HOLR is chatting with Felicia Madison about this exciting time in her career!
The self-proclaimed, real-life Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Felicia Madison, has been bringing audiences to tears of laughter at some of New York City’s most infamous clubs. Today, HOLR is chatting with the comedian about her start in the industry, her role as founder of Laughing Affairs, how she is a strong advocate for mental health, and so much more.
Keep reading to learn all about Felicia and how she left her life as an Upper East Side stay-at-home mom to join the ranks of all the comedians who came before her.
As the self-proclaimed, real-life Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, talk to us about how you got your start in the industry as a comedian.
I started stand-up sort of on a whim. I was a stay-at-home mom for many years and never really found my passion in life. I was always searching and trying to find my passion but nothing ever stuck. I actually had a friend in the comedy business and said, “one day I’m going to try this.”
When my daughter was old enough, a friend of mine who I now do my podcast with, Nancy Tepper, took a class together. I just loved it. From that moment I never stopped and it’s been great. It’s sort of a testament, if you find something you love it’ll happen.
Tell us about your role as Director of New Talent and Talent Booker at the West Side Comedy Club.
It’s interesting. As I was venturing on this road to comedy, I kept running into the fact that I was a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids and a 4th husband, which gave me a lot of skills in terms of organizing and planning. I found that I became very good at producing events.
I started doing lunchtime comedy shows and brought them to my girlfriends when it was convenient for them. So at the back of a restaurant, lunchtime comedy was very successful. I then brought it to the club and they saw how successful it was then. They then made me the Director of New Talent because they saw I had a great eye for talent. The next thing I knew I was Talent Booker, then I was running the club!
I really enjoy working with comedians- young comedians, especially. They call me their momager! I help them and they trust me. I’m very open and honest with them. The industry is very hard for comedians in general. You start off bringing in friends and then they produce shows and do other stuff. It’s a long time before they get past the club and work regularly.
My program, which I call F Comedy (F for Felicia), gives life and an opportunity to these comedians in this in-between phase. I came to it because as a comedian myself I was struggling and I knew this is what we needed, so I set out to create it.
You are a strong advocate for mental health- how do you use your platform to inspire your audience to work towards their dreams?
I talk a lot about mental health on stage. I try to break stereotypes that are not true. Number one is that people ask what I have to be upset about. It’s a mental illness. I work with a lot of charities and I say the same thing to everyone- it’s work and it’s hard, and it doesn’t come easy. Everyone has their own issues and you have to do whatever it takes whether it’s going to see a therapist or taking medication.
I grew up in a time frame where seeing a therapist or taking medication was frowned upon. I tend to live a life where I tell people- I’m open and honest with myself- and use the stage and life experiences, in general, to spread the word that there’s nothing to be ashamed of- in order to be the best possible person you can be, it’s important to seek the help you need.
You’re also the founder of Laughing Affairs. Tell us more about this venture.
It’s interesting because it was a real learning experience. I think part of the reason why I stuck with stand-up is that all you need is to be funny and have a lot of balls. You don’t need a business plan, or financial planning- all you need are your own ideas!
A lot of the stuff I started on, I stopped right away when I couldn’t understand. So, I started doing these events, and I realized that as I started doing them that I needed to see myself and incorporate myself to protect myself from any damage. I came up with the name Laughing Affairs. Under this umbrella, I create all sorts of events. For instance, I could do at home, charity, or corporate events. My goal is to bring laughter to any of your events and affairs!
What future goals have you set for your career?
I have a lot of goals I’m the type of person that is a very goal-oriented person. If you give me a goal, I’ll set it! That’s how I did my one-woman show done and was accepted into the film festival. I have a podcast called “MT Nesters Podcast” which is for women who have become empty nesters and is about helping them. I, along with my college roommate Nancy, offer guidance to women and help them. It’s really for any woman that’s looking to pivot or shift or needs help in any aspect. We are also looking to do a TED Talk. I want to talk to other people who can’t figure out how to get out of that rut or pivot.
I’m also working on a Pilot about my life. As you know, The Miserable Mrs. Madison which was a result of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel ruining my pilot because it came out right when I was finishing mine. Now that she’s winding down, I’m working and re-writing mine and making it a little bit different,
I want to revisit my one-woman show too because I really enjoyed that. I like keeping busy!
Published by HOLR Magazine.