Ladies of Comedy!

Posted Posted in acting, comedy, costume, feminism, los angeles, women

I’m so excited to be on this show in a vintage store in Burbank with some AMAZING women, including Laura Kightlinger, Beth Stelling, Emily Heller, April Richardson, and the lovely and talented Brandie Posey!

POSTSCRIPT: This wound up being one of the most memorable shows I have ever done in Los Angeles. For one, each performer was offered a free dress from Pinup Girl’s amazing private label brands of beautifully fitted vintage-inspired pieces.

Secondly, amazing actor James Urbaniak was there with this then-girlfriend, the artist Sara Pocock, and they thought I was pretty funny.

Thirdly, we had a small earthquake during the show, and I thought, “Hey, I might die in the same room as James Urbaniak.

Barbara Holm on Feminism

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, portland, women

Don’t Be a Dick, Anti-Feminists

POSTED BY BARBARA HOLM ON FRI, NOV 15, 2013 AT 4:44 PM

 

A few days ago I was hosting an open mic and a very funny nice comedian said, “I don’t understand feminism. Do you feminists just want to BE men?” It’s not the first time I’ve heard feminism equated to butchness, yelling at men for opening doors for us, and growing out our Rapunzel-esque leg hair. Not that there’s anything wrong with not being traditionally feminine, but feminism is not about pretending to be manly; to me it is embracing being womanly and feeling empowered in all of its glorious Georgia O’Keeffe floweriness. Because girls just wanna have fun. And why does toughness imply masculinity? Rubber is tough and I’m never like oh man my bike tires totally have a Y-chromosome.I resent the idea that being a feminist means we’re pretending to be men. I am a feminist because I love women and I want women to feel good about themselves. And feeling good about myself does not mean being manly because my happiness does rely on possessing a penis. I’d have to buy new jeggings and learn how to urinate standing up. It would totally cut into my bathroom Vine watching time.

A few weeks ago, Vice Magazine founder Gavin McInnes said, “I think a lot of women smash through the ‘glass ceiling’… and they see their friends from their small town with 3 kids going to soccer practice and they think, ‘That looks kind of cool, actually.” But being a feminist doesn’t mean that we aren’t allowed to bear soccer player children. There are no overlords that will take athletically inclined offspring from us in the night. But that does sound like a cool plot to a young adult novel with a strong female lead!

Hilarious, clever, beautiful pioneer comedian Wendy Liebman said that her definition of feminism is: “Women helping other women.” And that’s really stuck with me. To me feminists are women who want women to feel empowered. We’re not flannel wearing, angry man haters, unless we want to be. As the amazing and insightful comedian Virginia Jones puts it, “Feminism means we can do whatever the fuck we want and we don’t have to do anything we don’t want to.”

I’m tough and I cry and laugh and am vulnerable and I wear dresses and whilst doing all those things I’m still a feminist. If feminism is the concept that women should feel good about themselves, how could that possibly be a negative thing? Maybe in bizarro world, which is a construct of the DC universe, and regardless of our stance on gender politics, we’re Marvel kids, amiright? Don’t be a dick. Tune in next week to shave my legs for me.

OPB with All Jane No Dick!

Posted Posted in comedy, feminism, portland, women

I was delighted to appear on Think Out Loud to promote All Jane No Dick comedy festival.  Here’s the whole article and clip!  The article links back on this blog, so the world will become a hall of mirrors, endlessly referencing itself.

“All Jane” Festival Highlights Women In Comedy

OPB | Oct. 17, 2013 12:30 p.m.

Credit: Carla de Souza Campos (Creative Commons)
Credit: Carla de Souza Campos (Creative Commons)

This weekend, Portland hosts the second annual All Jane No Dick Comedy Festival. The showcase was created to highlight the work of women comics in an industry that is still dominated by men. By some estimates 80 percent of comedy festival performers are men, and the ratio is similarly unbalanced in the writers’ rooms for TV sitcoms and late-night comedy shows.

Stacey Hallal, the creator of All Jane No Dick, says she often sees stand-up shows with eight men and one woman because there’s a general assumption in the comedy industry that “you can’t put two women in one show.”

Cameron Esposito, an L.A. comedian who will be at All Jane No Dick this year, performed at the fest last year as well. She says the festival doesn’t set up a dynamic of “men versus women.”

“I think what’s great about this festival is it’s like ‘Here’s all these women doing it.'”

