Brandie Posey, the outspoken standup comedian and co-host of popular podcast Lady To Lady, comes to RVA’s own Coalition Theater tonight.
Allegedly, you should never meet your heroes. While that is sound advice for the heart, you should really make an exception if one of your heroes is Los Angeles-based comedian Brandie Posey. Posey is warm, friendly, and makes you want to tackle the world with her laid-back approach to comedy, which she displays both on stage with her stand-up, and as one-third of the popular podcast Lady to Lady.
If you’re not already familiar with Posey, you are about to be. Posey, who is originally from Annapolis, Maryland, was in Richmond back in June as part of the 2nd Best Fest at the Coalition Theater, and she returns tonight as part of her solo stand-up tour around the country. Coming back to the RVA was a pretty quick and simple decision on her part – she loves it about as much and as deeply as if she were a tried and true Richmonder herself.
“It’s such a cool city,” said Posey. “I like how it seems like it really cares about its artists, and how it’s really locally focused and takes pride in that, which is refreshing.”
She described her style on her website as very riot-girl, and her description has not changed too much since then. She prides herself on having bits that start off grounded in reality before taking them to a level of absurdity — kind of an out-loud version of your best shower thought.
Posey originally met her podcast co-hosts, fellow comedians Tess Barker and Babs Gray, when they were all working as comics within the Los Angeles comedy scene. Eventually, they decided to come together and create Lady to Lady, which regularly garners upwards of seven million downloads. Posey says that doing the podcast has certainly had a positive influence on her stand-up since it began.
“You can’t plan what an hour of conversation is, and you learn to trust yourself more with riffing,” said Posey. “I think that podcasting has made me more loose onstage, in regard to reacting anything in the room that might happen. I think I’m more fearless at following something that isn’t one hundred percent scripted in my stand-up, and podcasting has made me trust myself to follow that thread.”
Among her casual list of “best of” moments, Posey casually cites opening up for punk band Against Me!, who were touring with The Interrupters at the time as well. No big deal whatsoever — she recalled just reaching out to lead singer Laura Jane Grace about whether the band had ever had a stand-up comic open for them before.
“Laura Jane Grace is a hero, she’s amazing,” said Posey. “She happened to post on Twitter that they were doing a secret pop-up show in LA and needed two openers. I asked ‘Hey, you ever had a comedian open before?’ She said, ‘No, send me a tape.’ So I sent her a half hour of me doing stand-up.”
The Interrupters also happened to be playing that show that night, which only added to her excitement as a pretty big ska fan. Posey handled her nerves by engaging in a little stress eating at the salad bar of the local Sizzler.
“I just ate the salad bar until they told me I had to go onstage,” said Posey.
Lady to Lady tends to cover a myriad of topics and runs the gamut on anything that could be broached that week. However, the last couple of weeks on the podcast have opened the door on some investigative journalism that I had to poke further into. What exactly is a VSCO girl, and is it too late for me as a grown adult wannabe VSCO woman? Brandie laughed and explained that, unfortunately, that door to a dream is shut for me.
“I think the teens are so funny right now, and they’re definitely funnier than we were at that age,” said Posey. “This VSCO girl thing is so hilarious and meta. It’s like the Gen Z version of basic, where you use the VSCO app to facetune, and you wear Birkenstocks and an oversized sweater. It sounds like you’re describing nothing.”
Nothing is more punk that politics. Back in 2016 around the time of the election, Posey gathered together other comics in the Los Angeles area to put together a politically charged comedy record called Burn This Election, which donated proceeds to RAINN – because, as she cheerfully added, “Donald Trump would hate that.”
Ideally — hopefully, prayerfully, you name it — another record won’t be needed for the same reasons. However, when I asked about the possibility of a Burn this Election Pt. 2, if for no other reason than to raise awareness of the vitality of voting, Posey told me that it was not out of the realm of possibility.
“After doing it, it was very cathartic, and an amazing community experience,” she said. “To me laughter is defiance in the face of a world that wants to silence a lot of people, currently. [….] I think we’re going to do another one regardless, but I feel more hopeful this time around. ”
As Richmond and its art scene grows, things start to look a bit different. And as the comedy scene grows it sees the waves of change — more women, more LGBTQ people, more people of color adding to the diversity of the scene. Posey sees this as a very positive trend.
“The more diverse comedy is, the better,” she said. “The lineups are richer, you’re hearing from more points of view, and there aren’t three dudes in a row who are like, ‘Oh, weed’s crazy!’ It makes the shows richer, and it makes life easier.”
In other words, get out there! If what you want isn’t there, find like-minded folks who will help you build it. Then, when you’re done? Enjoy the shit out of that Sizzler salad bar.
Brandie Posey can be seen tonight — Tuesday, October 22nd — at the Coalition Theater, located at 8 W. Broad St, starting at 8pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, or in advance from RVAComedy.com.