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¿Como se dice ‘funny’?

By Keegan Prosser on April 9, 2013 – No Comment

BY KEEGAN PROSSER

Comedian Carmen Lynch didn’t necessarily plan on getting in to stand-up. It just kind of happened.

“I moved to New York to hang out with friends, and I thought I was was going to pursue acting, which I did,” Lynch says.

When she tired of waiting for someone to want her, she decided to switch directions.

“And I realized comedians can kind of get up whenever they like – because there are things like open mic nights.”

Her proactive attitude – and the extra sleep – seem to have paid off. In addition to being seen in the semi-finals of two seasons of Last Comic Standing, Lynch appeared on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” VH1’s “Winningest Winners” and performed several times for the troops in Iraq and Kuwait. She’s also toured in Spain and Costa Rica and made her late night television debut on “The Late Show with David Letterman” in November 2012.

The Scene recently caught up with Lynch in advance of her show at the Parlor Live this month:

SCENE: Can you describe your comedy in two words?
Carmen Lynch: I get dry and deadpan a lot. I guess it’s pretty true – but I think quirky is more it, too.

SCENE: Did you grow up watching other comedians?
CL: Not really, because I didn’t know this was what I wanted to do until later. Growing up I loved funny stuff, like “I Love Lucy” or “The Carol Burnett Show.” My parents were pretty strict, so I didn’t grow up watching late night television. So in that regard, I’m still catching up. But I’m more in to physical comedy – like Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett.

SCENE: You started your career by getting in to comedy show’s like “Last Comic Standing.” Why did you decide to go that route?
CL: I guess I thought of it as ‘Well, I could be temping or doing this.’ And standing in a line sounded better than faxing stuff. Sometimes these shows give you a good opportunity to be seen – and a good place to showcase material in front of a packed house.

SCENE: What’s your favorite part about doing stand-up?
CL: The fact that I get to do everything is really attractive to me. With stand-up, you are the writer, actor, performer and director on stage. It’s cool to have that power – you get to work on all parts of it. And creating that new joke is so fun. That’s exciting because it never gets old.

SCENE: You performed on the “Late Show with David Letterman” in November 2012. How was that?
CL: He is my favorite late night show guy, so it was pretty great. At first it’s a little surreal, and it all happens pretty fast.

SCENE: How did you pick the jokes you performed on that show?
CL: It’s kind of a mutual thing. You start with 8 or 9 [minutes] and you slowly tailor your set. They [give] input in as well, and it depends on [several] things – like the fact it’s on network television. I was actually happy with the ones selected; as long as they showcase the kind of humor I have, it’s cool.

SCENE: You are also fluent in Spanish, and recently started doing shows in Spain. Do your jokes translate well?
CL: I have to change some of the words. Some things just don’t work in other countries. We’ve had [stand-up] in America for so many years, and it’s still pretty new over there. So they don’t get some things that are dark or sarcastic. But it’s kind of fun to do a long set in a different country that you’ve never done before.

SCENE: Have you been to this area before?
CL: I lived in Bremerton when I was two years old. My dad was in the military so we lived all over – and then when I was three we moved to Spain. So I kind of feel like I’ll be seeing it for the first time.

SCENE: What can people expect from your act in April?
CL: A few strange points of view. Hopefully a good time. I hope people kind of keep up with my style. To have a good time and be open minded. I just hope it’s fun – I don’t know what to say.

Carmen Lynch performs at the Parlor Live Comedy Club April 11-13. $15-30, www.parlorlive.com. Follow Lynch @lynchcarmen or at www.carmenlynch.com.