6 Underrepresented Comedians Get Their Own Special With 'Everything Is Fine!'
Crowdfunding and streaming site Seed & Spark just produced its first comedy special, made by and starring women.
Seed & Spark has raised more than $15 million for more than 1,100 different projects so far. Its mission: help underrepresented creative people tell their stories.
A lot of what they do supports filmmakers, but Seed & Spark decided to broaden its slate, producing its first live comedy special.
That special, Everything is Fine!, features six up-and-coming female comedians. The performers include racial minorities and LGBTQ performers, all of them hoping to jump to the next level of the standup world. It was recorded a few months ago at Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth Theatre near DTLA.
Everything is Fine! director Xan Aranda said they worked carefully to select the comics, seeking to draw attention to all kinds of diversity.
"I think when people speak of a category like women or men or cats, dogs, Latinos, Parisians -- the idea that in a group of that category, there's still so much diversity already," Aranda said. "There are class differences, there are perspectives, experiences."
"If we're going to make our first foray into original content, we're going to do it for the same reasons that we're making the platform in the first place, which is to help elevate the people who the system has not been elevating," Seed & Spark founder Emily Best added.
One of those comedians is Lianna Carrera.
"I actually did get my start in front of all deaf audiences. Something called the American Sign Language Comedy Tour," Carrera said.
It's not the typical starting point for an up-and-coming comedian, but she said that because Carrera's mother was deaf and her household was highly religious, it was the logical choice for her.
"I performed in front of audiences that had 200 people, that were well lit, and there would be sign language interpreters," Carrera said. "I had to work through bad sound delays and laughter because it would take a second for the interpreter to get the joke out. And I really got seasoned that way."
Outlets like Seed & Spark offer an important stepping stone for aspiring comedians, Carrera said. It's also happy to offer some constructive criticism to those comedians.
"They put it in a really, really nice, sweet/not sweet way that maybe some of my material -- my videos -- needed updating," Carrera said. "So I was really flattered and also insulted."
Note: A version of this story also appeared on KPCC's the Frame.
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