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!)
Book Me! I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!
I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .
If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.
16 thoughts on “Funny Fat Girl”
Omg, Ragen! I LOVED the stand-up segment! You are awesome!! Well done you multitalented incredible human?? absolutely you need to keep it up!! Take care Florence
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Thank you so much Florence!
Great set. You’re a natural!
Thank you, I’m so glad you liked it!
Oh, I loved it, Ragen! You’re simply GREAT! I laughed like crazy.
Sweet, that’s the reaction I was hoping for!
Very cool set! I think my favorite jokes were the “running no longer allowed in Rattlesnake Canyon? Why was running ever allowed in Rattlesnake Canyon?” and “How do you miss a 300-lb target from three feet away with two tries?” And it may be cliche to say so, but “One-Woman Toga Party” would be a helluva name for a band.
Also, it’s nice to know I wasn’t the only moppet who thought “Let’s Get Physical” was about exercise. TBH I’m still not 100% convinced it isn’t. Maybe Steve Kipner and Terry Shaddick trolled the music industry with a reverse-rock song that coyly pretends to be about sex while it’s really about taking your date to the gym. Like… it was a stealth sequel to My Ding-A-Ling this whole time.
If you need someone to support your conspiracy theory about Let’s Get Physical, you know who to ask – I’m with you on this!
And thank you, I’m so glad you like the set and I now want to be a member of a band called One-Woman Toga Party!
I mean, listen to the similarities between the chorus of Let’s Get Physical and the vocal part of Gotta Fly Now, better known as the Theme of Rocky. Coincidence? I think not. The songwriters included a deliberate hint that Rocky is the “suggestive movie” the couple went to see. And we all know what Rocky was suggesting: exercise! Now they can’t wait to be “horizontal” on a weight bench or yoga mat. It’s all so clear.
Loved your comedy set. Is there anything you can’t do, Ragen? I am in awe.
You are too kind. There are many things but two that come immediately to mind are playing basketball (I played a lot of sports growing up but have always been awful at basketball) and keeping my damn mouth shut – though that one doesn’t bother me too much! Seriously, thank you!
I’ve been following both your blogs for several years now. I just watched your stand up video with both curiosity and a little trepidation. My sister has decided to try her hand at stand up over the last several months, and has posted several videos of herself at open mic nights, and she’s so bad that it’s painful to watch. So. Awful. So, you know, I didn’t know what to expect with yours. OMG, you KILLED. As much as I enjoy your blogs and your activism, I think you’ve found your calling. I’m glad you’ve decided to pursue it officially! I look forward to your next video! 🙂
Wendy in Indiana
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I’m so glad that you liked the set! I do also want to point out that I’ve had a decade of public speaking experience so I have quite the head start. My fingers are crossed that your sister is on her way to being hilarious!
Have to say (as an old table comic for whom there isn’t enough money on EARTH to pay to do a stand-up set) you’ve got REAL courage to pursue this — toughest gig in the business, standing up there andmaking people laugh…but guess what? It’s THE most rewarding thing on earth. I’ve written material for comics over the years & always felt SO good when one of my lines got a laugh & made folks happy.
So, yeah – add “stand-up comic” (along with just plain stand-up broad) to your resume. Hope that someday I’ll get to see you do a set.
Oh please, please continue with the comedy. You have a real gift for comedy. I always sensed that it you and I am glad that you’re finally letting it out.
I had to wait to watch your set on my home computer, rather than my work laptop (no access to YouTube from a gov’t device) and it was so worth the wait! I loved your set; I especially loved how you captured us tri folk as “naturey” and a little bit insane, cuz we totally are, although I draw the line at swimming with jellyfish and sharks. I will, however, cycle in ridiculous Toronto traffic, run in -20C weather, and swim in bodies of water where I can’t see the bottom. You got a great reception! I’m so glad you’re gonna keep pursuing this cuz clearly, you have a knack for it!!