Rochelle Takes on Comedy - Why Comedy?

June 16, 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

"The power of visibility can never be underestimated.” ~ Margaret Cho

Hi! I'm a comedian!

Which is shorthand for I’m poor but I still have a sense of humor about it. For those of you on that professional comedy journey, hit me up with your thoughts on the low wages in the comedy industry. And shout out to Jackie Kashian and Maria Bamford in this article about how comedians should make more money.

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

A friend recent­ly asked me why I do com­e­dy. It mir­rored what I ask myself in the mir­ror every­day and what my mom asks me when I ask her for mon­ey. Why com­e­dy? But I was sur­prised how eas­i­ly the answer came to me and how in such a short time it has become increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult for me to want to do any­thing else.

Why com­e­dy? It’s the kind of thing that you hear at a job inter­view. Why do you want to work here? What they’re real­ly say­ing is this place sucks, you just don’t know it yet, and they are won­der­ing why you would sub­ject your­self to this. Which is total­ly applic­a­ble to com­e­dy. Let’s see, there are def­i­nite­ly more lucra­tive things to do (see arti­cle above) and stand­ing in front of peo­ple bar­ing your­self to them hop­ing that they laugh so that you can get a hit of dopamine is an exer­cise in masochism at best. And if you’re an edgy” com­ic, it’s clos­er to sado-masochism.

So why comedy? 

Here’s what I’ve come up with: I do it for the con­nec­tion. In the moments when you are on stage, you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­nect with a room full of strangers and maybe say some­thing that will pos­i­tive­ly impact their lives. Now that sounds all nice and stuff but if you’ve seen my com­e­dy, you know that I’m a gut-punch­er. I like laugh­ing and then say­ing some­thing true that hurts a bit — some­thing that with­out com­e­dy we prob­a­bly couldn’t even talk about.. 

It’s like med­i­cine with a sug­ar chas­er. Because there’s things that need to be said, con­ver­sa­tions that we have to have. And lucky us, we are blessed with com­e­dy. Come­di­ans have the abil­i­ty to reach across lines of dif­fer­ence and say some­thing real, if we choose to.

So what is your why? What is the thing that makes you work at it, go back to it, change it up and do it again and again? Let me know what dri­ves you @rochelle_war. I want to under­stand the beau­ty of what you do.

This Week’s Show Review and/or Shameless Plug

A Big Ol’ Comedy Showcase


Y’all We Asian put on an amazing show. All the comedians hit. The best part was laughing at a joke and hearing the crowd laugh even more because for them their connection to the joke went even deeper. Witnessing comedians making that connection and getting those much needed belly laughs was beautiful.

It’s hard to decide what I was most impressed by. I’m going to say all of it. That’s the answer. I loved the venue, the production, the vendors, the audience and the line up. This was a masterclass in how to have a great show for comedians out there.

It was lovely to hear a room of over 200 people roar with laughter. I sat in the back so I got to hear the laughs wash over me. Highly recommend that you go check out any show that Y'all We Asian produces. They don’t slouch.

PS - Comedy Wham's Valerie Lopez wrote an article for The Austin Chronicle in advance of the Big Ol' Comedy Showcase. You can read some of the history of the group here.

A Big Ol’ Comedy Showcase comedians' handles 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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