Friday, February 4, 2005

Shann Carr Is Out For Laughs

(Article published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #253, February 4, 2005)

Shann Carr has had what she describes as a “dream career” as a gay comedienne for 21 years. She has never done a gig in the Twin Cities. But that will change when she entertains at The Bolt Underground on Sunday evening, February 13. The show starts at 9 p.m. ($5 cover).

Opening for Carract will be her longtime friend and fellow funnywoman, Miss Richfield 1981.

It’s appropriate that Carr will be performing at The Bolt Underground since she has a long history with the gay leather community. Like Miss Richfield 1981, Carr also has a title: International Ms Leather 1988.

As Carr quips, “I always say I was International Ms Leather 1922—which of course is not true, but now it almost seems like it. 1988 was a long time ago.”

Carr currently entertains at about eight to ten leather events a year. She also is a featured entertainer on Atlantis Cruises.

“Every single cruise for five years—that’s a lot of cruises,” Carr says. “I’m the token lesbian on crew—there has not been another lesbian entertainer in the five years I’ve been there.

“I keep getting described as ‘the gay man’s lesbian’ because 90% of my work has been deep inside the throes of a leather bar, a gay boat, a resort full of gay men—so the perspective seems to be that of the token lesbian in a gay man’s world.”

At press time, Carr and Miss Richfield 1981 are sailing the Caribbean as two of the entertainers on what Atlantis calls “the largest gay cruise in history.”

For such a special cruise, Carr came up with special material.

“On this cruise ship there’s actually an ice skating rink!” Carr chortles. “So I choreographed a comedy-on-ice number to perform in front of these 3,000 guys—on an ice rink—on a boat.”

This is the first time she has ever skated as a part of her act, “but until I was about 12 I skated with the Ice Follies as a child chorus member.”

Never one to rest on her rapier laurels, Carr is a filmmaker as well.

Through her company, Girlmoxie Productions, she produced a comedy film, Out For Laughs on the Ocean, using material filmed on several Atlantis cruises.

The film showcased several of her fellow entertainers—among them Miss Richfield 1981. A pilot for a proposed TV series, the film has been shown at film festivals and on several gay cable networks.

Carr’s comic style as a storyteller frequently is compared to both Bill Cosby and Garrison Keillor.

“I’m not a setup-punchline-setup-punchline kind of comedian—it’s all about taking you on a big, convoluted, fabulous ride. And it’s pretty much all reality-based, too, which has allowed me to have a pretty personal relationship with my audience.

A lot of them have been watching me for five and ten and fifteen and more years. So they get to feel like they know me, and they share stories with me afterwards that are equally as personal, which lets me get to know them. Pretty cool.”

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