"Call Me Adam" catches up with comedian and burlesque star Selene Luna! This time around we discuss her new comedy show Jumbo Shrimp which will be at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC (inside the West Bank Café at 407 West 42nd Street at Ninth Avenue) on March 27 and 28. Click here for tickets!
1. It's great to catch up with you after our last interview! On March 27 and 28 you will be returning to the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC with your new show Jumbo Shrimp. What made now the right time to return to NYC with a new show? Thank you, Adam, great catching up with you too! Last fall I worked quite a bit with my long-time galpal and mentor, Margaret Cho, as her opening act. Being on the road with Margaret gave me the opportunity to fine-tune and explore new themes I’ve been working on, so I feel ready to return to NYC with fresh and daring material.
2. What made you want to come back to the Laurie Beechman Theatre with Jumbo Shrimp? It’s been my experience that New York City audiences are fun and electrifying, so premiering Jumbo Shrimp at the Laurie Beechman Theatre seemed like a no-brainer for kicking off a new show.
3. What can fans expect from this new show? My show addresses the multi-layered obstacles and triumphs of everyday life, as seen from my perspective as a little person. The last year has been one of my most personally challenging years, so the audience can also expect to hear me poke fun at my own misfortune; I must laugh to keep from crying. My life experience is unique but I strive to make it universally humorous and relatable.
4. Why did you want to title the show Jumbo Shrimp? This past Holiday, I was at a Christmas party seated in front of the jumbo shrimp platter and every time my friend Jackie Beat would reach for a shrimp, she would call me "jumbo shrimp" under her breath. It was hilarious! The next morning it dawned on me that "Jumbo Shrimp" would make a great show title, especially since my life feels like an oxymoron sometimes.
5. For someone who has never seen you perform, what is one reason they should come to Jumbo Shrimp? Little people seem to be that last acceptable blackface in entertainment, coming to see my show; "Jumbo Shrimp" will give new audiences the opportunity to witness a humanized side of people like me, through dark silly blue humor.
6. When did you first take a comedic look at yourself and realize you can make people laugh with your material? I grew up being taunted, ridiculed, neutered and dismissed by society because of what I look like. By age five, I was savvy enough to know that I would have to be an entertaining person to redirect the unsolicited attention I was getting. Humor and comedy have always been a survival mechanism for me.
7. You have worked with some of the greatest comedians of our time including Roseanne Barr and Robin Williams. What was the best part about working with them and what did you learn from them? Both Roseanne Barr and Robin Williams were gracious, embracing, and kind. I had the opportunity to work with Roseanne when she invited my friends Jackie Beat, Nadya Ginsburg and me to shoot a series of original commercial parodies with her for her website and Youtube channel. From Roseanne, I learned to take full control of my career and never apologize for it. I only worked with the late Robin Williams once, and it was enough to impact me for the rest of my life. From Robin, I learned to remain present, generous, and kind, even under the most trying circumstances.
8. What haven't you accomplished yet that you would like to? I feel like I still have a lot to accomplish but headlining my own comedy tour and homesteading a pygmy goat farm in Big Sur are at the top of my the list.
9. How do you want to be remembered? I would like to be remembered as a trustworthy, kind and caring person with a demented sense of humor.
10. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? I’m not much of a drinker but I love my weed, so my signature drink would be a nonalcoholic refreshment, "Jumbo Shrimp Cucumber Cooler." In a shaker, combine dry cucumber soda, lime juice, thin cucumber slices, cannabis tincture, and ice. Shake & strain into a vintage Fostoria crystal cut rose stem glass and garnish with mint. Enjoy.
A trail-blazing little person in the entertainment world, Selene Luna, at 3’10″, is a small package with a very big presence. Comic/host/writer/burlesque artist/broadcaster/model/actor/activist, Selene cut her teeth performing in clubs and art venues, and quickly became a darling of Hollywood’s underground scene. An original member of the Velvet Hammer Burlesque, Selene tours internationally and performs regularly with the undisputed Queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese. Selene is probably best known for her role in Lionsgate’s feature, My Bloody Valentine 3D, and her role as Margaret Cho‘s assistant in VH1′s The Cho Show – a performance that landed her a nomination for MTV LOGO’s NewNowNext: Brink of Fame: Comic Award. To date, Selene has written and performed six original one-woman shows, most recently Born to Be Alive, produced by the Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center. Selene’s stand-up comedy has led her to work alongside comedy legends Roseanne Barr and Robin Williams. Selene’s most celebrated stand-up comedy credit has been regularly opening for Margaret Cho.