Split comedy EP recording is last stop before local comic undergoes bottom surgery
Mary Jane French is about to embark on a new journey in her life by surgically altering part of her body – and while the results will help her move on with her life as a transwoman, it’s going to play hell on her comic routine.
“Last April or May I found myself with eight and a half minutes of material that turned into 12-15 minutes of material that wouldn’t be applicable to me after bottom surgery,” French, a local comic and filmmaker said in an interview with GayRVA. “I was like, ‘I want to record this before I can’t tell the jokes anymore.’”
Your chance to catch her last stand up gig before she changes her set happens Monday, Dec. 12th, at Gallery 5.
The show, called PC Thugs will include two musical acts, an acoustic set by Warrington and a full band set by The Talkies, with stand-up acts by French and another local queer comic, Patrick Miller, in between.
French chose Miller as the second half of the split EP because his comedic style fits the same type as hers.
“Pat is another very outwardly queer comic who likes talking about that a lot,” French said. “We can make both ends cringe sometimes depending on what we’re talking about.”
While she may be losing jokes that she can make after the surgery, she’s already begun writing material that she can use after her recovery.
“I think the only way it will negatively impact [my act] is that it’s 12 minutes I won’t be able to tell anymore,” she said. “I have to say goodbye to some material that I wouldn’t want to say goodbye to yet otherwise.”
French decided to use audio as the way to record the session, as opposed to video, because of the more intimate nature of the medium.
“I wanted an opportunity to work with a space that I like in the community,” she said, referring to the always LGBTQ-friendly Gallery 5. “In a general sense I do often experience that I feel that audio albums get the energy across better than video. I feel like having just the audio is more capable of putting you in the room when it was recorded when you listen to it.
Her last recorded show, Bearded Woman, was a 30-minute video special that used humor to highlight some of the challenges and darker moments of her transition process.
“I wasn’t performing for a while because when I started my transition I was not comfortable going on stage and acknowledging it,” she told GayRVA about Bearded Woman in July 2015. “But when I wasn’t performing I spent a lot of time shirking commitments and staying in bed all day. But once I started performing, it was cathartic – I would lose the anxiety and frustration I would get.”
The Gallery 5 show includes a $5 fee to benefit Side by Side, a local organization dedicated to creating supportive communities for LGBTQ youth.
So come out this Monday to support a great organization, and hear Mary Jane tell some bits about her bits before they’re rearranged”
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