Rant Pack: Stand-Up Comedian, Gwen Hope
Do you like telling stories? Especially stories where terrible but hilarious things happen to you? Well, Stand-Up might be just your fit. This next ranter is here to stand up against prejudices surrounding women in the comedy world and also tell a joke or two.
Rant Pack 8:
Gwen Hope - Stand Up Comedian
Who is Gwen:
Gwen is a fricken successful 20 year old Female Stand-Up Comedian from East Michigan with 4 older sisters and a whole lot of wit. This woman is taking the comedy world by storm and has recently placed in several comedy competitions throughout her home state. I met Gwen in a Second City Improv comedy class. Wait, Improv?! I thought you said she was a Stand Up Comedian?! Yes, you’re right. I did. HOWEVER, that’s just how great Gwen is. She was giving Improv a whirl to see if her wit played well with others. Let me tell you, some of my favorite sketches were with this girl. She’s been practicing Stand-Up since 2016, but stalking it since 2015. She explained to me that she decided that this was her gig the same way a girl realizes they have found their wedding dress. Trying on a lot of unflattering dresses that don’t fit, don’t look right, don’t have enough fluff, don’t get the reaction from others they want until they have their “Aha” moment and gracefully sob because they know this is the one.
However, being a woman in a comedy world flooded with men can be difficult to navigate. Gwen explains that sometimes her male colleagues don’t treat her as a comedian and, furthermore, a professional. She also shared that most men in the field think Gwen is just in it to sleep around with funny guys and neither of these assumptions are true. There are times when she can fit in and feel like “one of the guys” and they appreciate her banter and wit. These guys have continued to support her and allowed Gwen to feel truly herself and not worry about gender when it comes to being funny.
This is also because Gwen believes that EVERYTHING in life is a joke. If you can’t laugh at it now, you will later. This includes the time where Gwen thought she shit her pants while on a “mild” acid trip and ended up realizing it wasn’t shit but it was, in fact, a henna design she had drawn on her earlier that day. If you can’t laugh about that now, which she couldn’t, she could laugh about it later, which she did. So have hundreds of other people who have heard this story (and many other hilarious experiences) during her sets.
Gwen is a powerhouse of a woman and she finds inspiration from quotes like “Art is what you can get away with” by Andy Warhol. As a comedian, you push boundaries and make insane comments and shock people. Its a combination of storytelling, performing, theatre, self-deprecation and more, as she explained, and it not only freaks people out or makes them laugh but it also creates a sense of unity. Gwen wants to focus on the human condition and share it with others. When others are laughing with her in agreement it makes her believe that it’s also a moment of peace. Gwen is also going to be the leader of the UN one day and solve all of the worlds problems with laughter. At 20 years old, this girl has not only made waves in the comedic sea of men, but she blew up a raft filled with the laughter of thousands of people she has encountered and has floated through this jungle of wit, banter, jokes, belly laughs, happy tears and competition to prove herself as one of the upcoming great ones. I truly look forward to seeing what this girls conquers in the next year and during her next acid trip.
What makes Stand Up Comedy an art form?
1. Traditional Expression
I think we can all agree that comedy is best experienced via word of mouth. When you are in an audience and hearing someone tell embarrassing stories, funny stories, unbelievable stories (but all in a way that we can all place ourselves in those experiences) and laughing along together, it is a genuine interaction between you, the comedian and everyone else. It truly provides an opportunity to find similarities and community among complete strangers. As the stand-up comedian, you are relying completely on the success and openness of storytelling and performing. This is one of the oldest and most authentic ways of sharing verbal art and I think it will continue to remain one of the most prominent forms.
2. Emotional Reaction
When you are listening to a stand-up comedian, so many emotions are experienced in a short amount of time. This can be encountered in many levels. For example, through empathy and feeling the same embarrassment, shock, disgust or excitement that the comedian is expressing through their experience or through someone else’s experience. Additionally, you can be truly enamored with their hilarity and have deep moments of pure laughter due to punch lines and epiphanies. There are countless emotional experiences in the comedy field, and I think that it is special when someone can take their emotions and share them with others in a short amount of time and transfer them solely through storytelling and performing.
3. Public Consumption
Stand-Up Comedy doesn’t exist without an audience! The whole point of this form of comedy is having an instant reaction from a group of people (whether big or small) who can relish in your expression and enjoy it, possibly learn from it, laugh with it and share it. The role of people in this field rely directly upon audiences in order to build their success and promote themselves as professional comedians. It is a key factor in the experience of this art form and, as I mentioned before, I believe that it will continue to remain an important element.
you’re an artist, Gwen. Thanks for ranting with me!
Are you a good storyteller? Do you enjoy public speaking? Have you ever considered becoming a Stand-Up Comedian? If yes, tell us when you're performing! If not, tell us a story of a moment when you felt this unity from either attending a stand-up performance or from spending time with friends or family. Everything in life can be a joke, according to Gwen, and I want to hear your jokes! They are meant to be shared! :)
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Thanks for checking out Rant Pack Gwen and Remember:
Life is art & we are all artists.