Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Women Doing Comedy

"Comedy is very controlling - you are making people laugh.  You feel completely in control when you hear a wave of laughter coming back at you that you have caused." - Gilda Radner.

Somehow, people - usually older, irrelevant male comedians - are still commenting in the media that women aren’t funny.  It bugs me.  Not just because women ARE funny.  But also because there is actually a reason there is less of a female presence in the comedy world and it has nothing to do with sense of humor. 

It's literally because there are less women actively trying to pursue comedy. 

Every few weeks, I help run auditions for the comedy theater where I perform.  I'm the only female out of four on the "panel."  And out of 60+ people auditioning, roughly ten of them are women.  And roughly four to five of those ten women are any good. 

Yes, that’s right, some women aren't funny just like some men aren't funny! 

We're not going to take all ten women just to balance out the ratio.  If there needs to be a team of all men, then so be it.  If those men were the hands down funniest improvisers in the room, then they deserve it.  Personally, I would never want to take a job because I was filling some sort of quota.  I'd want a job because I deserved it and was funny or talented enough to get it.  It's not that women aren't funny, it's just that there are less of them putting themselves out there and making the jokes.

Honestly, I understand why there are less women pursuing comedy.  It has been my experience that women, by nature, aren't the type to throw themselves in the face of rejection.  And comedy is the ultimate rejection!  There is no hiding!  When you send in a resume, you might not get an interview.  When you go on an interview, you might not get the job.  When you give someone your number, they might not call.  And even when you try out for a role, you might not get the part.

But when you go up on stage and you make a joke, you know in that second how people feel about you in that room.  If they didn't laugh, they’re not on your side.  If they did, you're on your way to having them in the palm of your hand.  There's no guarantee what you do will be funny or well-received and women, typically more so than men, tend to shy away from those odds. Why on EARTH would people put themselves in such a vulnerable position and open themselves up for criticism?

Men seem to have an easier time with failure and rejection, where women tend to “get in their heads” a little bit more.  When they go out on stage and deliver a bad joke, or they don’t have the best improv set, they tend to dwell on it a little bit longer and harder than their male counterparts.  They wonder what they did wrong or why it didn't work or what they could have done better.  I've seen women apologize - on stage and off - and physically fold into themselves when something doesn't hit.  Some women have even immediately thrown themselves under the bus and stated they weren't funny or deliver some other cruel, self-deprecating joke.  It doesn't matter who you are - male or female - but apologizing or being mean to yourself gives up all your credibility. 

Personally, I always feel the need to apologize when I do something "shitty" to a scene partner.   I walk away from bad sets a little angrier than my male cast mates.  I take way more things to heart and lose my sense of self when I fail on stage.  But... my only option is to keep doing it and move on to the next one.  I have a difficult time letting bad jokes, scenes and shows roll off my shoulders... but eventually I do, because I have to get right back up there the next night.  And in those shows that follow, I aim to do better and prove to myself - and everyone else around me - that I’m perfectly capable of doing it.

And, ultimately, that’s what makes women damn good at comedy. I believe that women are inherently motivated, strong and empowered individuals who might get a tad bit more personally let down by failure - but they don't let it take them down.  They just keep going.

In all fairness, I have seen plenty of men who take failure to heart as well.  And I've seen plenty of women who don't!  It's not gender specific.  Rejection and failure have a tendency of dragging us all down at some point.  But, from what I’ve noticed in my eight years of comedy and twenty seven years of being a woman, women typically like being in control at all times. (Think of all the times you have, or a female friend has, got drunk and felt awful and guilty about the texts that were sent or the things that were done.  Then think of all the times you have, or a male friend has, felt that way.)  Men have an easier time looking like an idiot, and society is way less hard on them for it.

Women are funny.  Men are funny.  There's no debate.  Success in comedy doesn't rely on one's gender.  Men fail in comedy just as much as women. Success doesn’t even solely rely on talent.  There are plenty of genuinely funny men who have zero stage presence.

Comedy relies on the ability to get up, fail, brush yourself off and then try again.  It's about having a sense of humor.  It's about confidence.  But most importantly, it's about resilience.  Being a man, or a woman, doesn’t help you succeed.  Being a resilient human being does.

And if all that doesn't work, just drop an F bomb... like three times in a row.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello my family member! I want to say that this post is awesome, great written
and coke with approximately alll important infos. I would like to see extra posts
like this .

Feel free to viseit my blog post: ตู้เชื่อม

Anonymous said...

Most of the internet marketing experts and companies use this advertising strategy for obtaining the best results.
When the visitor is bound to visit the website, he has to click on the ad.

For bad services mean a bad name that can simply become a detrimental factor for your business's health and wellbeing.



Feel free to visit my page ... Calgary SEO

Anonymous said...

Woah! I'm really loving the template/theme of
this website. It's simple, yet effective. A lot of
times it's very hard to get that "perfect balance" between usability and appearance.
I must say you have done a fantastic job with this.
In addition, the blog loads very fast for me on Safari. Superb Blog!


Also visit my web blog: تداول العملات

Anonymous said...

Snipеrs spend most of their time laying or crawling on the groսnd so the front of the jacket and
pants are left barе of Ghillie suit material. The most importɑnt thing is to be ρroud of yoսr gaming
and your team. Recеntly, the product has гeleased some prе-launch videos.


My weƄ blog; magnetic messaging pdf

Anonymous said...

Hello to every one, the contents present at this
website are actually awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.



my website :: after effects wave warp

Anonymous said...

Practicing masturbation with deep, focused breathing. Man boobs (or
boy boobs) are properly known as a condition called gynecomastia.
Ahead of this sit in a position in which you'll be comfy.


Review my blog post: Man breast

Anonymous said...

However nowadays's normal teenager, within the or your ex space late at the hours of darkness
by yourself, talking wir friends, may be possible to deviate from your recommendations -- even by mistake.
In case you suspect your teenager is actually viewing inappropriate
written content and at risk of coming in contact with pornography or
maybe likely have a mature addiction, you'll be able to check out precisely what websites
they have been traveling to. For example , throughout Web Explorer, you'll choose to "View History"
and get a peek at every website that was visited within the last
few week.

My page: brazzers accounts

Anonymous said...

Maintain sufficient chicken toys inside top section of the bird cage to present some sensation of privateness,
permitting your canine friend parrot to conceal around them.
Everybody from senior citizens to middle school youngsters are visiting there favorite torrent sites to
downloads what they desire to see. All you must do to start playing videos or
audio file would be to open the downloaded torrent (the torrents are typically
just one or two kilobytes in size, in order that they download instantly.


Also visit my web blog Bay Proxy - url.lfox.co -

mia waelah said...

This is my first time visit at here and i am in fact happy to read all at single place.

Klinik Obat Kencing Nanah Ampuh
http://klinikherbaldenature.com/

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails