By Ryan Meehan
Blair Socci is a standup comic from San Juan Capistrano, California. When she isn’t watching Vanderpump Rules, you can find her performing standup in clubs and bars all over Manhattan on mostly every night of the week. She is very excited to be starring in the upcoming MTV series, Ladylike. Since her start in NYC, Blair has appeared at Caroline’s on Broadway, The Stand, the Hollywood Improv, Laugh Boston, Sleepaway Camp, Crash Test, The Knitting Factory, Kabin CSL, and Broken Comedy at Matchless. She has participated in several festivals including the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival, Red Clay Comedy Festival, She Devil Comedy Festival, The Devil Cup, and the New Orleans Comedy and Arts Festival alongside several of her favorite comics. Blair has also trained in both the improv and sketch programs at the Upright Citizens Brigade theatre in NYC. After graduating from UCLA with a BA in English, she recently earned her MFA in creative writing (fiction) at The New School. Blair has written for Reductress, xoJane.com, Splitsider.com, Wmag.com, Riviera Magazine, and Volleyball Magazine. Once a month, she co-hosts a popular show, Nacho Bitches, at New York Comedy Club that she co-founded with Corinne Fisher of Guys We F*cked fame. To view Blair’s web series with her best friend, Farah, please visit: www.prismhorizons.com and check her out as my guest today in 10 questions.
RM: Before we get started discussing things that are actually funny, on an average day who would you say has more difficult-to-manage hair: Yourself or Justy Dodge?
BS: I’d say me. I’m judging off of how high in the air the hair goes…just straight height. Justy has a luscious mane though.
RM: How would you best describe the experience that initiated your love for comedy; and why do you think you fell so hard for the art form?
BS: That’s easy. I was dating a guy in LA who did comedy before I moved to New York. He went to my high school and introduced me to the whole world. I loved going to shows and then started following the world closely. Oddly, I never once considered doing comedy while we were together. I don’t think my brain let me know it was something I was allowed to do. But then I moved to New York, we broke up, and the thought just randomly occurred to me in the shower one day and I got on stage two days later. I had been a writer my whole life but I thought I would be too shy to perform in front of people.
RM: How long after you felt a genuine appreciation for the level of difficulty associated with stand-up did you first try your hand at it; and what were the three biggest mistakes you made the first ten or so times you stepped on stage?
BS: Since I had just broken up with the love of my life at the time, I really had zero expectations. I was so sad that I didn’t give a shit if people laughed and it gave me a crazy freedom because I felt like nothing could make me feel worse than I was already feeling. As far as mistakes go, my friend Alexis Guerreros tells me that he remembers me playing with my hair a lot on stage when I first started. I don’t remember that but it sounds very embarrassing and distracting, and certainly not commanding. Other mistakes, I am not sure, I know I made them though. It’s impossible not to. I am pretty sure I didn’t move the mic stand behind me a few times, you know, dum dum stuff.
RM: As a California native, you could have easily relocated to Los Angeles as opposed to living in New York City…Why have you decided to remain on the East Coast to do comedy; and why do you believe your stand-up work better there than it does in LA?
BS: I didn’t know anyone when I moved to New York and it truly allowed me to be whatever I wanted to be. I grew up in an extremely conservative family in an extremely conservative area, and comedy is the last thing my family ever wanted me to do. By living on the east coast, I didn’t have to answer to anyone and was free to pursue whatever I wanted. I feel like the New York scene is super special and it’s so wonderful because you are able to get a ton of stage time and watch so much talent every night that it really pushes you to work your hardest. But, I’ve had the opportunity to perform in LA a bunch now and I really like it as well.
RM: Which club in New York City would you say has been the most integral to your development as a comic? Why do you think that particular environment has helped your growth on stage more than at some of the other venues?
BS: I’d say the Creek and the Cave has been the most supportive of me overall so I am super grateful for it. I am always working on getting into more clubs but probably New York Comedy Club. I have my show, Nacho Bitches, there with Corinne Fisher every month and it feels like home. Our show has helped us grow because we are so comfortable there and it’s usually sold out and rowdy.
RM: How do you and the rest of the gang plan to make “Ladylike” different from the many other hidden-camera prank shows on television? How much previous experience do you have working with Nicole, Jade, and Matteo?
BS: I think it will be different because there is a feminist perspective to it. A lot of the pranks are based on flipping the everyday female experience so I am very curious to see how people will respond when it airs. I already knew Matteo from New York comedy but I am enjoying working with Nicole and Jade who live in LA. I really love all the people I am working with! I die laughing every day.
RM: What’s the best part about getting to do “Prism Horizons”; and what is the basis for the characters that yourself and Farah play in this series?
BS: The best part of doing Prism Horizons is getting to work with Farah. She is my best friend and really just the most talented and unique mind. I admire her work ethic and wacky ideas so much. We also just have the best time together. Linda and Gail are based off of this New Age culture that Farah and I definitely subscribe to in our real lives. We are always focused on positivity and quotes and personal growth while also being completely conscious about how psycho and annoying this type of ideology is. We are making fun of our real lives a little bit with these two women who take themselves very seriously yet have no idea what the hell is going on.
RM: How did we get tricked into thinking guacamole is good for us? That shit is always extra expensive at Mexican eateries as well…Is it possible that Big Avocado is attempting to drain our wallets while packing extra pounds on our bodies so that we’ll give up on eating healthy altogether, which will in turn cause us to subconsciously decide to eat at more Mexican restaurants and gain even more weight and order more guacamole?
BS: People are like “Avocados are God!” And I get it, I’m from California, I love them more than anyone. But I just think it’s LAUGHABLE that people are like “Healthy, healthy, healthy! They’re so healthy, eat them, bathe in them, smear them on your walls!” If you have more than two bites of one, your meal is like 2 billion calories, it’s a trap! Like hummus! Nobody eats two bites, they eat the whole thing. Guacamole and hummus, they’re fucking quicksand!
RM: What’s the biggest difference between the way you write jokes for stand-up and the way you wrote your material five years ago? It is a more of a matter of the way you approach getting to the punchline or selecting premises for the subject matter itself?
BS: I think when I first started, I was just learning how to write a joke. I would write about fairly general topics (without realizing it), and try to make them funny. I was more conventional probably. Now, I feel like my main goal is to really mine what is most specific to me and my actual innermost thoughts and weird intricacies. It sounds too simple, but I think the closer I can get to my actual self on stage, the better I am, which can definitely be scary and embarrassing sometimes. A lot of people say I have a character on stage, but I think that this maniac is the person I actually am and I am just too tired to be during the day when I’m out walking around.
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2015 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
BS: I have so many goals for 2015 but I really want to just keep aggressively working on my standup. My main goal is to just be good at comedy, I love it so much. Creating shows and acting are bonuses that I am super excited about, but I just always want to be improving on stage every night. That’s a pretty boring answer, but I want to push myself in ways where I am taking a lot of risks all the time and really stretching myself.
Official Website: http://blairsocci.com/
Blair on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Blair–Socci/2523928
Blair on Twitter: https://twitter.com/blairsocci
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