Beatrix "Betsy" Carroll is a software engineer by day and a stand up comic by night. In her work as a comedian, she draws on her experiences as a glass ceiling shatterer in the field of technology charlatanry, a Charlize Theron look-alike (see: the film "Monster"), and a personal trainer survivor. In her work as an engineer, she draws on all sorts of surfaces with dry erase markers that usually turn out to be sharpies upon further examination. Betsy's work in performance art has been covered in The New York Times. Pre-pandemic, Betsy did stand up regularly at The Stand, and has performed all around the city at many noted outdoor door shows including ‘NYC is Dead’ in Central Park and ‘Productively Stoned’ in Brooklyn.
She's on our show on tonight with Morgan Jay & Sarah Dooley.
We caught up with him to ask a few ridiculous questions.
asembl: How long have you been doing standup comedy?
BC: 6 years, w some pauses during doing my masters in CS at Columbia. That shit was NOT funny!
asembl: What’s the best gig you ever had? The worst?
BC: I’ll stick to best and worst in recent times bc the old era is a distant memory.
Best was doing productively stoned on October 23rd, a show put on by Reg Thomas at Cafe Erzulie (@productivelystoned on insta). The whole night was epic: just the most smart sets from everyone (amazing performances by greats Aminah Imani, Renny, Dave Lester, Reg Thomas, and Eva Evans), and brutally honest yet hilarious interaction w audience from everyone (especially Eva Evans), deep dialogues on racism/sexism issues in America continued amongst the comics and audience well after the show (I was talking about the mathematically provable injustice of the computer science algorithms underlying capitalism with Dave Lester, and talking about sexism in comedy with Eva, for example, well into the night), amazing times w my old friends who were on the lineup / who dropped in as well as the new friends I made that night. And I was just really happy to have had a great set while addressing issues that are newer territory for me, and was honored to even be included in that fire line up.
Worst was not the gig’s fault AT ALL, I just did a really bad, weird job. It was at cooper park w Nathan Habib and Julio Diaz (@comedyatcooper on insta). It was the first big show I was on since taking a break from IRL comedy for the pandemic. And all was going just fine til I started a joke about Kobe Bryant that I decided midway through was not going to work, and just decided to kinda abort mission and just check out from my own set. Lol. Felt like a dream, or a simulation, to even be doing comedy again, and I didn’t clock that this was real life and that I had an obligation to the comics and audience to at least try to finish strong lol.
asembl: A lot of comics have been doing outdoor gigs since the pandemic struck. If you’ve done any, how terrible has that been?
BC: I like doing outdoor gigs! It was disorienting at first and still is a new level/type of challenge. But being able to do them after not being able to has been a gift.
asembl: Other than yourself, name a comedian that nobody knows today but you think everybody will know in two years.
BC: Hmmm… so many. And I wouldn’t say that “nobody” knows these people now, but I do think they will continue to blow up: Remy Kassimir, Napoleon Emil, Drexton Clemens, Bardia Salimi, Kate Robards, Eva Evans, TJ (who is @TJstandup on insta).
asembl: What early trauma was most influential in bringing you to stand up comedy?
BC: Well I don’t want to reveal too much but my mom is a sex therapist, and my whole family is generally wacky, we put the “fun” in dysfunctional… and I think I developed a sense of humor to break the tension that came along with all that growing up. Honestly they are all funny and all deal with the trauma of life with a lot of humor so there’s that as well.
asembl: Which comics have influenced you the most?
BC: Jerry Seinfeld bc I was obsessed with the show Seinfeld growing up, partly bc I am from the upper west side.
asembl: Which of the following is the threshold at which you consider a gig to be well paid?
o Having to pay to perform.
o Not getting anything.
o Few free drinks.
o Any money at all.
o $20 or more.
BC: Any money at all is great.
asembl: How has the pandemic impacted you creatively? Are you writing more, less or the same now?
BC: More lately, at first I had a major dry spell.
asembl: How have you adjusted to Zoom therapy / AA / etc.?
BC: I have adjusted, its easier to ghost my therapist virtually LOLOL
asembl: Best puppet based sitcom: Alf or Unhappily Ever After?
BC: Maybe now Unhappily Ever After, but I really liked Alf when I was a kid lol.
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