Performer: JuDee Brown

How did you book the show at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center? I am renting the Strand for this show, so I'm actually the producer.


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The funding and all of that stuff is coming from yours truly.

I got in touch with the Strand probably about a year ago and got information from them as far as ... me coming in and doing a comedy show.

Has comedy always been something you've been into? I've always been the type of person who was ... out there. Everybody from York always knew me as being ... the class clown. I don't know if I got that official election (in school). But I was always out going. I was always in the plays. I was ... not afraid to be the person to get in front of people. I was always acting goofy and silly.

Did you graduate from William Penn Senior High School? I did not graduate from William Penn. I left my senior year ... and that's when I moved to Cincinnati and ended up graduating (there). I had some issues.

Who are your comic inspirations? I grew up watching Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor and (people) like that. But I was more into sitcom type stuff. That's pretty much probably my ultimate goal - to be on TV (or) in some body's TV show.

What shows do you watch? Now, I'm into more drama-type shows. (Laughs)

I don't find today's TV as funny as it was. I used to watch "The Facts of Life," "The Jeffersons," "Good Times" (and) stuff like that. Those were really funny to me. Now, the kids' shows (are) so scripted to the point where it's ... not even believ able.

I like to watch "My Wife and Kids," "Everybody Hates Chris" (and) "The King of Queens." Nowadays, I'm more into, like, drama-filled shows (like) "CSI," "Breaking Bad" (and) "Sons of Anar chy."

Did you start to pursue your standup career in Cincinnati? My story is really crazy. I left York because ... back in the '80s ... drugs were starting to get popular. I was easily drawn into that life style.

I ended up leaving and finishing school here. I got into trouble again ... running with the wrong crowd. I was on drugs pretty bad.

I went through treatment and I became a nurse. I'm in (a recovery program). They were doing a fundraiser (and) comedy show. They asked, "Can you do it?" And I'm like, "I'm not funny." I got up there and it was a room full of 300 people.

As soon as I took the microphone, I immediately felt like I was at home. I started just talking about everything and anything that came to mind and the people were on the floor.

I think it was a couple months later that I met the comedian Mo'Nique (at an open mike). She was like, "Look, if people are telling you you're funny, then you have to do it."

Where do you perform? (My first show) at The Funny Bone (Comedy Club & Restaurant in Cincinnati) ... was about eight or nine years ago. I kept doing those open mikes, and one day about two months later, The Funny Bone called me and said, "Can you come down to host for us? We'll pay you." I was like, "What?"

That's probably when I really stared taking it serious and started studying it and started watching different co medians. I started meeting a lot of people and started paying attention to the ...

material I was talking about.

I don't tell jokes. A lot of the stuff that I talk about (are) things that have either happened to me, I've seen or I've done.

Do you know what topics you'll talk about in York? In August, I'll be celebrating 15 years clean, so that's why this is really important for me to come home. A lot of my friends and family knew about my struggles.

I decided to put together a show where everyone could see me. The show is called JuDee Brown's Homecoming (Comedy) Show "You Already Knew." The "You Already Knew" part means the people who knew me all along ... knew that at some point this girl was going to be on stage being funny. A lot of (it) will be talking about coming up in York.

I'm related to almost half of York. Both sides of my family are large.

I had to take applications to get boyfriends. I'd have to find out their whole family history before things went any further.


If you go

See JuDee Brown's Homecoming Comedy Show "You Already Knew" 9 p.m. Saturday at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, 50 N. George St., York.

Tickets cost $15 and $20. For details and tickets, call 717-846-1111 or visit mystrandcapitol.org.


Online

JuDee Brown: www.facebook.com/judee.brown

Listen to the interview: www.flipsidepa.com

Read more meet-the-artist interviews: www.flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory