Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival starts on May 8 and it’s going to be awesome. We know that because we’ve been interviewing some of the comics and they are funny and great and you’re going to love them. First up: Bri Pruett of Portland, who kindly submitted to an email interview.
The Tusk: I saw you last year in the Portland’s Funniest Person finals and you were hilarious. I loved your local humor and especially your Blazer’s jokes. I personally think you were robbed. That’s not a question–I just wanted to tell you that.
Bri Pruett: Bless you. I’ll be competing again this year. Do your part, make a sign.
The Tusk: Who is your favorite Blazer currently? Have you ever done any of your Blazers jokes in front of a Blazer? Which Blazer would you most like to bone (fuck sounds so crass and I mean this in a romantic two-become-one-type way)? Which would you most like to marry? (I’m not going to do kill because that’s sacrilegious—none of them deserve to die.)
Bri Pruett: I feel like everyone’s new fave blazer is CJ McCollum. He’s the new Salt n Straw. I don’t think I’ve done the Blazers jokes in front of a Blazer, not that they’d feel comfortable approaching me afterwards. I’d have to make love to Wesley Matthews–even post-surgery, Wes is still my first choice (I’d be so gentle). And I’d marry Robin Lopez. I know, I know, the obvious choice is marry L-Train (LaMarcus “All-Star” Aldridge), but I know that Rolo is, for me, the more self-actualized choice. I should really ask him out. I have a boyfriend, but I feel like we could all go out together, see the new Avengers and have a great time.
The Tusk: I think there are two schools of thought from people in Portland on newcomers: some people think people need to stop moving here because it’s already too expensive and the line at Salt & Straw is embarrassing (my brother thinks this way) and SOME people think that more smart, creative, funny, cool people should move here so we can do better awesome things (my position). Where do you stand on this issue?
Bri Pruett: The lines at Por Que No are embarrassing. They’re just fucking tacos folks. You can cut the line at Salt N’ Straw if you buy a pint from the cold case and Scoop‘s ice cream is better anyway. Look, it was nice when I could pay 200 bucks a month to rent a room! It was easier to be a working artist, but maybe easy shouldn’t be my goal. Portland made me soft and is slowly making me hard again. That’s not the right way to put it.
The Tusk: At this point it’s totally obvious to say “the Portland comedy scene is really exploding!” It clearly is in some respects but it still seems so incredibly dude-heavy to me. I know comedy is very male just in general but why do you think that is? Do you think there’s any way to make the scene more welcoming to women?
Bri Pruett: We’re doing literally everything we can to make comedy more welcoming to women; in Portland, many of the best shows are curated and run by women, a Female Comedy Mafia, if you will. Something that I’ve said before is that doing comedy, going to open mics, hanging out in bars, sacrificing sleep and balancing a day job with art, is not necessarily a healthy or safe lifestyle so a lot of women don’t stay with it (because women are smart and young men sleeping on couches and being a mess is considered ‘sexy’ in some circles). At this point, the deficit of women in comedy should be drawn back to how women are socially developed; as a youth, the media sent me messages about how important being ‘hot’ was and because I wasn’t able to participate in ‘hot’ I went the other way. It’s only a matter of time before this current wave of feminism trickles down to little girls, who will hopefully learn to be mouthy, funny and sharp too. I met a 17 year-old girl from Wilson HS who does stand up. I know an 11 year-old who runs her new jokes by her stepdad on the drive to school every morning. Our numbers are rising.
The Tusk: You write for The Mercury; you do shows all over town; you are basically living the Portland comedy dream. Does comedy here sustain you? Like, do you think you can stay in Portland and continue what you’re doing or do you want to move to LA or New York or give up comedy and be a high powered executive for Nike? That’s a leading question so let me just ask like I’m your grandma: what do you want to do with say the next 5 years of your life?
Bri Pruett: For now it still seems like I’ve got plenty to learn from Portland audiences. And traveling out of Portland to do shows still makes more sense than traveling out of LA. In 5 years, yes, hopefully I’ll be in a bigger market, maybe get a little slice of TV and get the higher billing to turn my part-time dream job into my full-time dream job. Thanks for asking grandma.
The Tusk: You write about sex for The Mercury so let me ask you a sexy question: where’s the best place in Portland for a single person to find true love?
Bri Pruett: Tough question. I found love on OkCupid and before that Craigslist and before that summer camp. Throw parties. Follow your bliss. Mine your friends of friends. And play kickball, everyone seems to be hooking up at kickball. May the odds be ever in your favor.
The Tusk: Is there anything else that you think the world should really know about you, Bri Pruett?
Bri Pruett: I have my own show at Bridgetown this year, I hand-picked the comics and I love them. I hope your readers support the festival, it’s really special.
You can see Bri EVERY SINGLE DAY of Bridgetown. What are you doing?! GO WATCH HER YOU FOOLS.