GUESTS:

Nobody Hates Themselves Like Asian Women!

Posted Posted in comedy, fashion, feminism, travel

Stand and Be Judged!

I was recently in Asia, and it seems that there is no segment of the world population that is more adorable and more self-hating than Japanese girls.  Everyone knows about double eyelid glue and tape, but  I became very attached to a product that looked like a potato peeler that was supposed to be rolled on either side of one’s nose to create a more Western nose.  This is, of course, impossible.  The nose is not made of silly putty and can’t be molded from the outside.  Most importantly, they all want to weigh under 100 pounds, regardless of height or build.

I bought a magazine in Narita airport so that I could pretend I had been to Japan, and found this article with  a hundred pictures of girls with the reasons all of their bodies suck.  One girl is thin, but her chest is *too* thin!  One girl accidentally formed a bicep muscle!  One girl’s body flaw is that her tits are too big.  HER TITS.  ARE TOO.  BIG.  Additionally, bitchy little insets from failed pop stars talk smack about these cartoon girls.
This is why anorexia is still Japan’s most popular hobby!    A popular surgery involves cutting a ligament so that one’s calf muscles atrophy and shrink away, leaving a stick-thin leg.  Pretty!  This makes me feel slightly better about the state that we’re in.  At least I’m allowed to work out and have muscles, instead of just starving myself puny.  I’m also glad to be back in the states because I don’t usually have this conversation at home:

Cassie: I saw your photo on Facebook!

Me: Oh, really?

Cassie: Yes, you looked very thin (indicating on face and neck where I used to be thin).  Were you thinner when you were younger?

Me: No, actually I came out this size.  I looked down and saw my mother’s bloody feet.  I exploded her.  Please pass the fried rice.

Ladies’ Rock Camp and the Birth Of Furious Yellow

Posted Posted in artsy fartsy, comedy, feminism, Gothic, music, portland, women

For many years, I have been playing mediocre rhythm guitar. I used to play with my band, Sadly Deluded, and I would tell jokes and play songs until someone suggested that I could just tell jokes and I wouldn’t have to haul a guitar around. I have always wanted to be a better guitar player, so I decided to force myself to practice guitar more by signing up for ladies’ rock camp. It didn’t actually work that way, and so I showed up with baby-soft fingers to play on for eight hours a day, which then hurt like bejeezus all weekend. My fault.

My former band’s logo, designed by the fantastic Francisco Garcia

Ladies’ Rock Camp is very fast paced- you show up, eat lunch, form a band, take a class for your instrument, and start writing a song.

When asked what kind of band I wanted, I couldn’t think of the term for the music I like so I just said “Mope Rock”. I still can’t think of a better word for the music I like.
Something strange about Rock Camp is the almost unremitting positivity and support of the other campers and staff. I think now that I have been selling myself short as a mediocre guitar player. I’m at least an average guitar player.

It was kind of uncomfortable, since I am used to stand-up, in which friendships are based on tearing each other down in public or private.


I had a moment I think might have been life-changing- we had been rehearsing our song over and over, and for a minute I was just playing it on my own, and I thought, “This doesn’t sound as good as it does with the rest of my band,” and that’s the first time I’ve ever thought anything of the sort.


We named ourselves Furious Yellow, and our lead bass player made us matching 1″ buttons.
We wrote a song about breaking up, and sketched out our first EP:

Title: I Am Furious Yellow

Songlist:

Confirm or Deny
The Blood Of These Whores Is Killing Me
Doublewide Coffin (a coffin built for two)
Let Go Of The Cremains
My Hands Are Made Of Meat
I Still Have Your Knee Socks From Thanksgiving

Fun Facts About Furious Yellow:

Three members from Cali, one from Idaho, and one Portlander
We’re so heavy, we need two bass players
Our lead bassist has been to Rock Camp four times. She features in an article from the London Guardian on ladies’ rock camp in 2006!

Two blue-eyed, two green-eyed, one brown-eyed lady.

Five band members, and THREE tap dancers! What are the odds?

I was given a rainbow guitar strap, which I thought was appropriate because my Telecaster is at least bi-curious.
After the show at Satyricon, Furious Yellow was very tired and stinky and our fingers hurt, so we drank alcohol until we felt better.


If you like music and are a lady, I really recommend this camp. It is approximately the most fun thing ever.