Up Next, Blair Socci: A Look Through the Lens at New York Comedy


You met last month when we featured her in our Seven Selfies series, but we can’t get enough of her, so this month we’re featuring Blair in an all new, Up Next. For this edition, photographer Phil Provencio headed down to New York’s San Gennaro Festival to photograph Blair amongst the revelry. Blair is different, she’s weird, she’s one-of-a-kind and this photo shoot really highlights why we like her so much. We’re not the only ones who like her- this year, she was selected as one of Just for Laughs New Faces in Montreal, and Bustle magazine picked her as one of their Favorite Comedians to Watch.

She’s been on MTV, Fuse, and her live show Nacho Bitches is always sold out. Last month, Blair launched a brand new live series. “Dear Owen Wilson” launched at Union Hall last month and this month its coming to Littlefield. Packed with interviews, stand up and music, the core of the show features comedians reading letters to celebs who impacted their lives, inspired by an actual letter Blair wrote to Owen Wilson after his 2007 suicide attempt. This month’s episode features special guests from SNL Michael Che, Melissa Villaseñor, Sasheer Zamata, plus UCB’s Dan Licata.

Go to ticketfly for tickets, and don’t forget to follow @BlairSocci on Twitter and Instagram.

 

I was reared n’ raised in a lil cowboy beach town in Southern California in a sweet and spirited brood of five. My father, Robert, a 100% Italian man, valued hard work, discipline, sports, puns, pranks, and thin crust pizza. My mother, a Scandinavian woman from Palos Verdes, California – and a smaller, hotter version of me – valued family, a wacky sensibility, bein’ a bold bitch, “cheese chips”, and water skiing. They had two boys before me. Two wild men whom I followed like a short and stout shadow in red converse. I blindly did whatever they did and wished only to share air with them. I silently watched them play video games for many years in a bean bag chair in the corner of the room like a tiny Grim Reaper. My family was also extremely sports focused and so I threw myself into sports in order to gain the approval of my blood. I later wanted to be the first woman in the NFL, but never made it due to size issues, I think. Anyway, when that didn’t happen, I moved on with my life and eventually dated a guy who did comedy and was first introduced to the world. It was and still is the worst thing that ever happened to my parents. I then moved to New York, broke up with that dude, and was interning at W Magazine when I saw Michael Che perform at Knitting Factory. I pitched an article on him (his first one!) and he graciously answered all these questions about starting comedy. I got on stage for the first time a week later.

I really love my family. They are actually my favorite thing to talk about. I think they’re all such interesting and smart and bizarre people. Each one of them is so different, it’s wild. The best thing about my family is how fiercely loyal everyone is. We are like a ferocious army, except we have nobody to fight and we just hug and text and talk about food a lot. My main beef with them is that they are all phone call people and I have to tell them, “sorry boys, but I like to let my fingers do the talking. And don’t even think about FaceTiming me okay, don’t be a psycho.”

I have an extremely high vertical leap. Honestly, still a major shock that I am not a highly successful wide receiver in the National Football League. I coulda’ truly jumped over fools and had all sorts of miraculous one-handed catches that would have moved the sport forward to a place it would have been otherwise unable to reach without my never-before-seen prowess. And I also woulda’ beat less women.

 

New York has been incredible for me. When I came here I was the most sheltered, scared, ignorant white woman. And now I am a much more broadened, always learning, young, male skateboarder who is exposed to all types of people from every place in the world. I am much happier now that I know about all these others things that exist. Like automated food delivery and people shitting on public transit. Also, I have pubic hair now which is big cuz I think you get kicked out of Orange County if you have it as a young female. They have traffic stops there to see if you have a bush and if you do, you get kicked out on a surf bus.

Hmmm, it is very hard to try and categorize or describe myself. I like to think I am a classic joke writer of set-up/punch, but then everyone else always uses words like “bizarre” and “nuts”. Some people have told me they see an influence of , but I have never seen his comedy. I am going to check it out though.

