Geneva Joy is a native of Philadelphia whose longtime home base of New Orleans has helped cultivate for her a successful comedy career. Two years ago, she helped found Black Girl Giggles, a festival showcasing African-American comediennes in the area during Essence Festival weekend.
“Comedy teaches, and as more of us are stepping into the spot light, I think it teaches the world to see the diversity among Black women,” Geneva says of the role of African-American women in comedy. “We still get perceived as a handful of stereotypes, but becoming familiar with various comics with a variety of personalities and lifestyles will help people move past seeing us as just a thing on to seeing and respecting the person. Or at least I hope.”
She credits a Whoopi Goldberg standup performance she saw when she was seven with inspiring her to pursue comedy, but it took her 20 years to pick up a microphone. Joan Rivers, Monique, Sheryl Underwood, Ellen, Roseanne, Carol Burnett, Moms Mabley and LaWanda Page top her list of women who have guided her career in one form or another.
On Thursday, July 5, Geneva Joy will appear alongside Emmy Award-winning TV personality, film actor and comedienne Sherri Shepherd at Lipstick N Laughter, a comedy showcase also featuring Kym Whitley, David Arnold and others. Taking place at the Joy Theater, the evening’s opening segment will feature Black Girl Giggles. “I can be a bit on the raunchy side but for this show, I’m going to clean up a little bit. I have some great jokes about traveling with friends and dating that I think this crowd will like,” Geneva says. “I’m actually really geeked to meet Sherri Shepard and Kym Whitley on this show! They are powerhouses, I might completely fan girl!”
Tickets for Lipstick N Laughter are available here and range from $25 to $70.