by Ryan Meehan
Comedian, writer and standup comedian Kendra Cunningham is based out of New York and has a valid driver’s license. She’s done assorted film work as well as television, and lists “cycling” amongst her special skills on her acting resume. She is probably best known for two film shorts that she has recently done called “lonelygirl48” and “Casual Sex”. Here at FOH, we were lucky enough to have Kendra as our guest today in 5 Questions.
FOH: How did you get into doing standup comedy? What was your first experience onstage like?
KC: I was laid off from a finance job and I took a one day comedy writing class at Gotham writers workshop, I ended up signing up for an 8 week course which had a graduation show. That graduation show was my first performance. I think I did 3 minutes, maybe it was 30 seconds. It took me years to start ‘performing’. The first 3 years or so I was mostly just saying my written jokes with not too much of my personality showing.
FOH: You do a relationship blog with John J Powers called “Beauty and the Beast”, where you two give answers to certain relationship questions from the perspective of each gender. What are your qualifications for being an advice columnist? And what’s the weirdest question anyone has asked you guys so far?
KC: It’s supposed to be a comedic relationship blog so I have a lot of real life experience to draw from, I also have my Masters in Forensic Psychology so that helps. The weirdest question, hmm, I’m pretty vanilla so I’d say questions about swinging and unconventional sexual practices.
FOH: What are some rules that you set for yourself when it comes to doing films or any other shorts? Could you tell us a little bit about “lonelygirl48”? How about “Casual Sex”?
KC: I don’t really have any rules, just that it’s funny, hopefully. lonelygirl48 won two festivals. I originally wrote that as a 20 min short but decided to shoot it as a 3 min piece because it was easier to organize and get done, to be honest. Casual Sex is based on a joke I had tried out a few times but it was too long winded to get to the punch as quickly as I would have liked so I made it a short.
FOH: This might seem like a pretty stock question, but I’m going to ask it anyway since you’re a standup comedian and it’s relevant given the circumstances. How would you have reacted if last week’s incident that resulted in Tammy Pescatelli getting a wine glass thrown at her happened to you onstage? Do you think that club owners need to start doing a better job of making sure that these people get removed from the club as soon as possible so this type of thing doesn’t happen? Or does the responsibility simply lie with standup comedy fans just not heckling when they go to shows?
KC: Hey, I don’t think I’m the first person to say comics get treated like shit. Pretty much everywhere. I believe the club should have intervened without a doubt but I’m not surprised at all by that story. I’ve seen people throw menus at comics, limes, scream obscenities, that would never fly at a play.
FOH: Might I ask what you’re cooking with bleach in your website header? Was it delicious?
KC: HA that shot was from a cool short I did with Jesse Scaturro. He takes all my photos and he is also a filmmaker and director. The short is called “Where’s Dinner?” and is making the festival rounds this year.
FOH: What do you have planned for the next twelve months?
KC: I’m working on a book proposal for my blog, Blonde Logic, a pilot idea and Vicky Kuperman and I have a bunch of Malarkey Pictures projects being edited right now. Also trying to produce a taped show at Joe’s Pub, compete in the Boston Comedy Festival, and spending two weeks in LA in October.
Kendra on Twitter: @kendracomedy
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