by Ryan Meehan
Comedian and writer Gina Brillon has as much sex appeal as she does sass within her in your face style of Stand-up comedy. Brillon’s rare mix of femininity and fearlessness have made her a hit with crowds across the globe. The Bronx born Latina has no trouble connecting with her male or female fans, using her raw honesty about everything from what it’s like being an “Ethnic” to a brutal breakdown of the female mind. Brillon is a regular on the New York scene performing at Carolines Comedy Club, Laugh Factory, Stand up NY,The Comic Strip, and Gotham Comedy club. She has also been featured in a number of independent film productions such as “The Mime” series, “Consequences”, “Went to Coney Island”, and the “Cyclist” as well as opening for singers Chrisette Michelle and Neyo. Some of Brillon’s other achievements include being featured on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, Comedy.TV, MTV3, SiTV, Latina magazine and Several News Papers including the New York Post and the Daily News. We are delighted to have her as our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: Which club in New York City do you consider to be your home club? And how often do you get on stage with the sole purpose of trying out new material?
GB: Honestly there are two, the first is Gotham Comedy Club, I love that place and they’ve been taking care of me since I was 17. The Second is Stand up NY, it’s got a great vibe and I’ve had the pleasure of watching it evolve. I get up as much as I can when I’m in NY, it’s so important to constantly be pushing and growing as a comic, as a performer because not only is it good for your artistry but also your sanity. Being stagnant (at least for me) can be disheartening.
RM: What’s the biggest difference between the way you write new stuff now and the way you wrote new stuff five years ago? Do you think that one can get a pretty good idea of a comic’s writing style just by seeing them live?
GB: I would say that the biggest difference is that now I know more or less the difference between what works in front of a crowd VS what I personally think is funny. Yes I think if you watch a comic enough you can catch on to their style, It’s hard I think the first time because you really should be busy laughing at them.
RM: You’re going to be performing at Levity Live with Gabriel Iglesias soon…Have you ever had the chance to work with him before? What do you think it is about his personality that makes him so likable; and as a woman how can you take the positive aspects of his set and apply it to your own work on stage?
GB: I have worked with Gabe before, and he’s an amazing person with a work ethic that blows my mind. I think the thing that makes him so lovable as a person is how much he lets you into his world, on that stage through his stories he brings you in and you are now like a part of his family. I’m really not sure what you mean by as a woman, but just as a comic I can tell you that what happens when you work with a guy like Gabe is that you are motivated to push yourself more. His drive and his success just inspires you.
RM: Which stereotype of Latina women do you hate the most; and why do you think it bothers you so much? What percentage of your act would you say is centered around your ethnicity and upbringing?
GB: I guess the most annoying stereotype is probably the whole Maid thing, it gets old. There is a portion of my act that is centered around my ethnicity but it’s not a huge percentage. I do feel that part of my set is something people really connect with, I remind everyone of someone they know. If I had to give it a percentage I would say that it’s about 35-40% based on my ethnic background and then the rest is a combination of observations and personal stories.
RM: In a recent blog post you mentioned that “the only way comedy can ever be bad is if it lacks truth and/or believability”…and also that “if you are on stage and you are truly being yourself (to the tenth degree of course) even if the story or bit you are doing is outlandish it will work, the only way the audience will believe it is if you yourself believe it”. How often do you find yourself telling stories that you would consider to be outlandish; or is that something that you try to avoid for the most part? Is there any other style of bit that you do tend to avoid?
GB: Outlandish doesn’t work so much for me as it would for someone like Dane Cook (or even like Ellen DeGeneres when she talks about meeting God) but what works for me more is like a bait and switch: You tell a story and just when people think they know where you’re going you switch it and they are like “what just happened?”. I’m honestly not much into the ALT Comedy scene, I can appreciate some of it but I’m more of a traditional comic and a student of the classic form of stand up.
RM: What is it about the nature of independent film that attracts you to working within the genre? Do you think that the rising popularity of on demand entertainment delivery systems such as Netflix will help or hurt the world of indie films?
GB: I honestly think that with independent projects you have more creative freedom than when there is some big studio behind your project. As for Netflix, I think it gives independent artists a chance to showcase their work on a popular forum with less hassle then trying to get it in movie theaters.
RM: Of all the existing misconceptions regarding the lifestyle of a stand-up comic, which one do you think is the most inaccurate? Why do you think it is that people feel that way about what you do for a living?
GB: Believe it or not I know people that think being a comic is easy, and I would say that honestly I think that is ridiculous. If you’re good at your job you make it look easy but trust me, any comic will tell you it’s not easy.
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
GB: There’s a lot going on and a lot of it I can’t really talk about just yet but you’ll see a lot more of me coming up and as soon as I can make official announcements I will. I can say that you will see me on season 3 of Stand-up revolution with Gabe and there’s a lot more coming!
Official Website: http://www.ginabrillon.com/
Gina on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gina–Brillon/154334244583453
Gina on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GinaBrillon
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