“The more you look alike, the longer you’ve been together.”
Comic Dana Goldberg was talking about a long-term lesbian relationship. But any two people in a couple — whether they’re LGBT or straight—can end up morphing into one entity. That’s what makes Goldberg’s comedy connect to even mainstream audiences. Some of her material may be lesbian-centered, yet it’s relatable to everyone.
On Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, Pandora Events presents Out for Laughs at The Manor with Dana Goldberg.
Since 2003, Goldberg has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad; produced Southwest Funnyfest, an annual comedy show benefit in New Mexico; and performed at the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner 2009 (with the likes of President Obama, Lady Gaga and the cast from Glee).
In an email interview with South Florida Gay News, Goldberg shared her thoughts on comedic influences, funny women, and how she uses comedy to help others.
When did you know that you wanted to be a comic?
My kindergarten teacher told my mother I was the funniest five-year-old she had ever met…I won my high school talent show with a ten-minute stand up routine… [then] I didn’t touch a stage for almost nine years. I was terrified to speak in public. When I was 26, I decided to audition for a show in front of 650 people in a sold out theater. My hands were shaking. I didn’t dare touch the microphone for fear I would turn it into an amplifying vibrator of sorts. I hit my first big joke and heard the most deafening laughter I have ever heard. I was hooked.
Who were some of your earliest comedic influences?
Robin Williams, Steven Wright, Billy Crystal … The Comic Relief benefit shows. I watched Saturday Night Live religiously. Gilda Radner was one of the most brilliant comic minds of her time.
How would you describe your style?
I’ve been described as a thinking woman’s comic by Curve Magazine. I have to agree with that. My routine is edgy but intelligent.
What made you decide to be out as a lesbian comic?
I’m not sure I ever intentionally wanted to bill myself as a “lesbian comedian.” My sexual orientation is a big part of my act, but it doesn’t encompass all of who I am, [yet] being “out” makes me feel more authentic on stage. At this point I believe that if you’re funny, the fact that you’re gay has become very secondary. Modern Family and The New Normal have broken down a lot of barriers.
What are your thoughts on the state of women (particularly LBT women) in comedy right now? Whose work do you admire?
Amy Schumer to Wanda Sykes and everything in between. The stigma that “women aren’t funny” is being broken down. I would really like to see more LBT women performing in front of mainstream crowds. I admire so many of my colleagues’ work: Erin Foley, Jessica Kirson, Dana Eagle, Gina Yashere.
You often perform at Human Rights Campaign (HRC) benefits and produce Southwest FunnyFest which raises money for the AIDS Foundation in New Mexico. Can you talk about this connection between comedy and charitable causes?
I started cultivating relationships with non-profits very early in my career. If I have a voice that can reach people, I need to use it for the greater good. The HRC [is] making amazing strides for the LGBT community. It genuinely makes me feel good to know that I’ve been able to contribute to that cause.
How would you describe South Florida audiences?
HOT! It’s a fun, rowdy crowd. Alison Burgos and Pandora Events have a brilliant production team and they always get the ladies to come out. I’m looking forward to another fun night!
To purchase tickets, visit http://www.pandoraevents.com and click on Out For Laughs under Events.
If you go to Pandora Events presents Out for Laughs
Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013
Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Show starts at 8 p.m.
2345 Wilton Drive
Wilton Manors, FL
General Admission Tickets $25
VIP Front Row Tickets for $35 are SOLD OUT