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Silver Rose

Welcome, Silver!

 

Hello! Thank you.

 

So who or what inspires you to create the art that you have developed?

 

You know, I just love to make people laugh. I was in my mid-30s, I became sober and I started to wonder what I wanted to do when I grew up. So I did an examination of when am I the happiest and what came out is that I’m at my most happy when I’ve got everybody’s attention and I’m making people laugh. That’s when I found stand-up comedy. 

 

At what moment did you realize that this is what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?

 

I can’t say a moment because I’ve always wanted to make people laugh, starting in school. I remember the first joke I told in the fourth grade and it was a stupid one, but we were studying Napoleon. And Napoleon, I don’t know if you know this, but he invented the epaulets. So when the teacher told us, he invented epaulets, I said, yes, but did it fit?

What was a moment during your creative process when you were just stuck and how did you overcome it?

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One thing with comedy is that I am not good at memorizing things, I’m just not. And when you’re on stage, there’s a certain rhythm that jokes have and it’s not by accident. Even Robin Williams, for example, makes it look like he’s making stuff up on the spot. He never was. Stand-up comics have to have things memorized in a certain rhythm and I was just horrible at that and so it really kept me stuck for a long time and then I just learned to work around it. My husband asks me “how did things go” when I get home and I say, well, it didn’t go so well but the check cleared.

 

So what is one of your dream projects?

 

I would love to do a one-woman show, which seems ridiculous. As I’ve just told you I’m terrible at memorizing things, but I’ve always wanted to do a one-woman show and, yeah, it’s a dream of mine.

 

Would that be a live show or a Netflix type show? 

 

It would be a stage production. Now if Netflix wants to make a movie out of it, who am I to argue with Netflix? But no, it would be a stage production. I would love to do that. I would love and hate to do that.

 

Any particular aspects of the dream that you can share? You know, anything more that you can share about the focus of it or any elements of it?
 

Well, I’ve had enough people say to me, boy, you’ve had a very interesting life. You know the word interesting is interesting. It’s just one of those things that if I was sitting down being interviewed by Barbara Walters, God bless her, people would go, “Oh, she’s just making this stuff up”. But if I do it in a stage production, they’ll go, well, maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. But I promise you, it’s all true. Except in comedy, it’s the kiss of death when you say this is true.

 

When you’re looking back at your journey, is there a piece of art that has made an impact and still inspires you today?

Yes, and I’m gonna really mess up cause I can’t remember her last name. There was a woman named Loretta who ran a one-woman show, and she coined the phrase ‘put on your big girl panties and just do it’. And I can’t remember her last name. I have a video of her somewhere. But, yeah, it really inspired me.

 

How did it inspire you?

 

Well, first of all, it just looks like she was talking to people in her living room. She looked very casual and at ease doing it. And people were laughing a lot. Victor Borge once said, “The shortest distance between people is laughter.” I believe that. And I think that right now (and of course every generation says this), we need to laugh more. We need to put on our big girl panties and laugh more. 

 

Absolutely! Is there a story behind your name that adds to who you are in arts and entertainment?

So my last name was Rose and I was married to a guy named Rose. He was mad that I kept the name, but, you know, screw him. [laughs] But when I was starting my stand-up, I knew that the first thing that people noticed about me was my hair and, at that time, it really was silver. I had dark hair underneath and it bled through and it looks very silvery. But I was trying to think of a name and so I was thinking, well, I could be Whitey Rose, but it sounded too much like a baseball player and I didn’t want to grab my crotch and spit. 

 

So one day, I was sitting on the couch with my daughter and my gray cat walked in front of us and she said, “You know, we shouldn’t have named her Cashmere. We should have named her Silver.” And a big lightbulb went on over my head. So my daughter has the distinction of having named her own mother.

 

What parting words or advice can you share with emerging artists?

 

I would say, don’t give up. I got scared and quit in my mid-30s and I didn’t really take it up again until my 60s. I was still making people laugh because I was a professional speaker, but the standup comedy part I really abandoned for a while because I was scared. And I guess I just want you to know that everybody is scared. 

 

I remember hearing about Shirley McClane who used to throw up backstage before she performed every time. It’s just a natural part of the process. But also examine if you’re in it to make a bunch of money, then quit right now, because honestly that’s the worst reason to go into it. 

 

I love Jim Carrey, who said he wishes everybody could be rich and famous for two weeks and then they’d see it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, because it’s a lot of pressure. Not that I’m speaking from experience, but I have had people approach me and act like I’m like somebody more important because they’ve seen me up on stage. It’s silly, it’s just a silly thing. 

 

But if it’s really something that you want to do, don’t give up and just do it wherever you can and enjoy it. I mean, I do comedy in retirement communities, I do comedy in bars. You know, when the refrigerator door opens and the light goes on every ten minutes. I mean, it’s the whole thing. I stole that joke, but then most jokes are stolen.

 

Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years?

 

Well, hopefully not in a coffin. That would be depressing. You know, in the next 3 years I really see myself expanding more. I’m starting a show here in my hometown that I’m excited about and I just see myself collaborating more with people. When you have work, people really want to collaborate with you.But you’re the one with the hat in hand. It’s a reverse kind of thing. So I’m gonna be able to hire some comics and that’ll be fun for me. But I just want to do something different. 

 

I think I told you, in a different conversation, that I’m having a comedy art show because my husband is a Covid artist and by that I mean he started painting during Covid. 

 

He has all these paintings and I need to get out of my house. So we’re gonna have a comedy art show where his art is gonna be displayed. I and a couple of my friends are gonna do comedy and we’ll see how that goes.

Interviewed by: Susan Rosenthal, susan@artcee.co

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