This is a guest post by Meghan O’Neill. Meghan is a comedian in New York.
I’m a comedian. I mostly work in sketch comedy and I once belonged to a sketch group where I was…get ready for it…THE ONLY GIRL IN THE GROUP!
Unheard of, I know. Shocking even. Those brave men, finally stepping out from the shadow society bullied them into. Banding together to shout from the rooftops, “Penis joke1! Penis joke 2! Fart joke 2a! Penis joke 3!” All I could do was play their girlfriend to the best of my abilities without fucking it up too much.
Actually, this recount is probably the furthest thing from the reality of my former situation. I was in a sketch group with four really funny men. Four really funny, talented men who encouraged me, listened to me and understood the power of a really funny woman onstage.
That being said, I did play a lot of wives, girlfriends and old ladies. A lot of old ladies.
The real injustice of this is that a lot of the time, I was the author of those sketches. I was writing myself as the part of the patient wife or the bitchy girlfriend or the silent, sexy old lady and giving the spotlight to some other male person. On a good day, you’d call that generous. On a really good day, you’d call that stupid! Why would any writer/actor give up their best parts?!
It may have something to do with growing up and the number of sketch comedy female role models fitting on one hand and the thumb still being unused…just a theory.
Eventually, the group broke up. At the end of it all, I still had a lot of material. Some of my best material that I always held back on putting in one of the other shows because it somehow didn’t fit or there wasn’t room. Lots of reasons. Too many reasons.
I was out on my own and knew I had enough material to put together a solo show, and nobody left to hide behind. But there was one big problem. I was terrified of going it alone. So I did what any good writer would do. I made my fear the theme and show title!
It’s called ‘Fraidy Cat: A (sort of) Solo Show and it’s appearing Nov. 2nd as a part of the Ars Nova Ant Fest. You can, and should get tickets to come and see it.
Why should you see it? Because the best things in life are usually a combination of two amazing things. Examples: Griffins, pizza bagels, baby Shiloh and now, ‘Fraidy Cat: A (sort of) Solo Show. ‘Fraidy Cat combines the silliness of a sketch show with the wit of a solo show into what can only be described as a (sort of) solo show. And like the pizza bagel, this new hybrid was born of one woman’s deep, dark, shaming secret. Why is Meghan terrified of being alone onstage? Did 57 men really die that day in Vietnam? Do these deep discounts at liquor den come at too high a price? And does being vegan give Zooey Deschanel super healing powers? ‘Fraidy Cat reveals answers to all this in 30 minutes of sketches, songs and monologues. It’s so much fun you may never be able to enjoy a “regular” solo or sketch show ever again, just like you can now only drink Diet Coke with lime or date centaurs.
There’s singing, there’s dancing, there’s an impression of Zooey Deschanel. It’s fun, it’s weird, it’s written AND directed by women! Get out there and put your money where your mouth is by supporting ladies in comedy. It’s really great, I promise.