By Dee Jae Cox
Once upon a time in a land far away, someone once said that women just aren’t funny. And so it became the guiding rule of film and television that only men could write comedy. Greats like Lucille Ball, still had those such as comedian Jerry Lewis, denying she was funny simply because she was female. But women and their comedic talent persevered as writers and performers and ever so slowly the belly laughs inspired by a feminine perspectives began to populate film, television and stages across America. SNL making Tina Fey their head writer in 1999 was a huge break through for an industry that has always been male dominated. Add the adjective, lesbian to the mix and the road to success becomes even bumpier…for most. But when you have the style and talent of a comedian like Shann Carr, you plow right on through and pave your own path.
Shann, grew up a military brat, both of her parents Army officers and so she was born in Texas, went to high school in Oregon and settled in California, with a lot of traveling in-between. She made up her own reviews and took herself on tour and found herself playing at places like the combo drive through Mexican Restaurant/package store and a drag queen show bar. She has sported the International Ms. Leather title and pioneered the ‘Safe, Sane and Consensual’ sex campaign.
And through it all she claims that, “My fate has never been in anyone’s hands but my own.” And it all has paid off in the hilarious comedy that she writes and performs. As with most comediennes, her stories are very personal, funny and poignant. She’s a natural entertainer, witty and funny and always unpredictable with what is going to come out of her mouth. She has hosted a multitude of shows in the Palm Springs area including the Match Game, a funny new take on the old 1970’s TV show. She works with the Cinema Diverse and a multitude of local organizations.
After performing in Las Vegas, she got the inspiration for her number one goal on the planet, the creation of the Moxy Resort, Studio and Agency; a gay and lesbian resort that will house a 100+ room hotel, a production company and talent agency. The resort ambition combines her life-long inspirations of travel and entertainment. She wants Palm Springs to be the top Gay and Lesbian Entertainment destination.
And next summer she plans to produce “Those Gays Can Dance” (working title) a same sex dance competition.
“In my industry you have to reinvent yourself,” she says, “or you have no new jokes to tell.” And Shann never seems to run out of jokes to tell.
For more information: www.shanncarr.com.
Dee Jae Cox, is a playwright, director and producer. She is the Cofounder and Artistic Director for The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Project and the host of KPTR 1450’s hit radio show, “California Woman 411” in Palm Springs.