The truth is I did set a lot of money on fire by going to grad school for fiction writing. That’s why I moved to New York in the first place. But I started comedy right when I started grad school and I learned that one of the two involved way less delayed gratification. I finished grad school and now have an MFA which my dad says is a degree for people who don’t want to get a job. I think I will go back to writing fiction when my knees start hurting too much to walk on stage.

On her brand new live show, Dear Owen Wilson

Yes, Owen is my brother. He is not my brother – I already told you about them earlier – but rather a famous actor whom I have followed closely for years and am also attracted to sexually. I just always loved him so much and have thought he is such an incredibly compelling weirdo that I can’t take my eyes off him up on the big screen. Anyway, in 2007, after a devastating breakup with Jennifer Aniston, he had his suicide attempt. I was so sad about it that I wrote him a letter telling him I hoped he feels better and that I loved and appreciated him and all the laughs he had given us. Awhile ago, I thought it would be interesting to hear other comedians speak about the celebrities who impacted them growing up and so that’s how Dear Owen Wilson was born. I have stand up, music, and wild ass comics reading beautiful and hilarious letters to their favorite celebrities. I think it’s a super cool way to get to know your favorite comedians on a deeper level. So yeah, it’s a bonkers show and I hope you will all check it out and let yourselves experience joy. The next one is Wednesday, September 20th at 8 pm at Littlefield in Brooklyn! It’s gonna be the best night of our lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Finishing the phrase “I can die happy if…”

If Roger Goodell picks up his fucking phone and gives me the damn call I have been waiting for. Just kidding. I will die happy if I have a large kitchen (with an island), a cool ass dog, a garden, and lot’s of beautiful time spent with my family and friends. AND if I voice a role on a smash hit cartoon that goes on to run for no less than 20 years.

Favorite Joke

Okay, stop reading if you are my mom, my dad, my brothers, or my grandma, but the first thing that pops in my head is Kristen Schaal’s joke “The most important quality I look for in a man is he’s got to have a sense of humor….about his enormous cock.” Haha, it makes me laugh every time! Also, I love Eddie Pepitone a lot. And Leslie Jones. And also some local people that are making me laugh hard right now: Yamaneika Saunders, Jessica Kirson, Amber Nelson, Rob Haze, Alex Pavone, Stavros Halkias, Dan Licata, John Early.

 

I have a podcast called How To Be A Beefy Woman where we talk about all things related to food, embarrassing stories/shame and how you would live if you got really rich and famous. I also have a show, Nacho Bitches, with Corinne Fisher of Guys We Fucked fame every month at New York Comedy Club. It’s the most fun part of every month. I also have an ongoing segment on my Instagram (@blairsocci) called Blairy Potter Positivity Hour where I talk about all the things I am grateful for every week.

A nacho bitch, hmmm, well it is the name of our long running show as previously stated. We used to serve free nachos at every show, but then we let fame change us. Anyway, I love nachos with everything on them. Lot’s of various sauces and jalapenos and beans and meats, the kind that fuck up your fingers and make you need to take a shower after.

Look, if you have made it this far, the main thing I want you to take away from this article is that you should come to “Dear Owen Wilson” this Wednesday, September 20th, at Littlefield at 8 pm. You can buy tickets here. It’s gonna be an incredible show with no less than three SNL cast members and one of those is Michael Che, whom I partially owe my start in comedy to. So all of this has really come full circle, you know?


Follow Blair on Twitter | Visit Blair’s Website


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Phil Provencio is a fast rising New York based photographer and graphic designer highlighting the comedy scene in the city and abroad. His galleries can be seen at the Comedy Cellar’s Village Underground in Greenwich Village and Carolines On Broadway in Times Square. When not out shooting headshots or shows, you can find him exploring the city for photos he contributes regularly to Urban Outfitters and their print shops.

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