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Comedian Hope Flood Kicks Off Inaugural Convention for Female Comics
National headlining comedian Hope Flood kicks off the inaugural Females in Comedy Convention in Los Angeles, CA this weekend, drawing high-profile urban comedians such as Thea Vidale, Luenell, Sheryl Underwood, Shang, Garrett Morris, Ms. Laura Hayes, Retha Jones and Tiffany Haddish to perform and share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of rising stars. The convention takes place at J Spot Comedy Club where comedians from across the country will attend seminars and workshops and perform in nightly showcases. Flood, a radio host and veteran comedian who has appeared on Martin Lawrence Presents 1st Amendment Stand-Up, Comics Unleashed and BET’s Comic View, has taken one of the first crucial steps towards uniting female comedians, and producing an event that educates and empowers, as well as showcases comedic talent. We caught up with Flood to discuss the inspiration behind such a long overdue and historic comedy event.
What is the inspiration behind Females in Comedy Convention (FICC), and how long did it take to organize the event?
It’s time for females in comedy to be taken seriously and to be heard. I had the idea to do this convention a few years ago when I was living in Atlanta, but I moved back to Los Angeles and saw all the new funny comediennes and thought to myself, “now was the time” and L.A. of course, is the place. So I’ve been working on this for about seven months.
Why is this event special and what does it mean to you?
It’s special because I have always been an advocate for comediennes. Ive always done all female comedy shows where I put up to 10-15 women onstage at one show…It’s really a movement, making a statement to the industry that women can work together, network, learn, share and be sisterly.
What has been some of the feedback and support you have received for the convention?
Wow, very positive and very overwhelming especially from the male comedians who have asked to be a part of it…More importantly, from the New Jack comediennes that feel they need this convention to help take their careers to the next level and get mentoring.
What are some of the obstacles you had to overcome in producing the convention?
The time to actually put it together because I’m a road comic and a control freak; I wanted it to be done right. I wanted to keep the needs of the female comedians first, and I feel like who else other than a female comedienne that has been in the game for so long that can truly tell them how it is out here in this comedy game.
Convincing other female comediennes that feel like they don’t need to network, or learn anything especially from a comedienne that hasn’t “made it totally” in their eyes, sponsorship and good help were obstacles as well.
How is the FICC different from other festivals and events created for female comedians?
I think it’s because this convention of this level is bringing this many celebs, veterans, and New Jack comediennes from all over the world has never been done before. The workshops, seminars and the other events have not been this well produced and thought out to truly be about the females in comedy.
What would like to accomplish with this year’s convention?
I want somebody to get a manager, agent or a sitcom deal out of this, and just an overall insight and perspective as to if they truly want to take this ride — this long journey into the world of comedy — and if they do, I hope that coming to this convention and what they will gain from it helps them along the way.
Be sure to check out our “Tweet the Interviews” with guest speakers from the Females in Comedy Convention @StageTimeMag.