Rochelle Takes on Comedy - Use Your Platform

April 18, 2022

Guest Column

Wel­come to Rochelle Takes on Com­e­dy” by Rochelle McConi­co. Have an idea you’d like to share in a col­umn? Sub­mit your pitch here: comedywham@​comedywham.​com

"I do think that people have a desire to talk about issues they may have wanted to avoid before." - Sasheer Zamata

Hi! I am grateful!

Man it has been a wild ride. I have just finished the inaugural Lysistrata Comedy Festival where we celebrated the collective power of women. What a gift to be surrounded by funny women from all over the country. I learned so much. I got the opportunity to laugh and create a space for women to network and share their talents. Thank you to my co-producers Jess Scott, Denise Jena and Candace Robertson.

Who Am I?

I’m Rochelle McConi­co, own­er of Moon­Crick­et Pro­duc­tions, a live com­e­dy event com­pa­ny. I am a standup come­di­an, impro­vis­er, sketch actor, writer, direc­tor, pro­duc­er and livestream­er. I’m also a per­son that isn’t great with dead­lines so catch this col­umn when the inspi­ra­tion hits — like Lau­ryn Hill — sans the voice and the keen fash­ion sense.

What's in this blog?
Insight into the ups and downs of being a comedian.

An understanding of how comedy and the comedy business works.

The skinny on shows around Texas.

This Week’s Randomness Packaged as Insight

What do you do with your platform?

I don’t know if we always think about the big­ger pic­ture of com­e­dy. But when comedic super­stars are being slapped in the face — sor­ry Chris Rock, I had to talk about it — it makes you think. If you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get on the mic and say what­ev­er you want, what you choose to say and not to say is very impor­tant. It holds weight. 

Often­times, as come­di­ans, espe­cial­ly in standup, we may not think about the weight of our words. We are hav­ing fun, express­ing our­selves, lam­poon­ing the world, and fight­ing our demons right there on stage. It is a very per­son­al expe­ri­ence, so we may not think about the effect our words have on peo­ple or how we should use the plat­form we have. 

We get to stand in front of peo­ple — some­times only two peo­ple, the bar­tender, and the bounc­er — and speak. No mat­ter how small, it is a plat­form. So as we grow, I chal­lenge you to think about what you use your plat­form for. Because if you use it just to talk shit about anoth­er per­son, you might get the taste slapped out of your mouth. (Sor­ry Chris Rock, you’re still a GOAT.)

This Week’s Show Review and/or Shameless Plug

All Together Now

This show was amazing! First of all, production value. Sometimes as a standup comedian you forget what that stage picture looks like or what that atmosphere feels like, Shannon Stott did not. When I stepped out of my car at Vesper--a community art space in East Austin--I immediately felt good. And that feeling did not fade. There was such a tasteful atmosphere, well lit with purples and gold hues, and two statement arrangements that made the space warm and welcoming. As a person who couldn’t decorate their way out of a paper bag, I was impressed by how these small touches could make such a big difference.

Okay, let me stop gushing about the production value - but for real it was dope - and talk about the show. I have never been to anything like it! It was an intentional and well-executed melding of improv and therapy. Throughout the performance I found myself both laughing and feeling like I should be taking notes. And I wasn’t the only one. The work was done with such clarity of vision and heart that the audience was totally bought in. At one point, a woman was asked to share a time where she felt she should change something about herself so that she could better fit into society…. and she answered in a room full of strangers! I’ve seen people at comedy shows refuse to clap for themselves so this level of engagement floored me! But it was handled gently and respectfully and that’s what made it work.

But my favorite part - hands down - is when they were able to get all of the audience up on the stage and we all became pieces of artwork that they referred to as their family - their human family. How beautiful!

Bravo! This is a must see!

The All Together Now players are below. Follow them… on IG, not to their cars.

Alright y’all I’ll see you next time! Please feel free to leave a comment, or let me know of a show I should go see by hitting me up on IG at @rochelle_war or on FB: MoonCricket Productions LLC. Thank you Comedy Wham for the platform. You rock!

PS: My Venmo is @Rochelle-McConico, and my CashApp is $rochellemcp. Just in case you were wondering. Cheers!

Come See Me!
About the Author

Rochelle McConi­co is the founder and CEO of Moon­Crick­et Pro­duc­tions a live enter­tain­ment com­pa­ny spe­cial­iz­ing in inter­ac­tive, mul­ti­sen­so­ry comedic events. She is a vision­ary, writer, pro­duc­er, and per­former. In June 2020, Rochelle launched the Amuse-Bouche Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val to show­case the many great impro­vis­ers, com­e­dy pod­cast­ers and stand-ups in New Orleans and per­formed as all three. 

Rochelle also wrote, direct­ed, and starred in three plays cen­ter­ing her alter ego char­ac­ter, bil­lion­aire media heiress Stan­gela Angela Hemsworth Kings­ley Winthrop Farouk Adams III. I’m Only Here for the Snacks, and Stan­gela for Pres­i­dent were both fea­tured at Infringe Fest 2018 and 2019. Her third play Stangela’s Swamp Thing is cur­rent­ly in pro­duc­tion and pre­mieres June 2022. Rochelle also co-pro­duces and co-hosts the com­e­dy-advice video pod­cast Not Anoth­er Black Show and a bi-month­ly live-streamed show — The Book­club. Both shows are designed to take on seri­ous top­ics and be seri­ous­ly funny. 

Addi­tion­al­ly, Rochelle is a mem­ber of the mul­ti-tal­ent­ed No Lye Com­e­dy col­lec­tive — a group of dynam­ic Black femme come­di­ans. With No Lye Com­e­dy, Rochelle co-pro­duced and co-wrote the sketch and vari­ety show Comedy.Peridot, per­formed sketch in the Dal­las Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val and the Los Ange­les Diver­si­ty in Com­e­dy Show­case (LADC), and per­formed improv in the inau­gur­al 2019 New Orleans Improv Fes­ti­val and 2021 Baton Rouge Improv Fes­ti­val. Rochelle has also writ­ten and per­formed for Mor­phed, a month­ly stand-up and sketch show in New Orleans, and per­formed stand up in the Black Girl Gig­gles Festival.

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