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Skirting the Skirt-chasers in Mainstream Entertainment

Comic and podcast host Chelsea Shorte is onstage on a cold Wednesday night in a small restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia. She is telling her mostly female audience about her transition from improv comedy to standup.

“I got tired of being cast as people’s moms even though I was 23,” she says. “If you’ve ever done improv with men, you’ll understand.”

The women gathered at the restaurant did understand. Most of them were aspiring comics who attended to network with one another, in an effort to skirt the roadblocks set up by a male-dominated entertainment industry.

Long before last week’s allegations of sexual harassment by comedian Louis C.K. emerged, journalist Nell Scovell wrote a 2009 Vanity Fair piece in response to a sex scandal centered around her former boss, late-night talk show host David Letterman.

“At this moment,” the article began, “there are more females serving on the United States Supreme Court than there are writing for ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ [and competitors],The Jay Leno Show’, and ‘The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien’ combined. Out of the 50 or so comedy writers working on these programs, exactly zero are women. It would be funny if it weren’t true.”

Space for women

Comedian and entrepreneur Victoria Elena Nones founded the Women in Comedy network, which was behind Wednesday night’s networking event.

“I thought it was really important to provide a space for women to come together,” Nones says. “We see a lot of improv troupes and smaller groups of women who band together or do all-female open mics, but there was no national and international network of support.”

Nones founded her network in Chicago in 2015 and it now has chapters in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington. She says she hopes the group will help women find and support each

Article source: https://www.voanews.com/a/skirting-the-skirt-chasers-in-mainstream-entertainment/4112548.html

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