Outrageous comedienne and astute businesswoman, B-Phlat is on her way to something really big in entertainment. I’m not just talking about the Finals Of The 20th Anniversary Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival. She has the tools and insight to take her career exactly where she wants it to go. Onstage as well as offstage, this courageous and confident sistah truly has her “act” together. Being a fabulous sistah myself, I was elated to receive the assignment of interviewing this comedienne queen.
By Miss Eloquence
M.E. Hello, Miss B-Phlat, Girl, I am sooo glad to be finally interviewing a sistah for the Urban Comedy Reporter! Brutha’s are super cool with me, don’t get it twisted. I’m just happy that two sistahs have a chance to chat and represent together, so to speak. Before we get started, congratulations on earning a spot in the Competition Finals! How do you feel being the only female among all those funny men? And what took us, as females, so long to get back to the "big show?"
B-PHLAT I feel like I fit in with the rest of the big dogs and there is no difference. I don't think we ever left the big show. It's just the way of the world that women take so long to gain recognition in a male-dominated world.
M.E. With your bad self! I caught your show during the Competition prelims last month in Fairfield. You are one hilarious woman. Girl I was dyin’. What makes you so funny?
B-PHLAT What makes me funny is that I've come into my own being and embrace the fact that I am like no other. I've gained a since of confidence about my style and I feel that aura shine through on stage. I feel like everyone in the audience is my friend and I'm in the backyard, drunk, telling a funny, un-interrupted story.
M.E. Between you and me, girl you were not the only one drunk that night! A sistah does like to get her drink on and enjoy some good comedy. But I did have a designated driver, you know what I’m sayin’? What's all this about you getting such good sex that you need padding afterwords? Is that just comedy or can you hook a sistah up with a brother who's bringing it like that? Not your man, of course.
B-PHLAT If you've ever had a long bout of love making then there is no need for me to explain the sore coochy pat! It's happened to the best of us, those of us gettin' it! My man is a wonderful person and because of that all the other just flows naturally. He's definitely in the house!
M.E. I remember those days but it’s been a minute. You entertainers get all of the… “attention.” I watch a lot of comedy. Oftentimes, sistahs are accused of being too similar in their material and their delivery of that material. Your approach is definitely different. Where do you get the inspiration for your extremely original material? Besides getting all that good sex, I mean.
B-PHLAT I am an observer, a voyeur, whatever you want to call it. I watch and study people by habit. I read everything and I don't miss shi*! This type of observation allows me to see how people move and interact within this world and I sum it all up and make it funny. Everyday people are hilarious!
M.E. I know you probably get asked this question all the time but I'm sure my readers out there want to know. In such a male-dominated business, what made you want to become a comedienne in the first place?
B-PHLAT I never knew I wanted to be a comedienne! I've always been witty and sarcastic in my own way, which comes out funny. My friends saw something in me and encouraged me to go on stage. Actually I was tricked into doing comedy at a talent show for WHY-Y Public Television back in 1995. I do have to say I love a challenge. Anytime someone tells me it can't be done, I have to do it my way!
M.E. Me too, girl. That’s why I’m single today! But I digress. Where are you from?
B-PHLAT St. Louis Missouri
M.E. Where do you live now?
B-PHLAT I'm bi-coastal. I live in Philly and Los Angeles.
M.E. For those who have yet to see you, besides incredibly funny, how would you describe your show?
B-PHLAT Adult in humor, childish in context.
M.E. Short and sweet; I like that. What did you do before your career in stand up?
B-PHLAT I worked as a Marketing Director for a law firm and, a Development Director for an unemployment agency for people with disabilities, a wonderful source of material.
M.E. You’ve had numerous TV appearances, traveled everywhere. People recognize you in airports all over the country. You’re obviously “doin’ yo’ thug thizzle.” What was your first big break?
B-PHLAT I think my first big break came when I got my first real laugh, instead of the "awe, she's too pretty to boo, laugh."
M.E. What's your ultimate fantasy?
