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Nichelle Stephens

Among many other things that you do, you are the co-producer of Chicks and Giggles - a weekly comedy show for women comics. Tell us more about that and what inspired you to do it.

Chicks and Giggles was an idea I came up with in February of 2004 when I first moved back to New York City after a brief stint in Atlanta. At first the goal was to entertain myself at night while I toiled away at a Midtown consulting firm. I had never produced any show, let alone a comedy show, in my life. However, I know how throw a good party and that's why the show is fun. A friend who is a comic told me about a new comedy club and suggested that I do the show there.

For my first show in May 2004, I placed an ad on Craigslist looking for comics. Then I went to see them perform live so that I could determine if they would be good for Chicks and Giggles. Once I had my line-up, I emailed friends and begged them to come to the show. Since then, Chicks and Giggles has been mentioned in the New York Times, The New Yorker and was film for a student documentary on women in comedy.

Now I see the show as not only a place for funny women to perform both also a community where women network with others to collaborate and produce other shows. Two years later, I have a great co-producer and host Carolyn Castiglia and a community of comedians, women, performers, actors, authors, moms, musicians and all-around good folks who come to the show every week.


Do you yourself perform as a comic?

I am more of a humor essayist than a stand-up comic. I just performed this past week reading a hilarious yet heartbreaking story about my senior prom. The audience laughed and it was great!


How did you get started?

I got started with performing about two years ago, at almost the same time I started Chicks and Giggles. I want to do more because I really enjoy the thrill of entertaining people, but I also love to discover and cultivate new talent. Producing Chicks and Giggles is a way for me to do both.


Have you ever had stage fright? How do you overcome it?

Recently I emceed a charity event, and that was scarier than actual performing. I took deep breaths. Drinking a glass of wine can help, too.


Do you think that in our society women are considered to not be as funny as men? Is it true?

I hate that women are not thought of as funny as men, because I totally disagree. It is so not true, and every week our show proves that stereotype wrong. The funny is female...Deal with it!


You are also working on a book about cupcakes - where did this tasty passion come from?

My friends and I love cupcakes and parties, and we got into a habit of bringing them to bars to celebrate friend's birthdays and stuff. Then the Cupcakes Take The Cake blog was started in December of 2004, and now three of us (Allison Bojarski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and I) are working on a cupcakes appreciation book. (Check out the blog: cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com.)


A piece of advice for other Daring Females who are considering performing - singing, putting on a comedy show, dancing, you name it - and are hesitating:

My advice is this: No one knows you better than you. Listen to yourself first and do what makes you happy.

To learn more about Nichelle and Chicks and Giggles, visit chicksandgiggles.blogspot.com.

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