Let’s hear from PAM MURPHY on her amazing one-woman show, THE C WORD, currently playing at UCBT NY. Go!
Well I was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago and since then I had been writing all kinds of stuff about it, monologues, sketches, stories, and I knew I wanted to do a show. Then I met with my director, Becky Drysdale, and she encouraged me to do a character show. Becky was a huge part in the development of my show. Then I would tell her my ideas for characters, the ideas that I wanted to get across, the things I thought were funny or messed up about the whole situation. Then I did a lot of writing and rewriting. We’d go over every character and dissect each joke, “is it funnier if I say this, does this get the point across, is this character really funny, etc.” Becky also had me write out everything that happened in chronological order, funny or not. That was really helpful to me.
I would say, it wasn’t hard too for me to share all the personal stuff. BUT, there are certain things in my show that I’m like “Holy shit, I can’t believe I”m going to do this!” But, I really wanted to do this show. I wanted to be super honest. I didn’t want the audience to walk out saying, “So wait, what the hell happened?” Also, the things that I thought were funny ARE super personal. Plus, I feel like people are weird about breast cancer, like its embarrassing or something and I wanted to just lay it all out and be like “Here’s the deal! Can you believe this shit?” For the show to be really good, and for me to feel good about it, it had to be really personal.
What do you hope people take away from your show?
Pam Murphy is hilarious!
That’s a joke, sort of.
I hope people realize that not everything is such a big deal. I feel like people get all worked up about crap that doesn’t even matter.
I’d really like other survivors and newly diagnosed ladies to see it, and think “well if that idiot got through it, so can I.” Also, it’s not like I’m the only person in the world to have to deal with breast cancer. There’s a whole lotta ladies. When I was dealing with it, I thought the shit would never end. Also, I felt like people were really pushing “the bright side” on me and this show is not that at all.
What are your future goals with the show?
I don’t know. Right now, I’d like to have a lot of people come see it. I’d like to perform it perfectly every time. I think my goals will change as I do the show.
What past projects of yours are you most proud of and why?
I’m really proud of my UCB Harold Team DeCoster. I guess that’s a past and current project. We’ve had our ups and downs and we’ve worked really hard together. We’re doing some really fun shows together and I love performing with those guys. We’ve become a family, a crazy family.
What do you hope to see in the future from women in comedy?
Lots of them. Women working together, creating create projects and parts for other women.
Do you feel a divide between men and women in the comedy world?
I feel the divide is created by individual men and women. I’ve had people say to me, “You’re one of the funniest girls I know” and “You improvise like a guy” Thank you? Why not say you’re one of the funniest people I know? I think that’s weird, like guys are held to a different standard, and I’m just using the ladies tee. Yeah, I improvise like me, not like a guy. I consider guys to be on the same playing field with me, and women and men who don’t think that need to watch Battlestar Gallactica. Not a joke!
What advice would you impart to ladies just starting out in the world – o – comedy?
It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun work. You need to be constantly creating and collaborating. Do the things that you find funny and don’t worry about what other people think of you. Find people that you like to work with and learn how to work with people you don’t like.
Who are you inspired by in the comedy world and why?
I love Christina Gausas! I watch her improvise and I think, how does her mind work?! It’s amazing. Also, Becky Drysdale, I’ve seen first hand that she’s a comedy genius. The way she directed my show, I felt like she knew me better than I knew myself, what I’m capable of, what I do best. And Fran Gillespie, she cracks me up and she’s a force to be reckoned with.
As far as “famous peeps” I’d say Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, of course. They’re living the dream!
Who would you like to hear from on the blog next?
I’d say Christina Gausas, Becky Drysdale and Fran Gillespie.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I guess that’s it. Thanks for asking me to do this!
You can catch Pam in THE C WORD at UCBT NY on December 9th & 27th at 9:30pm.