By Constance Strickland
We know that when there is cultural and racial equality in theatre, it makes room for artists of all walks of life to contribute to the history of theatre. It is vital that we make room, make way for women from all backgrounds to have a chance to be included in the future of theatre. With deep pleasure and enthusiasm I introduce comedian Jil Chrissie! Jil’s one-woman show at #HFF19, COMEDY HOE, is a one of kind public announcement, an unwavering in-depth look at womanhood, using fictional storytelling, comedic spoken word and stand-up comedy. Without fear she addresses the hyper-sexulization and adversity women face in America on a daily basis.
Constance: How long have you’ve been sitting with this work? What led you to Fringe?
Jil: I’ve been working on Comedy Hoe for about 2 years on and off. The script includes fictional storytelling, spoken word and standup comedy. All art forms I’ve performed separately at different times of my life. I was attracted to The Hollywood Fringe festival because as a comic, I’ve produced several shows for my friends around Los Angeles. Producing with the Fringe festival this year felt like a natural progression.
Constance: The work is now out there. How does that feel?
Jil: I performed Comedy Hoe for the first time October 2018. Since then I’ve taken it to New York and back to LA in January of this year, and now the Hollywood Fringe Festival. It feels unfamiliar to be able to perform my original work so unapologetically. It’s awesome to have put together an hour I can showcase anywhere, anytime and in any era.
Constance: What has been the biggest surprise doing your show?
Jil: Having to consistently level up in our marketing has been challenging but rewarding. My team and I are having the most fun thinking of creative ways to promote the show. We have several adds, postcards, stickers, clothing and I even made a playlist! Although we’ve been selling tickets, I am never not surprised that people in LA like paying for shows 15 mins before it starts.
Constance: What’s been your biggest challenge in terms of the Fringe?
Jil: I’ve had to learn how to wear several hats in a small amount of time. Developing Comedy Hoe‘s brand has created budget issues and it’s been nearly impossible to find press for a show with the word “Hoe” in the title. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
Constance: What do you hope audience members take away from your show?
Jil: I hope when people see my show, they leave thinking it was delightfully unexpected. The show is called Comedy Hoe, sure, but I touch on subjects like substance abuse, mental illness, stereotypes and cultural vulgarity. Although most of the show is rooted in punchlines, I want to make sure my audience leaves with something to think about.