April 15, 2015

Love Funny Conversations? Check Out This New Web Series!

Web Series 'Conversations with Courtney' Has Its Host Talking With Famous Comedians On The Comedy Circuit

[Originally from Washington, D.C., Courtney Black is a sexy smarty with 2 Bachelor of Science degrees. But making people laugh is what this lady really has down to a science. The comedian shares her witty views on life, love, and adapting to the carefree ways of living in
LA.www.courtneyblackcomedy.com]

About the Web Series:

The perfectly imperfect Los Angeles based comedian Courtney Black has a new web series titled “Conversations with Courtney” releasing every Wednesday. Living in Los Angeles and being a fixture on the comedy circuit enables Courtney to run into some interesting & more-famous-than-herself individuals. The series is funny, informative, and honest. Let’s see who Courtney has a conversation with next!

Check Out Some of these 'Conversations with Courtney'

Hannaibal Buress

Tiffany Haddish

April 6, 2015

It's Here! The WICF 2015 Trailer featuring Jane Lynch, Lily Tomlin and Cristela Alonzo

The WICF 2015 trailer, featuring headliners - Jane Lynch, Lily Tomlin, Cristela Alonzo, Aparna Nancherla, Kevin Allison, Sue Costello and Mary Mack!

Watch it! Share it! See it!  WICF 2015 Trailer













A BIG Thank you to the fabulous creative team behind our new trailer!

Directed and Edited 
Brad Braufman

Music
'WICF Jingle' written and performed by Phoebe Nir & Bonnie Gleicher
"Night on Bald Mountain" by Modest Mussorgsky, performed by Skidmore College Orchestra

Art
"Deniers" image -- derived from photo "242" by Jessica Smalley
"Drama Queens" image -- derived from photo "graphite charge" by Caitlin Worthington

March 23, 2015

IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE FUNNY AND HAVE KIDS?

Women In Comedy Getting Preggers

By Michelle Slonim, WICF Guest Blog Contributor

[Michelle Slonim is a NYC based comic and member of the Friars Club www.michelleslonim.net]


There are less than 20 female comedians that perform regularly in 'A' room comedy clubs in New York City. That’s not a lot, but considering the small amount of female comedians there are in general, that is a pretty good percentage. I felt like, wait a minute, maybe if I get really good at this, I could have a shot at becoming a headliner. When I was acting, white females were a dime a dozen. Now with the proper skills, as a standup comedian I could be a hot commodity.

But, there is a reason that there aren’t that many female comedians. One of the issues is having children and a family. Many of the female comedians who are headliners don’t have kids. I could see myself performing while pregnant, I already have my opening line. I look at a guy in the audience and say “no, it’s not yours”. Is getting pregnant worth one joke? Practically speaking, I could still perform and get a part-time nanny (grandma) to babysit in the evenings. But I wouldn’t be raising my kids hands on.

Do I even want kids? If I keep working as hard as I have been then to “throw” it all away to raise children seems wasteful. I could just not have kids. That seems like a very viable option, but then everyone who has kids loves it more than anything.
These are complicated life questions. Standup comedy can be quite serious. If my one day potential future kids read this, I hope they're not pissed.

March 6, 2015

Let Me Tell You About The Tiny House Movement

The End of Materialism as 'We' Know It

By Libby Bakalar, WICF Guest Blog Contributor


[Libby is a lawyer-mommy-hobby-blogger based in Juneau, Alaska. When she's not working or blogging, she enjoys spending time with her two children and her husband, writer Geoff Kirsch. Follow her blog at onehotmessalaska.blogspot.com.]

So, I want to tell you about this new movement and this thing we're doing? It’s called "The Tiny House Movement." Have you heard of it? It’s where you get rid of all your shit and replace it with self-righteousness and a few well-appointed, high-end amenities like a composting stainless steel toilet and a designer loft bed made from hemp for your tiny, fit body to sleep on. You know, the body that runs exclusively on Bikram yoga and tiny, hand-thrown ceramic mugs of unpasteurized unicorn milk?

See, and I don't know if you were aware of this, but self-righteousness actually has no adverse environmental impact and takes up no room at all! It's one of the most sustainable lifestyles you can have. That’s one of the many very awesome things about The Tiny House Movement. Also, it's called a "movement," so you know it's progressive and something you want to get into before everyone else does and makes it lame. That's the very definition of a movement.

Yeah, I know I join a movement every single morning with my composting toilet, but this is a different kind of movement. A really special movement. A movement that somehow managed to keep all the insufferable parts of being a hippie and ditch all the fun parts like smoking shit tons of weed, dropping acid, listening to good music, boning in the back of a Winnebago, and being poor.

