I've been trying to figure out how to wed my stand-up comedy and storytelling with the mission of The Breast Life. Why should these two passions stay separate? But talking about boobs and bras on stage---although it does have its humorous side--doesn't do it for me. But then I remembered my original inspiration for writing about breasts: personal boob stories.
That's right. Boob stories. Back in my pre-book days (2006), I called them "mammoirs." I thought it was funny to share my thoughts in my creative writing class when everyone else was working on a memoir. But even then, all my classmates chimed in with boob stories of their own, some of I included in my first book.
There's no shortage of boob stories from celebrities either. Nora Ephron, for example, claimed that her breasts launched her career. Tina Fey, Margaret Cho, Janene Garafalo, and (of course) Dolly Parton all use boobs as material. Other comedians---notably Tig Nataro--bare it all in their performances.
Although I don't talk about boobs at the mic, I watch and perform with loads of ladies who have boob stories. We support one another at shows and on several Facebook groups. And I've even been lucky enough to appear in a few all-female comedy shows. It turns out that there's a fantastic network of creative women in Los Angeles.
One of the disappointing aspects of doing stand-up comedy is a lack of female representation. Take a look at any comedy line-up, and it's 70% to 90% men. And it's not like women aren't as funny as guys. That's just not the case. Comedic ideas don't discriminate by sex or sexual orientation. But you wouldn't know that from the marquee at most clubs. What's sad is that 50% of the audience is left out. It's rather dull to sit through multiple sets of comics talking about their dicks when you don't have one. Shouldn't comedy be relatable to women, too?
Things are changing, though. Both male and female producers are looking to diversify their line-ups. I've played in small and big clubs, some known and unknown. They were all excited to give me stage time, even at my age. Storytelling shows seem more representative. But it's still been an incredible learning experience for me. I've met entertainers of all backgrounds and ages, and enjoy the laughter (or groans) that come with attending several mics a week.
So I've decided to offer up my blog to some of these talented women. I've recruited comics, podcasters, actresses, and others, anyone with a boob story to share. You'll get to read about their experiences with boobs; from boob envy, wardrobe malfunctions, thoughts on nipple hair, awkward moments at a spray tanning salon, to breast implant funerals, and taking up burlesque in your 50's. If you like their boob stories, you can follow them on Twitter or Instagram, or check out their podcasts and YouTube channels. I'll feature one story every Saturday (follow #boobstorysaturday).
My goal is to make this a win-win for everyone: story contributors and readers. And it gives me another chance to support my fellow funny women with a platform on which to share their comic genius.
Look for Boob Stories on the blog, this weekend. And let me know if you enjoy them as much as I do!
All images copyright The Breast Life