Updated: Jun 15, 2021
Sommore is an American comedian and actress who has been in the game for over 25 years. From Def Comedy Jam to Netflix, nothing has stopped this powerful force from being one of the greatest and most relatable comedians to perform on stage. Not known to hold her tongue, she has made people laugh from her fierceness and bold discussions.Touching on topics such as money, equality, and relationships. There’s almost no topic that’s off limits. As Sommore grows and continues to go on tour, she still holds the title as a true Queen of Comedy. I got a chance to catch up with Sommore on her career as a comedian and Chandelier.
Wardrobe Stylist: Oliver Brown @olvrbrwn Photographer: Antwon maxwell @antwonmaxwellphotography Assistant: Alfield Reeves @alfieldreevesphotography Wardrobe Stylist: Safa Haque @magnificent_misfit Hair Stylist: Char @charshairmuseum Makeup Artist: Kazumi Brown @kazumibrowntheartist Model: Sommore @sommore Assistant: Sheila Fisher @sheilafisherhair
It’s been 20 years since you and 3 great comedic legends graced the stage as "The Queens of Comedy". What lessons did you learn from that moment and how has it shaped you as a woman in the Stand-Up industry?
The Queens of comedy tour and film gave me the confidence as a woman in a male dominated business to move like a boss. The idea was mine to get the women together, promote the show and perform on the show. I learned so much about the business and it was the best platform to be associated with. My 1st solo project was titled “The Queen Stands Alone”…. Still Queening on they asses
You truly are the definition of a go-getter. Your background and degree in business has allowed you to pivot and create your own lane to success. From having a degree in Business Administration and Mathematics, to once owning a shoe store and being a teacher, have any of those experiences prepared you for where you are today and have any of those moments ever inspired your material?
As a stand up comedian, everything I've experienced in my life inspires my comedy. Comedy is written from your own perspective, so you have to take all that you have experienced and incorporate that into the delivery of your experience.
From performing on the stages of Def Comedy Jam and ComicView, to executively producing 5 of your own specials, what challenges have you faced as a comedian and what is one lesson you would share to the next comedian coming up?
Being a producer and promoter, as well as a comedian, I have faced many challenges. One thing I would suggest is to understand show business. Understand the business of comedy. Knowing the business of comedy helps me understand certain frustrations and how to navigate through obstacles. I'm a business woman first and I approach 90% of my life as such.
One thing about The Queens of Comedy is that it empowered women to wear their crowns and come together.Would you consider producing an all female comedy show in the future?
The “Queens of Comedy” was definitely amazing. There are so many women out now who’s putting in work. It’s still a male dominated business and we definitely need more women headliners and that comes from fan support. I would love to produce a Queens of Comedy for the new generation. However, timing is important…. Its almost time… LOL
Who are some upcoming comedians your rooting for?
There are too many to name…..AF (Ashima Franklin) and Taneshia Rice. I know there are vets in the game who don’t feel validated. I encourage them to count small victories and keep standing up!
How has the industry of stand-up evolved since you started and is there anything still missing?
The Internet has definitely broadened the title of comedian… but I’m a fan of stand-up comedy, which is totally different from Internet comedy. As a stand-up comedian, you can have a joke and premises and someone can take your joke and make a meme or a skit of it, instantly your joke has become street meat! Lol. I have seen a comic do an entire set of internet memes. As a comedian, I have to challenge myself to have the most authentic thoughts. Challenging myself to think outside of the box but stay relatable enough for the joke to be common. I beg audiences not to film me.. Please don’t film me and if you respect me, even if you repeat my shit, give me credit.
What advice would you give to someone who’s interested in being a stand-up comedian but doesn’t know how to begin?
The advice I would give to a new stand-up comedian who doesn't know how to begin is to simply begin. Understand the difference between being a stand-up comedian and being funny. I believe everyone has funny moments but a stand-up comedian has to create, capture and deliver. Find your own unique voice and don't use my shit.
You often refer to yourself as a Chandelier. For those who don't understand, could you explain the meaning behind the title?
I call myself a chandelier because it’s the only object in the room that doesn't have to compete. It's very easy to compare your life, successes or failures to other people; don't do it. Run your own race and you will shine. That's chandelier status.
With things opening back up from the pandemic, what’s next on the agenda for the Chandelier herself?
I just want to work, work, work and more work. Stand-up comedy is about having a rhythm and flow; whereas timing is everything. Sometimes your timing can be off. I just want to hit stages and share my experiences through the pandemic and love on my people.
Interviewer: Oliver Brown @olvrbrwn