PITTSBURG — Jessica Michelle Singleton is primed to bring her brand of stand-up comedy to Pittsburg for one night next week.
Along with special guest Olivia Grace, Singleton will perform at 8:30 p.m. May 3 at Memorial Auditorium at 503 North Pine St. Her appearance will serve as the final act of Memorial’s six-week “It Came from the Basement” comedy series.
Audience members 18 years or older may attend. Ticket prices are $60 for a VIP table for four, $10 general admission in advance, and $12 general admission at the door.
“My brain always defaulted to how can I make people laugh,” Singleton said. “I was the class clown in high school and I grew up watching stand-up and Saturday Night Live.”
Eventually, Singleton entertained the possibility of making a living out of her knack for comedy.
“I went to college and studied something completely unrelated as a backup plan, then I did an open mic and dove in from there,” she said. “When I moved to Los Angeles almost eight years ago is when I started really hitting the ground running and putting all of my energy into this.”
The comedian has traveled across the world with her stand-up act, having performed in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
“It’s interesting to go up in front of an international audience and finding out what translates and what they relate to, but it’s also nice finding that there’s a lot of things that are just relatable to all humans,” she said. “We’re not all that different, and comedy is a way to realize that and connect with people.”
Singleton said what often helps her is acknowledging her differences and the fact that she can feel out of place in a different country.
“When I was in south Africa, I opened up and was like ‘hi, guys — I’m a refugee from America and am fleeing intellectual persecution,’” she said. “Some people from other countries have this idea that Americans are all just people in fanny packs who weigh 400 pounds and think they’re better than everyone else, but we’re not all that cartoon of what you think an American is.”
The comedian said audiences can expect a bit of everything from her stand-up, from raunchy humor to self-deprecating jokes.
“It’s kind of about acknowledging my insecurities with my own sexuality and my body, which I think we can all relate to,” Singleton said. “I talk about family, trying to be a woman in the new age, how that correlates with the world around me, and how to relate to men.”
Singleton emphasized that she tries to discuss her experience as a woman in a way in which women laugh because they relate and men laugh because they relate through a girlfriend or a family member.
“I don’t think people who aren’t comedians deeply think about how much laughter connects us, but it does,” she said. “Laughter to me is a physical manifestation of love, and I like that I get to spread love to people and make them feel joy.”
— Brandon Schmitz is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.