If you’ve been reading to the bottom of my blog posts recently, you’ve seen me announce that I would be doing a stand-up set as a guest performer at Fatch’s New Year, Same You show. Yesterday I did it and it cemented my decision that, in addition to my speaking and writing, comedy is something I’m going to pursue. I think I can be good at it and it’s a way to add some fun to my activism. If you want updates about that journey you can join click here to join my new mailing list, and if you really want, you can check out the little starter webpage I made for myself at funnyfatgirl.com (That’s right, I’m reclaiming the “funny fat girl” trope while I’m at it!) Here’s the video, and after that, all the juicy details!) Enjoy!
The show was… kind of magical. I was part of one of the sketches (a re-work of the song “Let’s Get Physical”) which is extra awesome because as I kid I thought the song was about exercise, which I liked, and so it was my go-to song everywhere we went that had a jukebox (which was a lot of places – I grew up in rural America!) I’m sure my mom must have been cringing at me singing and dancing along – but she let me do my thing.
As they sang and danced in fantastic neon 80’s workout gear, I came out in a lab coat with a Public Service Announcement that exercise isn’t an obligation, running a marathon and having a Netflix marathon are morally equivalent activities, and fat people have the right to live without shame, stigma, bullying, or oppression whether we exercise or not.
Here is the fully dramatized version of my less than one minute on stage:
– Hide in the hall behind the backstage area, out of sight until Kathy enters through the door, practicing the line some more- check
– Quietly move across the backstage area and grab the mic from the stand – check
– Do not make distracting sounds into – or drop the – mic, it is hot – check
– Realize that the previous show has twisted the cord around the mic stand – fix that so you don’t go charging onto stage with the mic and accidentally drag the stand with you – check
– Wait at the door until the queue, go through the line one more time- check
– Open the door with purpose (thanks Rodney!) don’t fuck it up – check
– Say the line. Don’t fuck it up – check
– Get off the stage, don’t fuck it up – mostly check? Unlike in rehearsal, the door had swung all the way open (I, perhaps, opened it with a bit too much purpose) and so I had to walk across to get it, which made the mic cord become a slight mess but I got off the stage as fast as I could.
Immediately after that it was time for my set – see video above. I thought it went pretty well, there are some things I would change and tighten up, but I feel pretty good about it. Then came two more guest performers Cara Meyers and DJ Mausner, who were both fantastic, and then Fatch came on and just killed the whole thing!
Because I was part of the skits I got to come to a couple of rehearsals, and watching them work was so inspiring – I was trying not to be all gushy fangirl about it, but I’m not entirely sure I succeeded, sorry y’all. (Also, Joy Nash Joy Frickin Nash! – was in the audience, which I’m kind of glad I didn’t know until Julianne told me afterward because I’m pretty sure it would have made me even more nervous – bless the spotlight that blinded me!)
Let me also say how awesome it was that, since the theater has some fat-friendly seating and some that is not, I personally got to see the members of Fatch make accommodation central to their work even as they were rushing to prepare for the show – including having pre-printed signs asking people to reserve fat-friendly seating for fat people.
Thank you so much to Nikki Bailey for a tremendous amount of help and advice about comedy, Kathy Deitch for plucking me from a little panel discussion to be on her show and all the support since, to the women of Fatch, Rodney their director, his husband James, and Cara and DJ who were all really kind and supportive, to Julianne who did a ton of work to coordinate our friends (and listened to my set, like, a lot of times,) and to everyone who came and laughed! This was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do it again!
If you appreciate my activism (of the funny and/or not funny varieties) you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)
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Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here! (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)
I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .