Rosalie Gale is a comedian who makes shower art and invented Hot Girl Fart Shoes. She will appear at The Bridgetown Comedy festival this week; here is a link to her website:
Q: What made you want to be a comedian?
A: I’ve always loved making people laugh. I was never the hot girl so I didn’t get that kind of attention and instead depended on humor to ingratiate myself with others. In my late 20’s, I realized I had a knack for saying things out loud that other people tried to shush internally.
But honestly, when it comes down to it, my hatred of “legitimate theatre” was what drove me to try stand up comedy. I used to love theatre and immersed myself in it all through high school. Then, I studied performance in college and about 1/2 way through I realized that I actually kind of hated it. For some reason it didn’t occur to me to choose a different major, so I pressed on and graduated. I moved to Seattle in 1999 decided I wanted a creative outlet. I had always loved stand up and once I made the connection that I could do it anytime I wanted – whenever it fit into my schedule – I decided to try out an open mic.
Q: What is shower art and what made you interested in making it?
A: Shower Art is waterproof art you can hang in your shower with a suction cup. My husband and I make them out of rubber, glitter, discarded toys and a fair amount of sarcasm. The origin story isn’t all that exciting: I was bored in the shower one day and when I came out I told my husband, Doug, that there should be something in there that you can look at. We set about figuring out how to make them and two years later we finally had the process down pat. We hung up our shingle shortly after.
Q: What is it about life that you find worth laughing at?
A: I find most everything that is uncomfortable and awkward hilarious. Also, poop. Really anything that a five-year-old boy would laugh at is what cracks me up. That said, I keep the poop jokes out of my stand-up and really focus on them in my art instead. You have to draw the line somewhere, right?
Q: What is unique about the comedy scene in the Pacific Northwest?
A: I think the Pacific Northwest is kind of like comedy Kindergarten. You can find stage time most any night of the week and there are all kinds of comedian-run rooms in bars and coffee shops around the city. It’s a great city to start out in and hone an act before moving on to New York or LA. You won’t get seen by the right people here – and for those just starting their careers – that’s a good thing. “Get a solid 1/2 hour and then move” is a strategy often employed here.
Q: Who are some of your comedic influences?
A: Janeane Garofalo: She was one of the first female comics I connected with. Edgy. Kinda, grumpy. Not overly concerned with fitting into Hollywood beauty standards.
Jen Kirkman: I love the way she tells hilarious stories from her life. Also, we share the same views on retirement communities (can’t wait!).
Paul F. Tompkins: I’ve seen some of his earlier stand-up that I didn’t connect with as much as I do his current work. He gives me hope that one day I’ll find my voice – like he obviously did.
Kyle Kinane: Another story teller at heart. I remember seeing him open for Patton Oswalt in Seattle and my husband and I repeated one of his jokes over and over and over. I’ve made a point to see his act every time he’s been to town since. His stories are so crazy and far-fetched and so obviously true that you can’t help but fall in love with his life a little.
Q: What is it that you find funny about crafts?
A: The indie craft revolution started about 10 years ago and created an environment where people can create and sell weird things that you would have previously never been able to find. One of the first, Jenny Hart created Sublime Stitching, a company that produces cool embroidery patterns depicting Day of the Dead, burlesque dancers, robots, meat, vital organs and heavy metal (to name just a few). Before Jenny, those themes weren’t available to embroidery fans. Thanks to her – and the Internet – people can buy weird patterns anytime. The whole movement has really created more options for people. It used to be – if you didn’t like bunnies and geese – you were out of luck. Now you can find crafts that cater to just about any interest.
Some examples of crafts I find funny:
Q: What trends in comedy annoy you?
A: I’m not sure if there are any specific trends in comedy that annoy me. I do get annoyed when people make blanket statements about women not being funny — but how could I not?
Q: Who was the strangest heckler you have ever had?
A: I used to co-produce a show called Non Profit Comedy that benefited a different organization every week. At one show, one of the non profit employees talked incessantly through the show. During my set she commented loudly on every single thing I said. It was bizarre. You know we’re doing this to raise money for you, right? Right?
Q: What is Hot Girls Fart Shoes?
A: Hot Girls Fart Shoes is a collaborative project that my friend Jessica Obrist and I created last year. We make fart shoes like Fozzie the Bear wore in the Muppet Movie — self-inflating whoopee cushions attached with Velcro. We ask women to put the shoes on and have someone film them as they walk around in them for the first time. In short: It’s just stupid fun.
Q: If you could open for Lenny Bruce, Johnny Carson or Ellen DeGeneres, who would you pick?
A: I’m sitting here trying to think of a scenario where Lenny Bruce, Johnny Carson and Ellen DeGeneres all want me to open for them on the same day so I have to only choose one. It’s making my brain explode a little. I guess if someone’s life depended on me choosing, I would pick Ellen so I could ask her to record a Hot Girls Fart Shoes video.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)