With a fiery wit to match her red hair and edgy personality, Pennsylvania native April Macie has been entertaining audiences with her stand-up comedy for the past 12 years. She focuses on real-life humor, drawing from personal experiences as well as stories garnered from her years of travel to more than 23 different countries as subject matter, expertly converting each anecdote into a rollicking performance with humorous twists. A finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2006, Macie has appeared on E! Entertainment, Access Hollywood, and Sirius and XM Radio. She also has performed for U.S. troops in 12 countries.
This month, Macie returns to Southwest Florida for the first time in six years. She will perform September 11-14 at Off The Hook Comedy Club, which has temporarily moved from Marco Island to the House of Brewz in Fort Myers for shows Thursdays to Sundays while construction continues on its future home, the Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center in Bonita Springs.
NI.COM: When did you realize comedy was your passion, and what inspired you to pursue it?
MACIE: I came from a dysfunctional family and had very few life skills, so comedy just felt like a natural choice. As a woman growing up, I didn’t see anyone who was like me, so it never dawned on me that comedy was something I could pursue and make a living at until years later, when my dad told me, “I think comedy is your calling. You have no skills, so give it a try.”
Did you have a plan B?
No, I never really even had a plan A. I think if you have something to fall back on, or something else that you’re good at, you won’t really go for the first thing. For example, if I had a medical degree, I wouldn’t have ended up traveling the world and staying in various condos and pursuing comedy like I do now. I think, typically, if you have a plan B, you won’t make your plan A. You have to be all in, one hundred percent.
Who are some of your comedic role models?
As a huge fan of comedy, I watched a lot growing up; two of my favorite comics were Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy. I prefer the edgier comedians. I love Dave Chapelle, Richard Pryor, Ellen Degeneres and Roseanne Barr; the list goes on and on.
Do you think it’s more difficult for women to make it in the world of comedy than men?
Yes. Sometimes, the way I’m brought up on stage, the hosts introduce me like, “We’ve got something different! We’ve got a lady!” almost like they’re bringing up a trained monkey. Even the lifestyle as a comedian isn’t as welcoming if you’re a woman—you’re traveling, you’re alone in hotels, you’re isolated and there’s more of an element of danger when you’re abroad. But the places where I’ve performed at more than once, the comedy club staffs kind of become a small family. We hear that women aren’t funny but some of the funniest people I know happen to be women.