The other cool thing about The Tiny House Movement is how proud and superior I feel about living in a 500 square foot sustainable cedar-bark yurt with solar panels and a Peruvian guinea pig farm. Because, like, superiority and pride take up even less room than self-righteousness and are also very sustainable! See, like, the Peruvian guinea pigs run around in these little Carbonite wheels? And they harness the energy that fuels our two LED light bulbs? We feed them chard that we grow in our garden and then we use their dung to fertilize our marigold border.

I used to be JUST like you. Sad, bedraggled, unenlightened, tired-looking, and burdened by possessions. Like 89 bath towels from Bed, Bath, N’ Beyond; a Cuisinart ice cream maker you use once a year; sixteen candle sticks your great-grandma gave you; and a PlaySkool jumperoo for my baby. Now my baby is attached to my body at all times in a 500-thread-count ultra-soft organic cotton wrap, so we don’t need any of those unsustainable swings and bouncers and other crap The Establishment wants you to buy for your baby and that will never fit in our Tiny House.

Goodbye to all that!
Photo by Country Living

We left all that behind long ago when we joined The Tiny House Movement. Now we have one cast iron pan; one hammered-copper skillet; a single fork, spoon, and knife; all of the amenities I mentioned above; plus the guinea pigs; the marigolds; and oh wait--I almost forgt--this chair from Pier One Imports that you see in the picture below. Haha. We weren't ready to give that up! Also, a brand-new kayak and some other stuff from REI that we store in a rack on the side of our Tiny House. Oh, and please excuse the state of our tiny front entryway: we've ordered a Tibetan prayer flag from Amazon Prime and it hasn't arrived yet. Something about not shipping to a P.O. Box.

Just one more tiny second. Here's the best part: it only cost us twice as much to get rid of all our shit as it did to accumulate it in the first place! Isn't that cool?

Bottom line, I feel really sorry for you that you're still living in the material world. So give me a call, or just feel free to stop by anytime with a nice, robust pinot noir if you want to chat about how you too can join this growing movement.

February 13, 2015

Four Lessons I Gained from My First Improv Class

Improv helped me improve my social life and learn to play

By Jennifer Purdie, WICF Guest Blog Contributor

Jennifer Purdie
[Jennifer is a Southern California-based freelance writer for publications such as The Los Angeles Times, CNN, and Phoenix Magazine. She recently finished her first novel titled The New Year’s Eve Project.]

I decided to sign up for an improv comedy class with Second City, one of the most famous comedy companies in the world. I followed the adage “Go big or go home,” and since going home meant spending another hour in LA traffic, I went big. Also, I texted too many friends I signed up for an improv class to back out now. Incidentally, every time I typed the word “improv,” my phone autocorrected to “improve.” Oh, the irony.

Despite its large name in the comedy industry, Second City’s building looked quite modest set against the over-the-top billboards and structures along Hollywood Boulevard. I headed up the stairs to check in with a stunning blonde with clear blue eyes sitting behind the welcome table.

“You work here?” I asked, even though the answer was obvious.

“Yes, I’m one of the performers.”

I felt jealous—she was funny and that good-looking? The universe can be so unfair.

“Your first improv class is down the hall. We have snacks available and some brochures on our classes if you’d like,” she said.

I pushed my childish backpack over my shoulder and sweated my way to the classroom, while first drowning my insecurities in free bottled water and packaged pastries.

The teacher, a short female bespectacled in huge red-framed glasses with an abundance of personality, fit what I imagined the standard improv performer. She called herself “Tall Sarah,” no doubt a joust at her small stature, and made us makeup nicknames for ourselves to create a classroom persona. As the class progressed, my fears subsided and I felt more at ease speaking in front of others.

Biggest statement: I’d return for more.

These four applicable lessons I took with me outside the classroom and into my “real life”:

1. Take time to play. We pretended we were sailors and dancers and tried to confuse others with silly word association games—things I haven’t engaged in since my age turned into double digits. I now host similar games with friends who invite more friends. Social life = improved.

2. Say yes. The number one rule in improv is to never deny anything. Whatever someone tells you, you must go with it. Words like “no” and “but” hurt an improv scene because it breaks it and you can’t go anywhere from there. When I’m invited to an event now, I say yes. It’s easier to stay at home, but it’s not always best to do what’s easy. Night life = improved.

3. Raise your hand. I loathe being first at anything. Let someone else mess up and then I can learn from their mistakes and do better. This is why I never sit in the front row in anything. Ever. Now, when someone asks for a volunteer, I raise my hand first. Willingness to embarrass myself = improved.

