Vp Issue 7: “'What’s YOUR Platform?' To be a performance artist"

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Vp Issue 7: “'What’s YOUR Platform?' To be a performance artist"

bars Therapy and Starlight and other gay hotspots elsewhere in the city. You can also see her in a small role in the film Dummy with Adrien Brody.

Kramer originally saw herself as a character actress but wound up in a class on Women and Comedy. At the time, standup was just changing from a joke-and-punch line format to a storytelling mode that suited Kramer’s style. From the first moment she stepped onstage, she felt at home. Kramer’s talks with her mother are a favorite source of inspiration but she says strangers really bring out her funny bone.

“The funny thing is that I write new material when I’m hanging out with strangers. When I work at the bar and new people come in, it’s like this innate thing in me that clicks on and I want to make them laugh. 90% of my material comes from speaking and talking to people.” Her favorite audiences are gay men and out-of-towners. “I really like performing for gay men, like at Starlight and Therapy, because they are smart, and they will come in jaded, but not in a bad way. The only challenging thing they’re doing is making me challenge myself to be funny and intelligent because they’re smart enough to get everything. That kind of audience makes you feel comfortable because they really appreciate a good, smart, witty joke, and you get comfortable enough to almost write new material on stage, especially when you riff with the audience.”

And while city folk, with many a comedy club to choose from, are often jaded, suburbanites take a different view. “When you go to other places outside the city where people have spent a month looking forward to this because there’s not a comedy club there, then you’re gonna have a better response.” Now that she’s been doing standup for seven years, it’s not just a fallback career but a way of life. A finalist for Star Search in 2002 (though she never made it on the air), Kramer’s talent and dedication are sure to keep winning over larger and larger audiences, who roll in the aisles once she gets going.

The ultra busy Kramer often performs as many as six nights a week and seems constantly in motion – her talk weaving quickly from one topic to the next, her knowledge of the business clearly hard-won. Her advice for those starting out in standup? “Tenacity, talent