I made this list after some people recently asserted that the explanation for the low ratio of women on comedy line-ups such as SXSW or Comedy Central’s Half Hour season was that there are simply less women doing comedy. That the ratio you see on those high profile line-ups is reflective of the ratio of women doing comedy. I call bullshit.
When this debate rises (again and again, it seems), many blogs will release their obligatory list of “27 Funny Women You Should Know About Or ELSE!” These lists are usually stocked with the same names we all know and love - and those ladies definitely deserve to be there - but these (often times extremely lazily-researched lists) tend to perpetuate the myth that there only a few of us lone lady comic she-wolves roaming the wild.
I think the conversation needs to shift towards this: there are TONS of ladies doing comedy now. We have come a long way, and more and more women are seeing enough women on their TV’s to encourage the dream, thus allowing us to see ourselves making a living doing this. (But seriously, if I hear one more reference to Bridesmaids as the reason everything is “even” now, I will knife someone.) But, it’s obvious: the sleepy, lazy, risk-averse industry hasn’t caught up with this shift. They think there are still only 2 women worthy to every 13 men. And that may have been an accurate ratio 10, 20 years ago. But not anymore. It’s time the bookers of the lowly bar shows all the way up to the festivals and the networks to realize that there are lots of us - and I’m not talking “Hey there’s a lot of lady open mic’ers you should watch grow over the next decade!” (Even though they ARE those, and yes, you should start watching talent EARLY! Don’t wait for Variety to tell you which already-successful Comics you should be Watching!), there are LOTS of women who have been doing this for almost a decade or more who are ready. Who are seasoned. Talented. Accomplished. Award-winning. Innovative. Awesome.
This list has over 200 names on it as of now. I wanted a list that included every female comedian I could think of - from all levels and all walks of life. Even the ones I don’t find particularly funny. Even the ones who have been mean to me. All of them. Because there is power in numbers and now, looking at this list, you simply cannot make the claim that there are only two of us ready or available for whatever thing you’re booking.
"There’s a common sense that the Internet is just a collection of sad adolescent trolls hiding in their parents’ basements throwing digital feces through the proverbial bars, but the truth is much worse. Everyone is throwing the digital feces. The trolls just enjoy it a little more." — gabedelahaye
I’m pretty proud of this feature I wrote for Market Watch magazine.
I profiled six female master blenders and distillers, including Rachel Barrie of Morrison Bowmore Distillers, Joy Spence of Appleton Estate and Maria Teresa Lara López of Casa Herradura, from around the world for Market Watch's January-February 2014 issue. Download a PDF of the story here (right click “save link as”).
***THIS READING HAS BEEN CANCELED AND RESCHEDULED FOR MARCH 25TH***
Lizz Winstead (author of “Lizz Free or Die: Essays,” co-creator of “The Daily Show”)
Clifford Thompson (novelist, author of “Love for Sale and Other Essays”)
Morgan Parker (poet, author of “Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night”)
Melynda Fuller (essayist, freelancer for Bust and Bookslut.com)
Jeb Gleason-Allured (fiction writer, contributor to “Have a NYC 2” and “All Hands On: A THE2NDHAND Reader”)
Amber Drea (that’s me!)
Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; reading starts at 7:30 p.m.
— Amiri Baraka (aka LeRoi Jones), “Gatsby’s Theory of Aesthetics” #RIP
— Harold Bloom, The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
Laurie Anderson, on her relationship with Lou Reed
(courtesy of Rollingstone.com)