On July 12th, 7:30pm, at UMF’s Emery Arts Center, Divas Do Good, Vermont’s premeir all-female stand up comedy group will appear to do a benefit fund raiser for SAVES, Farmington area’s Sexual Assult Victims Emergency Services. This will be a great evengin of entertainment for a great cause. Josie Leavitt, the founder of The Divas is a bookstore owning pal of mine and I caught up with her to find out a bit more about the upcoming benefit.
Kenny: So how would you finish the sentence Divas Do Good? For example at long last, all the time, every now and then, or just by itself as a statement of fact.
Josie: The Divas Do Good all the time. Our desire to work with not-for-profits is something we all wanted to do. Each of us regularly volunteers in our spare time. To be able to help organizations raise money by laughing is just another great bonus.
Kenny: Tell us a bit about how the Divas got started Josie?
Josie: I started the Divas in 2006 as a way for female comics to get more stage time. At that time there were very places to do stand up in Vermont. One of the places that had comedy, usually had opener spots for male comics. I wanted to create a show that would highlight female stand-ups. We started with three Divas. Now we are five Divas strong. Carmen Lagala and Sue Schmidt joined us earlier this year and Divas Do Good has really taken off since they joined me, Tracie Spencer and Autumn Spencer.
Kenny: I know the Divas always look to benefit a good cause, such as SAVES. Do you have something against bad causes?
Josie: We find bad causes to be a waste of our comedic time. Bad causes are also solitary endeavors, and the Divas like to work together. Plus, bad causes can be mean, and while we may be Divas, we are never mean.
Kenny: Gottcha. I know you teach a class in Stand up Comedy. Can everyone be funny on purpose?
Josie: It’s amazing to me how people are funny everyday. Most people are far funnier than they think. In fact, most of my students begin every class by saying, “I’m funny in a groups and at parties, but I don’t think I can just do it on stage.” And the answer to that is, yes, yes you can.
Kenny: You are also the owner of a wonderful bookstore in Vermont, The Flying Pig. As you know, to get our national bookselling license we are required to take a vow to be serious at all times. Did you get a waiver?
Josie: I do have a waiver. Issued by the ABA (American Bookselling Association) when I filled out my membership paperwork, they could tell right away, that I was going to have a hard time with the vow, so they immediately waived the vow.
Kenny: Thanks Josie. We’re very excited to have you come to Farmington!
Josie: Can’t wait!