There’s something very powerful about being able to honestly embrace who you are, who you’ve been and where you see yourself going. Longevity in many situations is dependent on being able to see the role you play in your own big picture and making the necessary “course adjustments”.
Comedienne Sommore is obviously planning to be in the game for the long haul. “When I first came into the game, I set the stage for a specific type of comedy that wasn’t being done — especially not by women — but it’s done now…”
When she first hit the comedy scene 12 years ago, the Algebra teacher turned stand-up comic took the stage with a bang. She was funny, pretty, sexy, a little raunchy – and a woman; not necessarily your typical combination for a comedian but she was so honest — audiences could not seem to get enough of her.
“We are judged differently as women — certain jokes or topics when I do them, the reaction is different just because I’m a woman”
Although she said that there is no real theme to her show this week in Austin at Capital City Comedy club, she led me to believe that she was definitely planning to take her talent in a new direction. “I have to challenge myself to talk about other things — change topics and speak about things other than sex and relationships…look at the issues that affect my audience and things that are important to me in my life”, she said.
A Trenton, New Jersey native, Sommore (whose real name is Lori Ann) decided to switch careers one day and picked up a book on how to become a comedian. Armed with knowledge and a go getter attitude, she traded in one career explaining xy-factors to pre-teens for one making grown folks laugh and sometimes blush at her R-rated perspective on life.
Sommore says that teaching is actually easier since the students don’t necessarily have to like you for you to be considered a good teacher. She also said that being a woman in her line of business can make success more difficult. “We are judged differently as women — certain jokes or topics when I do them, the reaction is different just because I’m a woman”, she says. “If a man does the same joke — he’s funny. When I do the joke people say ‘oh no she didn’t’.”
Her performance war chest includes a number of big and small screen successes including becoming the first female host of BET’s Comic View, various movie and sitcom cameos, and of course, her no-holds barred performance on the “Queens of Comedy” tour. Having performed a little in each medium, Sommore says that without a doubt, stand-up comedy is the most rewarding.
“There are no rules or boundaries — a freedom that everyone can’t understand. It’s the instant gratification of knowing that my mind is on the right page when I talk about something that I thought was funny and the audience responds — there’s nothing like it.” When soulciti asked if she felt that comedians should not touch certain areas with their wit, Sommore echoes the sentiments of many in her trade responding that most comedy comes from pain and it’s really the comedian’s job to create levity.
“Don’t be so uptight and judgmental — we are not politicians or motivational speakers”, she says. “You paid your money to see a show where someone is going to give you their opinion on a bunch of different subject matters — either you agree or you don’t.” On a personal note, Sommore considers herself a loving person and a very real individual — what you see is what you get.
She hopes that black women will begin to pay more attention to their health issues and that black men will not be intimidated by a sister’s strength. She is happy to be educated, a business owner and self-sufficient. The comedian attends church and bible study and said “I don’t know how a person over the age of thirty-five doesn’t believe in God. How do you make it through?”
My audience with “her majesty” winding down – Sommore gave a little insight to some of her upcoming projects. She just recently filmed “The Queen Stands Alone” and states: “it’s the hottest work I’ve ever done”. The release date for that project is pending. The original cast from “The Queens of Comedy” will shoot a new project together at the end of this year. Finally, you can also catch her on the NBC game show One vs. 100 and on the VH-1 Reality Show, “Celebrity Fit Club” — check your local TV Guide for listings.
Sommore is excited about coming back to central Texas this weekend. The last time she came through Austin, she performed before multiple sold out audiences and is hoping for the same turnout this weekend. “Come out and support the show, I really appreciate it…and don’t get so involved in what I’m saying — if it’s funny, just laugh.”
If you would like “some more”- be sure to check her out this weekend through Sunday at the Cap City Comedy Club.