This list was inspired by John Frusciante, Upright Citizen Brigade Theatre’s Artistic Associate, who recently wrote a post about submissions for SPANK from female comedians at UCB. Many of the issues he touches on are more universal. Where are the women at the top? What do they need to feel like having their own show (or Presidency or Stanley Cup) is possible?
It’s a long road to travel to get to the point where you can write your own show. Female comedians go through a lot in order to get there. Things male comedians don’t have to think about. Comedy, like most creative industries, is a pyramid and we need a strong base. The question is what can we do for women along the way, before they get to that one woman show. If you, a male comedian, would like to see yourself at the top and to look around and see women there too, the following are a few tips on how to be an ally to ladies in comedy along the way.
Full Disclosure: I’m a cis woman! I’ve been taking improv classes at UCB since 2010. I’m an intern there. I’m not a superstar, I’m not on a house team and I’ve never written a SPANK. I have however made an effort to understand the workings of the theater as much as possible from my position, which is a low one. Like most microcosms, UCB reflects a lot of the biases and ‘isms’ of the larger culture it exists in, which includes sexism. This list is meant in the most positive way possible but I’m drinking as I post it because Real Talk is scary. Alcohol Power! Let’s do this!