We had the good fortune of connecting with Zoe Rogers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zoe, how does your business help the community?
As a producer of shows and of Boulder Comedy Festival, I focus on highlighting women and diversity. Boulder Comedy Festival also partners with local organizations. The last two years we have done one show each Festival benefitting Out Boulder County. We also had three shows in the Louisville and Lafayette area this year to bring foot traffic to businesses affected by the Marshall fire.
As a teacher of stand up comedy, I like to help people find their unique comedic voice. Representation matters. Using comedy to connect with other people is awesome and helps people realize they aren’t alone. Creating a space where different voices can be heard is important and it dispels the myth that only one kind of perspective or person is funny.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I feel like stand-up comedy changed my life for the better. I started taking a stand-up comedy class as a new mom of little kids, feeling overwhelmed and isolated, and stand-up allowed me to really connect with other people and feel heard. I feel very passionate about giving that ability to connect to other people.
I don’t know who said this but there is a quote ‘laughter is the sound of people realizing they aren’t alone,’ and that’s what stand-up is for me. I think genuine connection, kindness and laughter make the world a better place.
When I started comedy it felt like just me and a few other women talking about our families. There was usually only one woman on a show so there was the feeling that you had to represent your entire gender. In those situations you feel like if you do well that maybe they’ll book more women on the next show.
When my oldest was in kindergarten, he came home from school and told me that he didn’t like recess, because this one kid ran the only game and he was left out. I told him to make his own game, and if he was unhappy, other people probably were too. A couple months later I was venting to my husband that bookers would only put one woman on a show and my son casually said “so start your own game Mom.” So, here we are years later with two years of sold out Boulder Comedy Festival.
I have an awesome support network of my family and comics that I write with. We cheer on each other. I was really fortunate to have opportunities to work with comics who believed in me and had me feature for them. I think everyone should use the tools they have to create change and make the world a better place. Theres a difference between knowing something should change and saying you will change it.
The lessons I’ve learned are to do your best, be kind and when you get an opportunity hold the door open for the next person. Creating opportunities for yourself and others makes the world a better place.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would bring them to Efrains on Canyon for delicious Mexican food and the best Margarita and to The Post for some of the best fried chicken ever. Acreage has an awesome views of the mountains and there are so many beautiful hikes but Chautauqua is always incredible. Pica’s is so yummy so I would be sure to go there and enjoy walking around in downtown Louisville. For delicious coffee and pastries Giovannetti is a must and if they love Boba, Double Happy. I really like the downtowns of Louisville and Lafayette because they have terrific small businesses. Longmont has a cool bookstore and Boulder has the Pearl Street pedestrian area. Dairy Arts Center has just about anything you could want in the way of arts and Boulder Baked is cupcake central. I love Laverne Johnson park in Lyons. This whole area of Colorado is really magical.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband and my kids deserve a big shout out. My husband always encourages me to do new things and bite off more than I can chew. Years ago he got me a ticket to Edinburgh Fringe and watched the kids for six days while I was there performing. That was an incredible experience. I have an awesome network of comics that support one another. I would give a shout out to people who encouraged me and gave me opportunities. I would name people but thankfully there are so many that this would be endless. Having people believe in you and vouch for you means a tremendous amount. I am very thankful for opportunities and try to create them for myself and for other people too.
Twitter: @BoulderFestival and @ZoeRogersComedy
Facebook: Boulder Comedy Festival
Other: Zoe@Highroadcomedy.com Info@BoulderComedyFestival
Matt Misisco Melissa Leavenworth Troy Conrad