Bringing Visibility To The Queer Community Through Comedy

AB Cassidy is an actor and standup comedian who got her start opening for Jeff Garcia. She is one of the stars in filmmaker Jenna Laurenzo’s new hit lesbian comedy, Lez Bomb!

AB was recently in NYC for an LPAC event, sharing the stage with the likes of Billie Jean King, Melissa Etheridge and Chaunté Wayans. During her visit she was kind enough to take a few moments out of her busy schedule to sit down and chat with us about film, comedy, style and more! Ohhh, and obviously rock some Kirrin Finch!

HOW DID YOUR ROLE IN LEZ BOMB COME TO BE?

I would define myself as a “hard dyke”, and I never see myself portrayed in films. So when I read Jenna’s Lez Bomb script, I pitched the idea to write in a character that portrayed just that...a rough and tumble lesbian bull dyke. The rest is history!

There is one magical moment in particular where my character, Emma, is sitting across the table at Thanksgiving dinner (perhaps not so effectively) trying just as hard as the “soft” lesbian played by Caitlin Mehner, to mask her sexuality. The juxtaposition of two extremes in the “lesbian world” is not only comedic, but also truly meaningful for queer representation in film. Lez Bomb’s script gives them equal weights and struggles at the table of life.

WHY DO YOU THINK LEZ BOMB, AND OTHER QUEER MEDIA IS IMPORTANT FOR THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY?
Visibility. I feel like this is so important right now. The more queer voices and queer stories....the better. We’re currently in such a learning process as a society with so many different terms and new ways to identify, it’s important now more than ever to voice our experiences and have our stories be told. Cuz how else will people learn and be educated?
 
HOW DO YOU THINK THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY PRESENTS THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY? WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE CHANGED?

I think the entertainment industry is starting to get better in LGBTQ representation. However, we still have a long ways to go. And there’s a lot of stories that have yet to be told. I think one of the biggest things that could be improved, is just normalizing the whole gay thing. I’d love to see Queer characters in tv/film without it being some big thing. Like why aren’t there butch lesbians like me playing the Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson roles? Why does it have to always be a heterosexual woman? I never get to go out for those roles. I’m always brought in for some lesbian stereotype like, “Truck Driver #2.” or “Intimidating Construction Worker”  Same thing with trans actors. Trans people mostly only play trans roles. And even then, it’s rare if they get cast. The big debate going on right now is whether cis gendered people should be able to play trans characters. I personally don’t have a problem with it, because I think it’s acting, and any actor should be able to play any role, but I do have a problem that those same trans actors, are then not given a chance at those other roles. So a cis man can play a trans person but a trans person can’t play a cis man. It’s very strange.  

HOW DOES IT FEEL WITH ALL THOSE "EYES" ON YOU WHEN YOU ARE PERFORMING? WHAT DO YOU DO TO HELP MANAGE THE STRESS, IF YOU FIND IT STRESSFUL?
Honestly, I don’t find it thats stressful. I’m a Leo and the baby of the family so I really love attention, “all eyes one me” is actually when I work best. The only thing that I find stressful about it is after a week or weekend with a ton of shows, my energy gets super drained. So I always take a day (or two) to just literally do nothing except hang out with my cats and watch Chopped. 

 

AS A PERFORMER, HOW YOU DRESS AND PRESENT YOURSELF ON STAGE IS REALLY IMPORTANT. HOW DO YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT TO WEAR? HAVE YOU STRUGGLED WITH FINDING OPTIONS?

I always want to wear something that I feel confident in because not only is confidence sexy, but it’s something that I feel, as a diverse comic, that it’s essential for me to have. A lot of times there are audience members that have never even met someone like me. So for me to look good and feel good is really important. I have definitely struggled in the past trying to figure out what to wear. But ever since coming to terms with my gender fluidity, and moving to a very fashionable and Queer city, I’ve started to find and embrace my own style. Also, fedoras.  

HOW DO YOU CONNECT COMEDY AND FEMINISM?

There’s a myth that women aren’t funny. And feminism is basically a belief in the equality of the sexes. So if I get on stage and make them laugh just as hard as the guy before, then I’m proving them wrong. Proving that I’m just as funny, I’m just as talented, and I’m not just a female comedian. I’m a comedian. 

WHY SHOULD WE GO SEE THE FILM?

You should go see the film because Lez Bomb is the perfect example of what LGBTQ content should be. Yes, there are queer characters, and yes, this is a queer story, but it’s not just for the LGBTQ community. It’s for everybody. Everybody can relate to this story, gay or not. The movie is about family disfunction, and chaos, and finding yourself, and loving yourself, and loving your circumstances, and it’s humorous, and it’s charming, and it makes you leave the theater feeling warm and fuzzy. You can take your mom, your grandmother, your partner -- whoever. It’s a film with a lot of heart and it’s got a little something for everyone.  

    
HOW TO CONNECT WITH AB:

Instagram: @funnylezbo

LEARN MORE ABOUT LEZ BOMB
Release Date: November 9, 2018