For the last eight weeks, the In Laughing Color crew has been training, preparing and working out their punch lines for their showcase night. In Laughing Color: For Queerky Folks Who Considered the Mic When Comedy Central Wasn’t Enuf (ILC) is the brainchild of Griffin Moore, Richael Faithful, and Chelsea Shorte. These three comics believed they could create a safe space for queer and trans people of color to hone their comedy craft and write jokes that spoke to their real life lived experiences and centered on socially conscious punch lines. That is exactly what they did…and they did it well.
Impac Hub in Washington, D.C. provided space for the event. The house was packed with a diverse crowd full of energy and exploding with excitement. Their moment was finally here. Rick Shaw, Pretty Rik-E, Sheva Diagne, Shango Meru Kani, Dia Bui, Jess Solomon, all took the stage to showcase their lives, talent, and stories. Coming out, navigating the dating world, growing up with a single mom, challenges of a biking in the city, the decision to not have children, micro-aggressions, Metro commuting, drinking with their parents, and the social politics of legal cannabis were all stories that kept the crowd roaring with laughter. ILC creators Faithful and Moore also took the stage. The event was hosted by Shorte and the headline comic, Curt Mariah had the crowd laughing until her very last word.
You would never know these were brand new comedians. Their delivery was flawless, their styles were developed and their ability to win the crowd was in grown-up comic mode. These were not baby comics, these were well trained professionals with budding careers ahead of them.
The creators of In Laughing Color need to give themselves a huge pat on the back. Not only did they create a new space for QTPOC to express themselves and their experiences, but they gave a wonderful gift to our community.
My favorite take away for the night came from ILC Faithful, “Liberation is about everyday interruptions.” This event was definitely an interruption to business as usual in the local comedy scene. Future events will liberate the comedians in our community and provide the perfect place to tell and celebrate our stories.
According to Faithful, plans for a summer and fall workshop are being discussed. Make sure you are on their mailing list. E-mail the ILC crew at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure you don’t miss the next event. Think you have what it takes to take the stage? Register for their next workshop. You won’t be sorry.