How the Ladies In Comedy Competition impressed a brand new wave of expertise – The Boston Globe


Jamie Loftus says seeing different girls carry out on the pageant confirmed her that “That is one thing you are able to do, and you’ll be cool and humorous and true to your self whilst you do it.”(Callie Biggerstaff)

The Ladies In Comedy Competition kicks off Thursday with a powerful array of expertise from across the nation. Phoebe Robinson and Nikki Glaser are among the many huge names. “The Onion,” HBO, and the Simply For Laughs Competition are curating showcases. There will probably be comedy of each stripe — improv, storytelling, political satire, musical comedy, a movie program, and a slate of panels and workshops. And a variety of homegrown headliners, too.

In its 10th 12 months, the pageant has now been round lengthy sufficient that performers who have been simply beginning out in a few of its earlier incarnations are coming again as achieved comedians to topline their very own exhibits. Jamie Loftus, co-host of Thursday’s “The Bechdel Solid” podcast, was a producer with ImprovBoston who had been doing stand-up for round a 12 months when she first carried out on the pageant in 2015. Seeing comedians like Maria Bamford, Jackie Kashian, and Aparna Nancherla impressed Loftus to be as unusual and daring as she needed to be in her comedy.

“Simply to be like: Oh, no, that is one thing you are able to do, and you’ll be cool and humorous and true to your self whilst you do it,” she says.

Since Loftus moved to Los Angeles three years in the past, she has written for “Robotic Hen,” created the “Irrational Fears” digital sequence for Comedy Central, and co-created “The Bechdel Solid” with Caitlin Durante as a option to discuss in regards to the portrayal of ladies in movie — even animated movies, like “Toy Story,” which would be the focus of the episode they’ll be recording on the pageant. “The objective is for it to be humorous, as a result of if it’s not humorous — we’re comedians — why do it?” she says. The pair have been “actually tearing it aside intelligently whereas being a dumb-ass. It’s a enjoyable stability.”

Jenny Zigrino, a MassArt graduate, was simply joyful to be a part of a pageant when she first performed it in 2009. She had been doing comedy just for a 12 months and a half and remembers how the panel discussions demystified enterprise ideas for inexperienced comics like herself. “All the pieces appears so wonderful and out of attain and ‘Oh my God, that is such an enormous deal,’” she says. “After which you’ve got a panel of individuals being like, ‘No, it’s actually not that huge of a deal. Listed here are the steps to get to it.’ You then’re like, ‘Oh, I can do that. That is completely possible.’”

Zigrino returns to headline Friday’s “The Boston Pops Current” present on the Brattle Theatre, and to show a category on performing for stand-ups Saturday afternoon. She’s been by means of auditions in Los Angeles and had supporting roles in “Fifty Shades of Black” and “Dangerous Santa 2,” and can train aspiring comics some primary ideas. “Let’s construct a personality,” she says. “You get this script, you’ve got a day to memorize it and study it. So what are you going to do?”

Boston’s Bethany Van Delft has performed the pageant since its inception. She’ll be opening for Robinson on the Wilbur Theatre and internet hosting “HBO Presents Bethany Van Delft’s 38.7%,” exhibits that includes comedians of shade. She’s hoping the showcases will spotlight the truth that there isn’t a monolithic voice amongst individuals of shade. “That’s particularly thrilling to me, to have three nights of exhibits, utterly completely different personalities and factors of view, and cultures,” she says.

Van Delft’s expertise with the pageant hit a excessive level final 12 months when she attended a panel that includes executives from Disney, HBO, NBC, and different shops. “I can’t think about what it’s like for a younger comic developing
. . . to search for on that panel and see all these super-powerful, decision-making, gatekeeping girls,” she says. “That has to impress upon you that you are able to do something.”

Competition cofounder and producer Elyse Schuerman says its mission has all the time been to have a good time under-represented voices with Boston audiences. However to ensure these voices are heard as soon as the pageant is over, organizers have labored on attracting extra trade gamers. They’ve added movie and screenplay competitions and sponsor year-round stand-up workshops with Boston Comedy Chicks. “It’s not simply coming right here to carry out in entrance of a Boston viewers however to get these connections,” she says, “to get that type of understanding of how a variety of the trade works and thinks is crucial. If we hadn’t gotten to that time I don’t know that we’d have continued doing the pageant, as a result of that’s the one means we’re going to see change.”

Jessica Pilot, who books comedians for “The Late Present with Stephen Colbert,” discovered Caitlin Peluffo on a Sunday brunch efficiency eventually 12 months’s pageant and coached her for an October look on the present. She prefers the WICF to some greater festivals, which she thinks could be “canine and pony exhibits” and never in regards to the comedy. “There’s an actual neighborhood in Boston and a neighborhood throughout the Ladies In Comedy Competition that makes it successful,” she says. “This pageant is thrilling. It’s actually an excellent time.”

10th ANNUal Ladies In Comedy Competition

At numerous areas in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, Could 2-5. Tickets and particulars:

Nick A. Zaino III could be reached at

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