I first saw Kyle Mizono at the All Jane No Dick Comedy Festival in Portland. I was blown away by how hilarious, smart, absurd and adorably magical she was. She combines recorded music with amazingly well written jokes and silliness. When I heard she was going to be at the Bridgetown Comedy festival I got very excited. She's probably one of the comics I'm most excited to see at this fest in May.
Kyle has performed at the All Jane No Dick Comedy Festival, the Edinburough Fringe Festival, SXSW and in my heart, and she was kind enough to let me interview her!
Barbara Holm: Who are your favorite comedians and what do you like about them?
Kyle Milzono: That's a toughie. I want to name an entire festival's worth of comedians, but I think Academy Award music would play me off. I have this idea of starting a comedy festival called "Bestie Fest." Every comedian brings another comedian friend. Here are three people I'd bring:
My best friend Jay Weingarten is an idea man and lion-hearted performer. His attitude toward comedy is like "two strong men are going to carry me on stage while Gloria Estefan's Conga is playing. Then enters an actual conga line with everyone wearing a mask of Gloria Estefan."
Also, Jesse Elias, who will be at this year's Bridgetown comedy festival. He has thoughts and opinions that don't exist inside any other person on this planet. Also, Aparna Nancherla. (who will also be at Bridgetown). She is the whole package. Comedians with her essence are the reason why I started performing. When you see Aparna, you want to be her friend. I want to be like that. It has always been my goal.
Your jokes are so whimsical and imaginative. What inspires your material?
I suppose things happen and I observe them through my Disney-coated lenses. I also like to incorporate shouting in some way to keep people guessing.
Where do you get your ideas? What is your writing strategy?
I'm not a sit-down-and-write kind of gal. I come up with ideas all the time while driving and taking walks. Sometimes I feel like I'm my own daughter who gets angry when I make her do things. I hide her vegetables in the spaghetti sauce. As I was writing this, I actually started looking up "how to get your kids to eat vegetables" and caught myself being fooled by squash tacos.
Do you think audiences view you differently because you're an Asian-American woman?
They might initially. I think once people see me, they get that being an Asian-American woman is not my comedy perspective. Sure, it's a part of my identity, but it's not what I think about when I'm walking down the street. Unless I'm walking down a street where there are people who want to remind me that I'm Asian.
What's been your experience in Portland/Portland comedy?
I love Portland and its comedy scene. I was there for All Jane No Dick last October and I left feeling like I had been hugged by an entire city. The audiences are ahead of the pack in terms of appreciating comedy in its many colorful forms.
What are you most excited for about Bridgetown?
Seeing my friends, making new ones, and walking around Portland in my yellow raincoat while having a giggle attack.
What are your career goals? What are your art goals?
My career goal is to be on the Disney Channel. I like the idea of doing something for the kids. My artistic goal is to get better at doodling.
Do you have any advice for aspiring comedians?
I still consider myself an aspiring comedian, but I'd say stick to your guns and never stop having funs. It was too close not to rhyme.
Check out Kyle and other amazing comedians at this year's Bridgetown Comedy Festival! http://www.bridgetowncomedy.com/
Follow Barbara Holm on Twitter: www.twitter.com/barbara_holm