Saturday, September 22nd, marks the debut of Self-Aware? I Hardly Know Her. Created by the sketch team One Of Us Is Carol, this revue combines the talents of Maggie Rieth Austin, Sallie Bowen, Ashley Bright, Bonnie Criss, Madison Frihart, Emily Gee, Jonda Robinson, and Jade Smith. Self-Aware? I Hardly Know Her is an hour of comedy filled to the brim with big characters, hilarious physical comedy, and a ton of mustaches.
I sat down (Just kidding, I emailed them, no one talks face to face) with these wonderful comedians to better get a feel for their show.
This show features myriad costume changes, which made me wonder: How many wigs do you personally own?
Sallie: YES I LOVE COSTUMES! I dedicate half of my closet space to costumes and I personally own close to 20 wigs. I LOVE A GOOD WIG. Sometimes if I'm feeling a little blue, I'll go walk around a wig store and buy one that I like. Often times buying a new wig inspires an entire character for me!
Jonda: I personally only own two wigs--one I used to play Dolly Parton, and one that is a classic mom look called the Hillary. This show has inspired me to expand my collection.
Madison: I only have 5-6, so not a ton... but enough.
Maggie: I own exactly zero wigs. Please don't out me.
Jade: Honestly, less than I’m willing to admit.
Ashley: Does a gorilla hat/mask count as a wig? If so, 5. If not, 3.
As great as the wigs are in the show, the most prominently featured prop in the show is the mustache. Which celebrity do you feel has the most iconic mustache?
Ashley: Wilford Brimley
Maggie: I almost exclusively watch Bravo TV, so I'm going to go with Reza from Shahs of Sunset. This season, he lost a bunch of weight and shaved off his iconic stash and, I've got to be honest, I really miss his lip toupee.
Madison: My dad, Matt. I have only seen him once without it. But a celebrity? COME ON BROTHER. Hulk Hogan!
Sallie: Oh boy, well Burt Reynolds for sure (R.I.P. to that sweet, sweet stache) and probably Tom Selleck. Those daddies know how to grow 'em.
Jonda: Tom Selleck. Close second is my high school basketball coach, Vernon Johnson.
Jade: I’m more of a full beard/five o’clock shadow fan, but for the purpose of this question I’d say m’dude Ron Swanson.
One of the sketches in your revue tackles the merits of cooking food in a microwave. For frozen food, are you team microwave or team oven?
Jade: Lol, microwave. Get reeeeeeal.
Ashley: I'm team, "it depends." If it says "recommended for oven" - then I heed the recommendation. But first I cook it in the microwave because I'm impatient - then I brown whatever I microwaved in the oven.
Maggie: In theory, I think food tastes better warmed in an oven. In practice, I nuke everything.
Jonda: Oven if I have the time, but who has the time?!?
Sallie: TEAM MICROWAVE 100%! Sure, I'll probably get cancer but I fucking hate cooking and LOVE getting my food fast.
Madison: I don't have enough words to describe how hard I am team air fryer. If you don't have one... get one. It is life changing.
Emily Baudot and Jill Nastasia elevate this show to another level by taking care of things backstage. They’re both big animal lovers, so I’d love to know what you feel their spirit animal would be?
Jonda: I see both of them as beautiful, majestic horses. They work hard and are the real heroes of this show. I cannot thank them enough for what they do for us!
Madison: I feel like Emily would be like a Peacock, just absolutely beautiful inside and out, yet very tough and ready to show her feathers if necessary, just a perfect balance of all things! Jill would be a dolphin, so loyal, happy and hardworking, but will always fight for what's right!
Maggie: They would both be kittens: spunky and adorable.
Ashley: Jill would be a mama lynx with long beautiful fur that adopted a bunch of house cats as her own. Emily would be a hawk. Are hawks good at building nests? They'd both be animals that are good at taking care of business. Cue Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings song where she sings "T.C.B.," but now that I think about it - I think she's talking about a guy being a good lover 'taking care of business..." I don't know. I stand by it. They T.C.B.
Jade: Jill would be a cat, like a lioness or a leopard. Emily would be a wolf for sure. Both TOUGH animals with great instincts and bravery.
Sallie: Jill and Emily have both been amazing through this and we couldn't do the show without them. Jill is definitely a non-threatening cuddly lioness because she's a fierce, strong mama cat but she's also very gentle and kind. Emily is a flying lemur because she is unique, gentle, majestic so she would definitely fly and damn it, she's so friggin adorable.
Do you have any advice for performers looking to put together a sketch team?
Maggie: Just do it. The more you make, the better it will get. Put your work out there and keep doing it.
Sallie: Find a group of writers/performers that you really respect and vibe with. This is a solid group mainly because we all genuinely love each other, respect each other, and value each other's ideas. I love every single one of these powerful, hilarious, talented, wonderful women and I'm so lucky to have gotten to work with them. If you're wanting to write a sketch show, just ask some people you creatively connect with. If they say no, don't get discouraged. Just keep on keepin' on until you collect a powerhouse of writers and performers and then WORK BABY.
Jonda: Pick people who you like to be around, who are putting up work you admire, and who have different strengths than you so your sum is greater than your parts. Once you have those people, get a good director to keep you all moving in the right direction and jump in head first. Drop your ego at the door, don't be afraid of having "bad" ideas, and know that it's going to take work--but it's worth it in the end.
Ashley: I asked these folks to write with me fully expecting no's because they're all talented women with already full schedules. I asked anyways. Ask anyway. Follow the fun. Chase the giggles. Ask someone who's as great as Maggie to help wrangle the silly to bring it to life.
Madison: Writing a sketch show is very long and tiring so always surround yourself with people you love, your friends, your roommates, or maybe people you have always wanted to work with! It makes the whole process so much smoother, and don't put too much pressure on one idea, be open to all different options!
Jade: Meet up. Every sketch show has to start somewhere. Make plans, show up and share ideas.
The name of your sketch team is One Of Us Is Carol. Which one of you is Carol?
Madison: My money will always be on Emily Gee.
Jade: All of us.
Jonda: None of us. And all of us.
Sallie: I think there is a little bit of Carol in all of us. Even you.
Ashley: You are.
David Allison is writer and performer at the Dallas Comedy House, who can currently be seen with Ballast Point, David & Terry, Gerald and The Rift. He also directs the sketch team Walker Dog and the improv team Watermelon. Previous credits include Jason: A Campy Musical, Freddy: A Devilish Musical, That 90s Show, Return Of The 90s, Sensation: The Next Great Play, The DCH Roast Series and more!