The Feminine Comique

A stand-up comedy class puts women front and center.

 (Photo Courtesy: MoNa)
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Photo Courtesy: MoNaMoNa
 (Photo Courtesy: Kristin Clifford)
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Photo Courtesy: Kristin CliffordKristin Clifford
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 (Photo Courtesy: Alexandra Tsarpalas)
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Photo Courtesy: Alexandra TsarpalasAlexandra Tsarpalas

The Feminine Comique, a five-week course taught by Cameron Esposito through the Lincoln Lodge, has shaped women comics all over town. In anticipation of a new session starting May 24, alumni share their success stories.

Mo Na, communications specialist
Motivation
I am half white and half Arab. Straddling these two distinct worlds as well as spending the majority of my life well over 250 pounds allowed me the great opportunity to make people laugh.
The scene
While the room is laid-back, you can quickly feel the pressure each female puts upon themselves to be instantly successful.This is a different dynamic than working with men.
The breakthrough
When we made our teacher, a professional comic, laugh from her stomach not her chest, we knew we hit it.
Takeaway
For the first time I wasn’t too fat or too ugly or too Arab or too white or too whatever to be funny and live my dream.
More
arab-issh.com

Kristin Clifford, social media consultant
Motivation
Since I was a little kid I would watch Stand-Up Spotlight on VH1 for hours. I really had no idea how to even write a joke, but a friend passed along the information about the class.
Favorite moment
The class where we were doing jokes based off recent events. I was stuck and ended up making a ridiculous joke that was probably offensive. But it was great to have the freedom to do that and get my classmates’ suggestions and work from them until I came up with something that actually worked.
Takeaway
Not only has this helped me in my stand-up career, it’s helped me in my actual life and career as well. I’m a naturally shy person, so this has been an enormous help.
More
kristinclifford.com

Marizol Rodriguez, social worker
Motivation
I had wanted to try stand- up for many years, but knew that I wasn’t the type to just go onstage at an open mic and just “wing it.” I was watching the morning news and I saw Ana Belaval, from WGN, talking about Cameron’s class. The rest is Feminine Comique history.
The scene
I represented the Latina demographic and there was a Palestinian woman; the rest of the ladies were Caucasian. There was a broad age range, between mid-twenties to early fifties.
Takeaway
The first day of class Cameron had us write three jokes and go up in front of the class and present it as if we were doing a set. I remember thinking, “I can’t write a joke that fast,” but we all did it. They may not have been the best jokes, but it’s what gave me the foundation of my joke writing and the confidence to talk in front of a group of people.
Find her
June 25 with the Kates at the Book Cellar.

Alexandra Tsarpalas, office administrator
Best advice
Cameron told me to try performing in front of a mirror or recording my set and playing it back for myself. That absolutely revolutionized the way I was performing. After some run-throughs with a hairbrush in hand and a full-length mirror, I went onstage and absolutely nailed it.
Takeaway
Ladies, if you feel that same intimidation I did going into a male-dominated scene, take this class. You will get support, feedback and a group of friends just by showing up.
Best joke
I don’t do one-liners, but the class helped me work out a lot of my material about being an old lady at heart. It took me a long time to realize that my obsession with Golden Girls and gin and tonics is not expected of my age group. More surprisingly, there are a lot of people who can relate to it. More people like coffee candy than you’d expect.
More
alexandratsarpalas.com

The Feminine Comique begins May 24. For further information, visit femininecomique.com.

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