Rebecca Corry will perform at Woodlands Tavern Saturday, July 20 so I spoke with her while she was on her current tour. We talked about her comedy career, the changing standup industry, the immense love she has for her pit bull Angel and the immense hatred she has for Yoko Ono. Spoiler Alert: Corry hates The Beatles too.
When did you realize you were the funniest person in the room and standup was what you wanted to do?
That is a doozy of a question. I have a bunch of different answers for it. I first started doing improv, studying at the Second City in Chicago. So standup wasn’t anything I wanted to do at a young age. I got into doing audience warm up [at Second City] and then realized I really loved telling stories. My standup is very story-based.
So I when I moved to Los Angeles 13 years ago my agent … sent me to audition for the Montreal Comedy Festival. I told her I didn’t really know how to do it and she said, “You do, just go do it and come up with five minutes.” So I did that and I got into the Montreal Comedy Festival. Then I just kept going from there.
Then I ended up doing “Late Friday” on NBC and I did “Comics Unleashed” and became a finalist on “Last Comic Standing.” Now I make a living doing standup, but I don’t know if there’s a moment where I realized I was the funniest person in the room.
How has your standup changed in the last 13 years?
Oh it’s changed tremendously. I not even remotely the same comedian. I think its fact that when I first started out I relied a lot on my physicality to garner laughs. Now I still use physicality when needed to help punctuate something, but now I’m more confident in my writing. And in myself. I think that’s the key to comedy — you have to be comfortable and confident in yourself. It takes a long time.
I would say in the last four years it’s really changed a lot. To add to that, I think standup is something that’s always changing. You look back at what you did a year ago and go “Oh, I’d never do that again.” It’s just a horrible vicious cycle; you have to understand that and try to keep getting better. I can’t even look at some of the videos of me online. But that’s part of it.
I’ve seen some recent sets online, and even if you use less physicality, there’s still this powerful energy you have on stage.
I just love telling stories and storytelling is something where the more you’re into it, the more people are going to enjoy it. I guess that’s what the energy is; being a part of the story I’m telling. I guess that’s where it comes from because I’m just as much into the moment as [the audience]. So if they’re having a great time and laughing and the room is full of energy, so am I.
Tell me about your first album you released last year.
Yeah, that was really cool. It came out through a company and I would do it differently next time. I would distribute is myself. But I produced it myself, and I loved it. It was a big accomplishment. I’m working on a second one and I’m going to do it myself this time.
Self-distribution is the new model for comedians releasing their projects. Can I get your take on that?
I’m grateful that I’m living in a time in this business that I can, and I think I speak for a lot of comedians, do what we want to do ourselves. We don’t have to rely on agents and managers, and the gatekeepers — Patton Oswald wrote a great piece on the gatekeepers having the power. Comedians do in some ways, but it’s nice that we can create and do what we do ourselves. Now that we can produce and distribute our stuff [through] the internet and social media is so helpful.
What are some upcoming projects you have?
I’m touring, but I’ve got a guest spot I did on a show called “Rizzoli & Isles” on TNT. That will air on July 23rd. It was a really fun role and I’m looking forward to seeing that.
Aside from standup, but it’s not really aside from it, I’m also the founder and CEO of a live stage show that I produce around the country. It’s called Standup for Pits that raises money for pit bulls. I’m a huge pit bull advocate. I’m also marching on Washing on May 3rd in 2014 in an effort to stop dog fighting and breed specific legislation.
That’s right, and you take your dog on tour, right?
Yeah, all over the country. She’s here right now. She’s amazing. I got her five years ago and she was so horribly abused. Having her in my life, I became so educated on the actual national war against this breed. I just found the breed specific legislation to just be asinine. We’re trying to ban them? What?! What about the people that are doing these things to them? We’re not looking at that?
I’ve been able to do that and make a little difference and I’m planning on doing it forever. The Standup for Pits show has been awesome with some amazing comedians. If you go to standupforpits.us you can see all of them, but I’ve had Tig Notaro, Eddie Pepitone, Rob Delany, Erin Foley, Mo Collins and Bill Burr. We have live bands in some cities and it’s just and insanely fun night. My dog Angel is in the kissing booth. The goal is to get one in every state in the country. So far it’s Salt Lake City, Washington D.C. Seattle and Los Angeles. I still got 46 more states to go.
What’s the weirdest part of being on tour?
I don’t like flying with people. It would be amazing to just think of where I need to go and transport myself there with my mind. I hate having to get on airplanes and sit next to people; all my flights are in the morning and I’m dealing with morning breathe. I’m a tiny, tiny person so people assume they can take over my seat. It’s just, I hate it.
Does Angel always go with you?
Absolutely, anywhere she can go. She’s a special therapy dog so she gets to go everywhere I do.
Even on the plane?
She does, at my feet.
Lastly you have a rant in your act about Yoko Ono. Do you really hate Yoko Ono, or is that just a bit?
Oh my god, I hate her with everything in me. Here’s the deal, you ready? I hate The Beatles. There I said it. I hate The Beatles so you can imagine how much I hate her. I got on Twitter and she was my third follower. I looked at how many followers she had and it was like 10 billion. Why is she following me?
So I followed her back because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Unfortunately the things she tweets are just f---ing stupid. She is just a pretentious idiot who says the most outrageous things. I would see her tweets every day and just get madder and madder. So I would respond, “What the f--- are you talking about”? Then all my followers started following her, and they all thought it was hilarious that I was so enraged. I would literally get hot-faced and sweat every time I saw a tweet.
Finally after three months she tweeted something about a balloon, a ladder and the sky, some bulls---, and I tweeted at her that this was an outrage. Then she blocked me. I’ve also been blocked by Deepak Chopra. That’s fine, he’s an idiot. Sometimes I go after Donald Trump or Dr. Phil too.
Nat Productions presents: Rebecca Corry
8 p.m. Saturday, July 20
1200 W. Third St., Grandview