The big ’rona has forced a lot of organizations to put their fundraising efforts on hold, or to change focus based on (as you’ve read in literally every company email you’ve received in the past month) “these uncertain times.”
But for the team at Rock What You Got (formerly known as the Twin Cities Women’s Expo), the mission of elevating women’s voices and working to erase the gender pay gap that can be especially wide in the entertainment industry is more important now than ever.
This weekend, that cause will be center-screen during the first-ever Pay Gap Comedy Couch Tour show. The event features a stacked lineup of local female comics including Mary Mack, Tiffany Norton, and Maggie Faris, with comic actor Carolyn Pool serving as the host and emcee.
Pool, who’s best known as the co-creator of the 2 Sugars Show, says that the challenges in creating the virtual showcase were just another example of the strength of women working together.
“Buffie Blesie [CEO of Rock What You Got] and her team were preparing for this massive Twin Cities Women’s Expo in March when the call came that it had to be canceled,” she recalls. “And I don’t think they even hesitated before saying, ‘OK, let’s move this online.’ It was a huge success, and that’s when the decision was made to do the Pay Gap Comedy Couch Shows.”
Pool continues, “We couldn’t let this event die, so we sat down and all got to work. I can’t imagine a clearer illustration of how women get shit done. It was literally like, here’s a problem, and how can we work together to solve it?”
Solve it they did. This week is the first of six shows taking place over the next six Saturdays, with three different performers each night. In addition to traditional standup, the online format will allow comics to try new things, like a live Bitter Baker demonstration with Tiffany Norton during this week’s event.
“We want traditional standup, musical comedy acts, character work, and storytellers. It’ll have a really nice variety, but we also wanted performers who complement each other,” Pool explains. “We’re really fortunate that performers like Tiffany and Mary Mack and Maggie Faris all said that they wanted to make this happen.”
Audience members will also have the opportunity to be a part of a live Q&A with the performers after the show, and will also have the ability to tip performers during the event.
Other upcoming shows will feature names like Khadijah Cooper, Mary Jo Poehl, Ellie Hino, and others, but the focus will remain the same.
“We’re trying to bring some joy and bring some attention to these issues that, once life gets back to some kind of normal, we can continue addressing, like gender and economic inequality,” Pool says. “Keeping with our original purpose benefits everyone as a whole.”
IF YOU GO:
Pay Gap Comedy Couch Tour
Saturday, May 2
Click here for tickets