Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hella Gay Comedy Show Interview Questions

Next month I'm done producing the Hella Gay Comedy Show, here are some interview questions I'm doing for an online paper:

- How would you describe you and your comedy history in 2-3 sentences? How long have you been doing standup/producing comedy shows?
I started performing stand up comedy in 2003 and began producing comedy shows regularly in 2010. The very first 

comedy show I ever produced was held at the now defunct SF Comedy Station, the only audience members who 

showed up were my mother and two co-workers.  That was a very humbling experience.  After that, I watched other 

comedy producers who were successful at putting together shows and thats what I drew from.

- Where in the Bay Area do you live? Have you ever performed in Oakland, and if so, where? 
I was born in San Francisco and have resided in Oakland for the past 35 years.  I did a couple comedy open 

mics in Oakland when I started out, all of which are now gone.

- Tell me about the shows you've produced in Oakland.
The very first show I produced in the East Bay was called, "East Bay Strikes Back" !! The title was a take on 

the Star Wars movies.  At the time, all the focus was on SF comedians when in truth many of those 

same great comics were from the East Bay.

- If you live in Oakland, what is your favorite part about it? If you don't live in Oakland, tell me about fun things you like to do there.
To be honest, Oakland has never been much fun for me.  I did my secondary education here and for whatever

reason my, "social life" , never took off and to this day still hasn't.  I made all my life long friends outside of 

California so really making friends in Oakland is a bizarre thing for me, the people here are just plain weird.

When I finished college, this psychic lady gave me a tarot card reading and said I'd be leaving one group of 

friends and entering into another, any guesses which one she was referring to, thats right, she was talking about 


- How did Hella Gay come about and what has been the best thing about producing it?
In 2011, after a family trip to the East Coast, I decided to put together a string a bunch of gay themed comedy 

shows at the La Estrellita Cafe in Oakland, I didn't strictly want to do showcase stand up comedy so I invited 

many other artists to perform with us and we began as a variety show.  I came up with the name Hella Gay 

because I wanted to create a show that perfectly described the Gay East Bay! The big misconception about 

Hella Gay Comedy is that its sexually identified show.  The word, "Gay" , means happy and the last time I 

checked, happiness precludes into everyones life, which is why the show has always been inclusive to 

everyone, performers and audience members alike.   I am very proud that the Hella Gay Comedy Shows has 

featured all types of performers: gay, straight, bi, dykes, trans, bears, twinks, fag 

hags, stag fags, gay for pay, faux queens, drag kings, drag queens, clowns, opera singers, strippers, 

and other various performers, when I book a comedians I only care about one thing, are they funny? 

The best thing about the producing the Hella Gay Comedy Shows over the years has been all the wonderful 

support we've received from the at large LGBT & Allied communities from the Bay Area!  I cannot express 

gratitude and appreciation for everyones support !!

- If you are comfortable answering, how do you identify (queer, gay, bi, something else)? How does your identity influence your standup/how you book shows? How much, if any, of your act/material has an LGBT influence?
I identify as Gay.  My gay experience has always been apart of my act, for better or worse.  I try to not box 

myself into a specific comedy niche because I am capable of writing & performing many different styles of 

humor, it comes out however I'm feeling at the moment. 

- What piece of advice do you have for LGBT comedians just starting out?
 Always believe in yourself and your talent, both will take you very far.

- Anything you want to add?
It's been an incredible 4 years and we had a terrific run! I would personally like to thank all the comics 

who made my Hella Gay Comedy Shows the Shiz-nit! We took many chances breaking boundaries, I 

often raised eyebrows by putting my comedians into compromising situations and in 200% fashion they 

all always exceeded everyone's expectations. I'm just so happy that I could contribute to the lasting 

legacy of the Bay Area Comedy scene, it was all worth it.

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