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Interview With Calise Hawkins

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Calise Hawkins is a hilarious New York based comedian who I first became aware of on the TV show Last Comic Standing and have had the pleasure of seeing live a few times and she always blows me away. She is adorable, bubbly, warm, gregarious, charismatic, smart, and talented. She has performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Calise will be appearing in the All Jane No Dick Comedy Festival Oct 17-20th in Portland, Oregon. http://www.alljanenodick.com/

Calise was kind enough to let me interview her:

How long have you been doing stand up?

Next February will be ten years.

What do you like about stand up comedy?

I love the instant gratification of writing something funny and taking it directly to the critics, the live crowd. You get to know immediately if the joke sinks or swims.

Who are your favorite comedians?

The late, great, Patrice Oneal's entire career has such a profound effect on me that I always catch myself referring to him in present tense. Anyone can name famous comics, we are all inspired by them, so I'm going to skip them and name a couple of my personal favorites. I love watching Nathan Macintosh perform. His cadence and his words incite a riot within me. I adore Chelsea Peretti. I would be her if I could and I would go on a whirlwind journey only to find out that everyone has their own struggle and I'm just as good being me. That's what her comedy does to me. It makes me doubt myself then find myself. And I always have a transcendent experience when I get to see Jay Oakerson. Holy shit, go see Jay Oakerson. Stop wasting time reading comedy blurbs and go now, I mean it. You have to see him "live." In a field where crowd work is usually general, he creates on the spot specific comedy. He's a comedy creator.

How has being a mother influenced/affected your comedy career?

It made me have less road sex.

How has being a comedian affected you being a mom?

I hear all the funny things my kid says more clearly than most cuz I'm looking for them. I see the humor under the most stressful conditions of motherhood. Comedy gives me perspective and as a result, my daughter's life isn't unnecessarily heavy.

What kinds of things do you write for Nickmom? How did you get started doing that?

I just happened to know somebody who happened to know somebody who happened to know somebody who was looking for funny moms. That's how this biz works. The trick is to stick around long enough to get to know people.

What else are you writing/ working on?

I just taped standup on W. Kamau Bell's Totally Biased, and I taped my first episode of TruTv's World's Dumbest. Soon I will be appearing in Fox's shortcom, Jermania.

What are your goals/ dreams for your future career?

I want you to be proud of me.

Do you have any advice for young comics?

Stop lying to yourself. About anything. The sooner you tell yourself the truth, the funnier you will be.

Calise will be performing at the All Jane No Dick Comedy Festival on Friday the 18th at 7:30 at the Alberta Rose Theater and Saturday the 19th at 10:00pm at the Curious Comedy Theater.

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