4. Public speaking won’t kill me. I recently did a motivational speech to a group of women and realized people are interested in what I have to say and want me to do well. It was a refreshing revelation. Creating self-exposure = improved.

Taking risks is the best way to get off the hamster wheel of life.

February 10, 2015

JANE LYNCH, LILY TOMLIN AND CRISTELA TO HEADLINE WICF 2015 AT THE WILBUR THEATER


TICKETS ARE ON SALE FOR WICF 2015 WILBUR THEATER HEADLINERS

Jane Lynch, Lily Tomlin and Cristela
WICF is thrilled to announce our first three headliners for our 2015 festival, April 22nd-26th. All three are co-presented by our venue partner, the Wilbur Theater. Jane Lynch (Glee) will perform the Boston premiere of her new comedy show and will also be honored by the Women in Comedy Festival with our second annual WICF Excellence award for her numerous contributions to comedy and to the advancement of women in comedy through her work on stage and screen.

January 20, 2015

What Has Cheese Ever Done For Me?

Besides bringing me unbridled joy and something to wrap my mouth around on a Friday night

By Brittany Meyer, WICF Guest Blog Contributor

Brittany Meyer
[Brittany Meyer is an FSU graduate, Chicago resident, arm wrestler and comic. Just so we're clear, everything she knows, Yeezy taught her. Follow Brittany on https://twitter.com/BallroomBritz and https://www.facebook.com/StoneColdJane]

I'm not gunna sugar coat this because cheese is not best served that way; I love cheese. If you're a reasonable human, you love cheese. If you're a dog, you love cheese. If you're a mouse, you're stereotyped to love cheese. If you're lactose intolerant, your life is sad and I bet you love cheese anyway.

Cheese is the partner you've always wanted but never thought existed; you put in a little time remembering it at the grocery store and you can have it damn near any time you want. Cheese is never busy doing anything except aging and subsequently becoming more delicious. Cheese is dynamic--it can be sweet, savory, spicy, tangy, salty, creamy and revitalizing, it's the Leonardo DiCaprio AND Daniel Day Lewis of food. It always has time to be there for you (in the cheese drawer) and is readily available at most places. Cheese is unlike any friend you've ever had.

Cheese was always a big deal to me at various house warming parties, work socials, and holiday cocktail parties. Did you ever go to a party and know no one? I bet there's someone you do know....Mr. Bellavitano. Sometimes he's sweet, sometimes he's draped in balsamic, which ever way you meet him, he's got a good story for you and you're going to have a good time. And what's that? He's got friends on that cheese plate he wants to introduce you to? Sounds to me like you just got in with the IN crowd.

For as long as I can remember, cheese has been important to me. My mom is a terrible cook and I was often forced me to scrounge up my own dinner; this usually lead to a buttery, gooey, crisp, grilled cheese sandwich fried with TLC and a sense of accomplishment. I never lost that "baby weight" because of these bad boys but it was still better than my mother's grilled cheese sandwiches since she never fried them, she always toasted the bread then melted the cheese between them in the microwave, like it was f*cking amateur hour or something.

Since moving to Chicago and becoming an “adult," I realized quickly there are few joys in life and you really have to savor the small things. You know what brings me joy? Cheese sales and cheese samples. Go to the largest Whole Foods near you and just take that shit in. $3.99 double cream brie at Trader Joe's? How can it be THAT good and THAT cheap? Beats me, but it does pair nicely with a $1.99 baguette and three-buck chuck.

Now, I feel like I'm painting a pretty wide-eyed portrait of cheese…but this isn't to say we didn't have problems; like all healthy relationships, we had our ups and downs. When I first moved after college, I went on so many terrible job interviews and was so poor there were many times I thought I was going to have to move back home because I was completely under-qualified for everything I applied to and my temp job barely paid me enough to cover rent. Once, I came back from a really horrible job interview and the only thing that made me stop crying was remembering goat cheese existed—not that I even had that cheese in my fridge, just that it's a thing. Suddenly, things didn't seem that bad. If goat cheese with cranberry preserves existed, I wanted to exist too. I wiped my tears and got back into the job hunt. I had all the support I needed.

Through our hard times and all the great times, I am grateful for all the things cheese has done for me; and while doctors may disagree, cheese has been the healthiest relationship I've had. If nothing else, I'm glad I have found something that brings me so much joy, something that makes life just a little more savory and the world a little better. Cheese, if you're reading this, I hope you know how much I care about you and I'm planning something special for us on Valentine's Day.