Rochelle McConico: Comedy Marathon Champion

March 19, 2023

Photo Credit

Rochelle McConico


Valerie Lopez


Richard Goodwin


When Rochelle McConi­co sits down with Valerie Lopez for this week’s episode, the talk is as much about the oppor­tu­ni­ties McConi­co strives to pro­vide for oth­er peo­ple as it is about the come­di­an her­self.

Loom­ing large (and near­by, both phys­i­cal­ly and tem­po­ral­ly), is one of McConico’s biggest cur­rent projects: bring­ing the 2nd Annu­al Lysis­tra­ta Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val (March 30th-April 2nd at Cold­towne The­atre) to Austin. (The pre­vi­ous incar­na­tion of the all-female com­e­dy fes­ti­val ran in New Orleans.) The four-day fes­ti­val brings togeth­er come­di­ans, musi­cians, bur­lesque per­form­ers, karaōke, lip-sync­ing and more from across the US.

With over 50 stand-up and improv acts, sketch, improv troupes, and more (see the full line­up at lyscom​e​dyfest​.com), every­one will find an expe­ri­ence at Lysis­tra­ta that speaks to them. McConi­co encour­ages every­one to come out and sup­port wom­en’s com­e­dy, say­ing, Show me that you’re com­ing with your mon­ey and with your atten­dance at this space where women are show­cas­ing their talents.” 

Show me that you're coming with your money, and with your attendance, at this space where women are showcasing their talents
Rochelle McConico

In addi­tion to run­ning the fes­ti­val, she’s teach­ing stand-up, improv, and sketch com­e­dy class­es, is per­form­ing at the Black Improv Fes­ti­val, and was recent­ly announced for this year’s Moon­tow­er Just For Laughs Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val. And last year, after her orig­i­nal guest spot on our pod­cast, she start­ing writ­ing Rochelle Takes on Com­e­dy for us where she shares insights into the com­e­dy scene. Are you out of breath yet try­ing to keep up with this light­ning ball of activ­i­ty? We are.

It’s hard not to feel imme­di­ate­ly at ease with McConi­co, some­thing that is both endem­ic to her nature, and wild­ly valu­able for com­e­dy con­tent. While attend­ing at last year’s Moon­tow­er Just For Laughs Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val, she cre­at­ed mul­ti­ple videos based pure­ly on per­son on the street’ type inter­ac­tions. I get to talk to peo­ple, and they tend to share with me where they’re at,” she says, rel­ish­ing the abil­i­ty to share human­i­ty and say, like, we’re all going through some­thing.” You can catch Rochelle’s Three Ques­tions on our Com­e­dy Wham Youtube chan­nel in the Moon­tow­er playlist. She caught up with Jack­ie Kashi­an and Joyelle Nicole John­son. 2023 promis­es a dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence for McConi­co as she’ll be not only on the street, but on the stage. Her reach is about to extend even more than it has in the year since we orig­i­nal­ly talked.

I get to talk to people, and they tend to share with me share where they're at
Rochelle McConico

Of course, every Austin come­di­an at some point runs the gaunt­let of the ven­er­a­ble Fun­ni­est Per­son in Austin com­pe­ti­tion at Cap City Com­e­dy Club. McConi­co is no excep­tion, hav­ing pro­gressed to the semi­fi­nals last year. On not mak­ing it to the winner’s slot, she — as she is self-admit­ted­ly wont to do — wax­es philo­soph­i­cal on the top­ic. If you’re sup­posed to go in this direc­tion [ but it doesn’t hap­pen] ‚” she says (ref­er­enc­ing both the com­pe­ti­tion and life’s jour­neys in gen­er­al), that does­n’t mean that the path does­n’t con­tin­ue.”

McConi­co is noth­ing if not fanat­ic about stay­ing on the path (or paths) she’s trav­el­ing. It’s not only reward­ing, but also often quite nec­es­sary. It’s like, if I stopped for too long, I’m like, Oh, look, it’s all my demons’,” she jokes about stay­ing pro­duc­tive and mov­ing at a fre­net­ic pace, adding the rea­son I run is because when I stop I have a hard time start­ing again”.

With Lysis­tra­ta around the cor­ner, Moon­tow­er Just For Laughs Come­fy Fes­ti­val short­ly after, and the seem­ing­ly end­less list of per­for­mances and projects beyond, it’s clear to us that McConi­co isn’t just plan­ning a short sprint: she’s in marathon mode. It just so hap­pens that she also keeps burst­ing to the end to move the fin­ish line out fur­ther, pull in oth­er female and black come­di­ans to run along­side her, and han­dle cheer­lead­ing duties all at the same time.

Wher­ev­er you may run into McConi­co, know that she’s exhaust­ed, ener­gized, and thor­ough­ly lov­ing all of it.

Fol­low Rochelle and her projects:

  • Lysis­tra­ta Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val — Austin, TX at Cold­towne The­ater on March 30 — April 2. Fes­ti­val for women to cel­e­brate our com­ic genius in all visu­al for­mats — short films, plays, improv, sketch, standup, etc.

Rochelle can be seen and heard:

  • 2023 Lysis­tra­ta Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val — March 30 — April 2
  • 2023 Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val April 12 — 23
  • Writ­ing her recur­ring col­umn on our very own website!
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Rochelle McConico