Dana Goldberg’s debut album puts more than a smile into Spring.
“Hot and hilarious,” those were the words I used to describe one of my favorite lesbian comics, Dana Goldberg. And I’m very happy to report that it’s still the case, except now you can add “about to be super-famous” to the superlatives. Goldberg has just released her first stand-up album, Crossing the Line, and she’s following that with a tour this Spring that is sure to win her legions of new fans, lesbian and otherwise.
I grabbed my favorite comedy crush for a quick chat before she hit the road and here’s what she told me about vagay-jays, lesbian breakups, why she likes her audiences drunk, and other secret ingredients to her stand-up magic.
So this is your first album. What inspired you to record it and why now?
That’s the best thing about this album. It wasn’t a planned recording. I happened to be plugged into the sound board that night and had a really great set. I was on, the audience was on, and when I listened to the recording I thought, “This could make a great album!”
“Crossing the Line” suggests you’re going to be a bad girl, which we love. What transgressions do you make with this material?
Well as you know, Merryn, I always like to push the boundaries a little, step right on up to the edge and then back away a little. This time, I cross the line a time or two. I get to say what everyone else is thinking; why not use that little bit of power and have some fun?! I definitely take some hard shots at some GOPers and may or may not touch on the topic of Vagazzling. I mean…really, who hasn’t?
Why did you record this live at Seattle’s Theatre Off Jackson, what was special about the venue, the moment, the gig itself?
Theatre Off Jackson is a great theatre that holds about 150 people. It feels like I’m doing a show in someone’s living room with a bunch of friends. That night the crowd was really rowdy, a bit drunk as you’ll hear in the first track of the CD, and I was right on top of every heckle and comment shouted out.
There were even a couple of times one specific audience member who had too much to drink made me laugh so hard I had to leave the stage for a moment. It was pretty classic.
It has been a great year for LGBTs politically, so what do you kvetch about?
I’m a Jew, there’s ALWAYS something to kvetch about! It has been a great year for the LGBT community, but the world in general is still a goldmine of material. I mean every time Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin speaks, an angel loses its wings, and I gain 5 minutes of material.
But it’s been a not so great year for relationships (so they tell me, wink-nudge). What’s new to be said about lesbian breakups?
Oy, I don’t know what’s new to be said about the break-ups, but I think with time and experience those who want to better themselves and grow will find that inner strength and motivation to dig deep, change their experiences, and pick better relationships in the future. Those who choose not to? Well, they just end up in my act.
You combine humor with humanitarianism. What good deeds did you do this year and what are your favorite charities and causes?
I really love working with charities and non-profits around the country. It feels good to give back to those communities that support me. It’s nice to bring humor to some pretty serious topics. I’ve had the pleasure of doing comedy and live auctions at several high profile Human Rights Campaign events around the country. where people like Eric Holder, Vise President Joe Biden, J-Lo, and many other A-listers have been honored for their work in the advancement of LGBT equality.
I really feel lucky to be a part of the events. Very happy to say over the last 4 years I’ve helped to raise almost two million dollars for the HRC. Another one of my favorite events is the Southwest Funnyfest which I produce each year down in Albuquerque, NM to help benefit New Mexico AIDS Services. It’s in its 8th year and over the course of those, we’ve raised over $25,000 for the organization. Next week on April 19th I’m bringing in Gloria Bigelow, Gina Yashere, and Suzanne Westenhoefer.
There’s a good chance we’ll need bail money at some point during the weekend.
I think if you read your grocery list you would be funny, but what is your personal favorite “bit” on this album?
My personal favorite is definitely “Gas Powered Sex Toys.” I have a joke where I talk about getting busted at the airport and ask the audience what kind of toys they use. Someone yelled out “gas powered” and that was all I needed to take it and run.
Plans for Pride? To march or not to march, to wear rainbow paraphernalia or not. Are you over the rainbow?
We’re working on finalizing a few Prides for the summer. I may consider a rainbow boa, but it just gets so damn hot at most of them, and who needs rainbow feathers sticking to them in 95 degrees!? Oh wait, that would be almost every drag queen across the country.