B-PHLAT To get married in a castle in Ireland so that I can feel like a queen for a day, then trek all over the UK for 3 weeks.
M.E. A queen in her castle; I’m not mad at you. Sounds like it’ll be on and crack-a-lackin’ in her majesty’s bedchamber on her wedding night! And since we’re on the subject, what's your marital/relationship status?
B-PHLAT I'm currently in a committed relationship with a lovely country bumpkin from Alabama by way of Rochester, NY.
M.E. Girl, I’m still not mad at you! Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
B-PHLAT My Dad! He makes you feel like life is so simple, no matter what, so enjoy each day like a day you've never seen before.
M.E. That’s wisdom, right there. How do you spell r-e-l-a-x-a-t-i-o-n?
B-PHLAT Yoga Retreat at the Rock House in Negril!
M.E. Yes, the sunsets in Negril are legendary. I remember back about ten years ago, me and my man, at the time, vacationed in Negril for 7 glorious days and nights of fun and romance on those white sandy beaches and all of that heat! That man knows he wasn’t right. Like you say in your act, “he know he wild!” Maybe next time I go, I’ll try the yoga. You’re doing so much right now. I know you think about what the future has in store for you. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
B-PHLAT Relaxing on a beach in St. Maarten writing my life story.
M.E. I see you like the Caribbean. Obviously, you’re in show business because you love it. What is your ultimate professional goal?
B-PHLAT To be the funniest person in the world and have people imitate me!
M.E. What does being in the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival Finals mean to you?
B-PHLAT It means that I'm really supposed to be there because I wasn't going to attend. I really don't look at it as a competition, just another opportunity for me to entertain people in a broader range. I'm really looking forward to looking fly, feeling spectacular and meeting people.
M.E. That’s a great approach. You’re taking it all in stride. You have a wealth of inspiring things to say. At the risk of sounding cliché, what's your life's guiding principal?
B-PHLAT Don't criticize, condemn or complain and if God brought you to it, he'll bring you through it.
M.E. I gotta’ give you an Amen on that one! Bear with me while I ask another traditional question. Your answer might help somebody. What words of wisdom do you have for young people trying to break into show business?
B-PHLAT This business is not for punks, so if you take things personal and are too kind hearted, you might want to look for a new profession. The entertainment business is full of lost souls with big egos, waiting to crush yours.
M.E. See, that’s why I’m a writer! I couldn’t be an entertainer. If you couldn't be a comedian, what would you be?
B-PHLAT A Ceramist.
(M.E. NOTE TO MY READERS: Okay! Now y’all know I wanted to say, “a what?” But a sistah had to be professional and play it off until I could get to my dictionary. FYI a ceramist is someone who makes ceramic objects.)
M.E. I see. How interesting. I got an email about a new project for you coming up soon. Tell me about your one-woman show?
B-PHLAT My one-woman show is based on my life as a comedienne, juggling the seemingly glamorous world of entertainment and real life of living in the ghetto and being the Neighborhood Association President. It's been a ten-year love/hate battle with my neighbors, which inspired me to write a peculiar story.
M.E. Out of all of the subjects that you could’ve used as source material, what made you decide to "go there?"
B-PHLAT Because the life we live in my neighborhood is no different from anywhere else. Everything is all relevant to your surroundings, but as human beings, we all share similar experiences. My story is funny because it's brutally honest.
M.E. One person shows are a lot of work. It’s a great vehicle for comics to showcase their skills. What else is coming up for B-Phlat?
B-PHLAT Right now I'm revamping my image and marketing strategy and getting in sync with my management in LA. I'm planning to take my one woman show on the road once I get situated.
That's it Miss B-Phlat! I am all out of questions. This has been fun and enlightening. You’re quite a lady. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. All the best to you and good luck at the Finals.
B-Phlat can be seen as one of seven comedians at the Final Round of the 20th Anniversary of the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival, Saturday, April 15th, 2006, 8PM, at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre. Tickets are on sale at The Paramount box office and Ticketmaster, while they last.