From stand-up to the big screen, Erin Foley has been making us laugh for over a decade with her comedic, acting and writing skills. In October she’s bringing her Lower the Bar Tour to the Northwest with one show in Seattle followed by two shows in Portland.
The Seattle Lesbian‘s Crystal Gamon got a chance to know a little more about the woman behind the jokes.
What made you get into comedy? Were you always funny?
I started out doing improv comedy in college which brought me to New York City. My shows were at 6:30 p.m. at New York Comedy Club, a small stand-up comedy club on the east side. After my show I would stay and watch stand up for hours. I had never seen or even heard of stand-up comedy before moving to New York City. I loved it instantly, quit improv and started writing jokes nonstop. Without sounding like a d-bag, yes I would say I’ve always been funny.
What was your coming out process like?
I’m a late bloomer so it took me a while to come out. I wasn’t really gay/out until my mid-20s. I was living in New York City, surrounded by gay culture so [it] really helped the process. Both my family and friends were incredibly supportive.
Do you find it easier or harder to be a lesbian comedian? Are there obstacles other comedians don’t face?
For me, being an out comic has been great. I don’t like being labeled a “lesbian comic” or a “female comic.” I’m just a comic. I happen to be gay, I happen to be a lady. Both of which influence my act, but don’t define it. I started talking about being gay on stage around year seven. I had to be confident about my sexuality off stage before I could take about it on stage. I think there are more obstacles being a woman in the world of comedy than being gay. Of course, I’m not going to perform in certain parts of our country because I’m gay, so that’s definitely an obstacle, but one I have no problem with!
Who do you find easier to please, straight audiences or audiences of the LGBT community?
I don’t think it’s a question of “easier to please.” It really just depends on the audience. I’ve had wonderful shows throughout my career performing for both crowds. My ideal audience is 50/50 mix of both gay and straight. When I work the comedy clubs across the country, it’s 95 percent straight, so it’s fun sometimes to perform on a gay show because I know we’re all on the same page. I can truly relax from the start of the show which is exciting.
So you’re coming to Seattle October 11 and Portland October 12. Have you been before?
I’ve been in and out of Seattle for the last six or seven years either performing or visiting. It’s one of my favorite cities in the country. I’m really looking forward to coming up next month. I’ve never performed in Portland so that will be exciting for me as well. Which city do I like better? Well, my girlfriend’s family is from Seattle, so definitely Seattle!
You’re a sports fan – which NFL team are you rooting for this season?
I was born and raised in New York so I’ve been a raging NY Giants’ fan since I was about five years old. Your Seahawks are playing my Giants in December this year. My goal is not to lose by 30.