An Audience with The Queen

We last chatted with the comedy legend Sommore during her 2011 performance in Austin. As she prepares to return to the Capitol City – we had the privilege of speaking with her again! Our interview with this Queen of Comedy is just a glimpse of the personality and presence the audience will experience this Friday as she takes center stage at the Millennium East End Arena.

SC: Imagine our readers have  been living under a rock and didn’t know who Sommore is. What  would you tell them to expect from your upcoming show?

S: When you go to a Sommore show you can expect to get a show. A show as in a performance, every element is planned out from my set pieces to the lights to my hair to my clothes, it’s all to give the audience as much as possible, it’s all thought out, and when I put on a show I put on a show.

SC: You’ve got some great comics on the roster, like Turae Gordon and Bryson Brown. Do you pick your opening acts?

S: Absolutely. I hand pick everyone who performs with me; it’s so important to me to show a variety of comics. There are so many styles of comedy, and each of us has a completely different style and voice. I’m excited to bring that to people.

“When I put on a show I put on a show.”

SC: Where do you find the inspiration for your jokes?

S: There’s inspiration in everything, I just keep my eyes open to it. I like weird things, I love to see odd people. If you got a missing tooth in the front and you’re walking around like that and don’t care, I want to know why! [Laughs.]

SC: You’ve accomplished so much – if you had to pinpoint it, what would you say has been your proudest moment?  

S: I think for me one of my proudest moments was several moments, because I can say that I have successfully produced 3 comedy specials. My first self-produced special The Queen Stands Alone came out in 2008, then Chandelier Status in 2013, and The Reign Continues in 2015.

I have no intentions of slowing down or stopping, and it’s a good feeling to know that I have gained creative control. So many funny people get into this business and they don’t realize it’s a business, you have to gain control of how you’re presented, [and] what gets released.

“Producing original work that I’m proud of is really a point of pride for me.”

If I could tell these new comics anything, it would be to be original of course, originality is something that is getting harder to find. I respect their hustle, but a lot of these newer comics are doing things I’ve seen before, and then on top of that, they don’t understand the business side. They are making it harder on themselves. Producing original work that I’m proud of is really a point of pride for me, and I have some major projects coming out this year.

SC: How do you feel about crowds here, and in Texas?

S: I love performing in the midwest and Texas, particularly Austin. Crowds in Austin, there’s something about them. They’re diverse in a lot of ways, you see all different people from all walks of life. For example, I always feel like I see so  many interracial couples in Austin.

I think that can be a good thing, it means those people are open to it, open to really spending time with someone with different experiences than them.

SC: As an up-and-coming comic myself, I want to emphasize what an honor it is to interview you. I’ve been a fan for a long time. What advice would you give to up and coming comics?

S: You’re a comic too? That’s so exciting, I love meeting new female comics! How long have you been doing it? Do you still get nervous?

SC: Oh wow now we’re asking me questions [laughs]. It’s been about 4 years. I get excited, not necessarily nervous, except for at a contest because you have so little time and I’m always kicking myself wondering If I chose exactly the right jokes.

S: Ohh I hated contests, and that feeling never goes away. You can’t second guess yourself; you have to go up there and be confident in your story, have faith in your ability and in your voice. That’s one of the biggest things I can say: find your voice, focus on being original, and on what makes you different. Find your funny and then just keep working it on as many stages as possible

SC: What motivates you to keep going?

S: I’m motivated by comedy – I’m constantly evolving, and there’s no rules to this, it’s always changing and that motivates me.

SC: How do you feel comedy has changed in recent years? Is the change a good thing or a bad thing?

S: Funny is everywhere, everywhere you look; the teachers are funny, your boss is funny, the cashier is funny, hey, even your preacher – everyone has something funny to say. With the internet, the way people find and consume funny things has changed. I worry that audiences are getting addicted to silly over funny, [because] there is a difference. Now I’m not going to say that the internet is bad or anything like that but a lot of what’s on there…

SC: On Instagram, those quick 15 second videos, it’s like it’s built for a very short attention span.

S: Exactly! It’s quick and it’s silly but that’s not me, I want my audience to laugh with me, I want them to feel me and to understand where I’m coming from.

The Queen descends on Austin on Friday, May 11 at the Millennium East Arena. Doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm. Tickets are available online and will be available at the door starting at 1pm on Friday while supplies last. 

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