by: In Our Words and OutLoud Chicago Staff
Raven haired cat maven Candy Lawrence is doing her stretches and warming up for hosting Queer Comedy at Zanies on the 26th. Yelling enthusiast and 90s R&B aficionado, Lawrence is a high energy performer who has been seen at the Chicago and NYC Sketchfests, and The Upright Citizens Brigade as one half of the comedy duo, $The Money Kids$; she has done stand-up at Zanies, Mayne Stage, The Lincoln Lodge and Chicago Underground Comedy among others. She was also apart of the Just For Laughs festival in Chicago and was recently named one of the top comedians in Chicago by the Chicago Magazine.
Word on the street is before you got into comedy that you were studying to be a dancer–what inspired the switch?
Eh. That was so long ago, approximately forty seven years ago. My dance instructor actually persuaded me to go to college for theatre. You had to audition to get into the program and I auditioned with a PIECE from Ace Ventura Pet Detective and surprisingly got a scholarship. I focused mainly on comedy and once I graduated I studied improv and sketch for a few years. And then one day I was drunk at John Barleycorn and Adam asked me to do stand-up at his show for the first time and I said, “YES, I WILL FUCKING DO STAND-UP.” And I’ve been doin it and doin it and doin it well ever since.
When you did get into comedy, you started with sketch then transitioned into doing primarily stand-up, right? What brought you to the stand-up side?
I guess I can see into the future and I already answered that question.
How does your dance and sketch background influence your stand-up?
I definitely incorporate a lot of body rolls into my sets that’s for sure. Also, I like to add a little flavor to my sets by doing horrible impressions of Rose in the movie Titanic as a business woman. I guess that would be something I would write a sketch about. Some of my stand-up is character based as well. It’s really quite absurd. I don’t even know what the hell is going on.
You’re known for a high energy zaniness on stage–how do you get into that frame of mind?
“Drink your juice, Shelby, drink your juice.”
What are you most excited about for hosting James Adomian?
Hosting James Adomian and eating so many soft pretzels in between our sets.
Your past performances at Queer Comedy at Zanies have been known for hilarity but also your intro music and dancing. Any clues for our readers as to what you’ll be dancing onto stage with on March 26th?
“Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” by Deborah Cox just because I think it would be so funny if everyone is so confused and worried about whether or not they should be there.