Laugh It Off- in the Chico News-Tribune

Laugh It Off:
The Trial-and-Error Comedy of Virginia Jones

By Robin Bacior

The life of a comedian can be glamorous, but often it’s far from that.

Lately, comedians have started to shed some mainstream light on the latter reality, such as Mike Birbiglia in his film Don’t Think Twice or Pete Holmes and his new HBO series, Crashing, both centering around how endlessly challenging it can be to tell jokes for a living.

“I had a conversation with a musician friend a couple years ago,” said comedian Virginia Jones. “He said, ‘You know, when you’re playing music at a bar, people are at least gonna clap in between songs. When you’re doing comedy at a bar, you not only need a response, but a positive response a couple times a minute.”

Jones, originally from Texas, started comedy in Portland in 2006.

“It’s a bucket-list thing,” Jones said. “For a year I wrote down anything that I’ve ever said that I thought was funny, and then tried to edit that down.”

She’s in L.A now, where she can sharpen her skills in one of the industry’s hubs, with a more competitive community.

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<h4 id=”h-on-la-la-land”>On La La Land</h4>
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“In La La Land: [Emma Stone’s character] puts everything into one show and nobody shows up and it breaks her heart,” Jones said. “If you do that 600 times, that’s what doing stand-up in L.A. feels like.”

Jones delivers jokes with slow, deadpan ease, often with a confessional tone. She has toured the West Coast several times, including performances at Portland’s Bridgetown and All Jane comedy festival
s, and the San Francisco Comedy Competition (in which she was a semi-finalist in 2013).

“Stand-up is where my heart is,” Jones says. “If I get national recognition, if I ever get to headline clubs, no matter what happens I know that I’ve really worked on my craft, and that’s a really good feeling.”

After she performs at the Chico Comedy Festival (doing sets at Duffy’s Tavern, LaRocca Tasting Room and the Naked Lounge on April 8, and at Sierra Nevada Big Room on April 9), Jones will return to L.A., where she’ll continue her pursuit. It’s not always easy, but at the very least, it’s comical.

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<h4 id=”h-real-world”>Real World</h4>
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“Pete Holmes lives in my neighborhood,” Jones said. “On a Saturday night, I was doing a show—I have a nightclub act where I’m a goth girl who sings songs. Anyway, I’m going to the show and I’ve got a big pink wig on, and he one white Marilyn Manson contact in, and I’m driving down the street and I kind of notice this guy who’s wearing a hoodie that’s pulled all the way around his face. He’s got it all closed up like a little kid. I realize it’s Pete Holmes and he’s trying to go incognito, and I stare at him and he’s staring at me and I thought, ‘No, I’m not the weirdo; Pete, you are the weirdo. Nobody does that with their hoodie.’ That’s L.A. life.”

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