her strange and awesome self, and the list goes on…. My theory is completely wrong, off-base and ignorant. How could I have had such little faith in my fellow woman?
The best thing about these ridiculously funny women is that they’re also wonderful people. We look out for one another. They’ve all been nothing but supportive and would never throw each other under the bus. We bomb, and we pick each other back up. Even when we bomb hard… Go Team Tits.
So, last night, like every night, after geeking out all day, I get home, put on some decent clothes, brush my hair, throw on some make-up, and roll out to wherever I think that I can get some mic time. I head over to Comedy Works with some friends to see if I can get on stand-by. It’s like getting all dressed up for prom and having no one ask you to dance. I have yet to get up on stand-by. It’s been eight weeks. I brought people. I swear I’m funny. There were no women on stage at Comedy Works last night. But, the guys killed it… and that heckler in the front row.
Jill Tasai gives me a ride to the next spot. She whips a 35 MPH U-turn into a parking spot across from Kinga’s…. I scream (’cause I thought it was funny). She punches me and teaches me the “screaming distracts drivers” lesson. Joke fail.
We arrive at Elliot Woolsey’s going away party and see Jodee Champion spit out hilariousness for her dreamboat BFF. I high five Timmi as she heads out to the Squire, slap Jodee on the ass and group chest bump Nicole Qualtieri and Melanie Karnopp. Then we get in a big circle after the show, pass around the mic for half-jokes and all of the guys all talk about wanting to bang us.
That’s how we roll.
A friend in the industry recently told me that when they’re looking for comedians, they’re looking for good comedians… and that could lie in a man or a woman. Let’s hope this is true as the Denver divas continue to tear it up.
Nice to meet you, ladies. We’re going to have a lot of fun.