Domestic violence is one of the least funny topics out there, but survivor and comedian Brittany Brave manages to shine a light on it through stand-up. “Comedy is the art form where people want to hear the truth,” says Brave, who splits her time between Miami and New York City. But she’s no one-trick pony. Hailing from a long line of “funny, crazy-loud Italians,” Brave is the host of two podcasts, performs monthly at the Lincoln Eatery on Miami Beach, and co-produces the web series The Disastrous Dating Life of Diane Damone. Below, she dishes on all things comedy.
AVM: What does it take to be funny?
Brave: I think funny is honest and honest is funny. It’s got to be true to whatever’s happening in the moment. When it comes to material, if it’s real to you, and it happened to you, and it’s funny and important to you, that’s honest, and then that’ll be funny.
How do you survive “bombing”?
When you bomb when you’re first starting, it’s like, “Oh my God, I silenced the room,” and I felt like I was going to die on stage. Once you’re a couple of years in and you’re comfortable and you’ve been doing this every night, a bomb maybe isn’t that painful. It’s just like, “Oh, it didn’t go as well as I thought.” But yeah, I’ve definitely had bombs; I’ve been booed.
How do you incorporate domestic violence into your comedy?
I don’t subscribe to the fact that comedy needs to be dark or self-deprecating all the time. But I do subscribe to the fact that it needs to be real and truthful. So for me, talking about my experience with domestic violence in my stand-up and in my comedy just goes hand-in-hand. There’s no way I wouldn’t. I’m not making fun of it; I’m not making a joke about it because I think domestic violence is funny. I just think domestic violence needs to be talked about, and the way I choose to talk about it is through comedy.