Amanda Seales is ready to offer folks across the country a very special experience involving black culture
and comedy. As mentioned, Seales is taking her ‘Smart Funny And Black ‘ show on the road to several different cities. We here at Comedy Hype have had the pleasure of watching the stand-up comedian’s show develop since it’s early beginnings in NYC. Last night, Seales would host the very first stop of the tour and brought out loved comedic actresses Tichina Arnold and Tisha Campbell (Photoed above).
For those unfamiliar, special guests of every ‘Smart Funny And Black’ show take to the stage to play a series of games and trivia on black culture. At the end of the night, one of the guests is crowned the ‘Master Blackspert’. We recently spoke with Seales just before she hit the road to get her reflection on the show’s growth and now vision. Her message would center around black creatives taking ownership of their content and believing in oneself.
CH: How has the vision of Smart Funny And Black evolved in the process?
AS: It originally was just a showcase, when it was in New York, to give another space to the black comedians who I felt weren’t getting love because their style of comedy was looked at as “alternative”. Because their comedy was more intellectual based versus physical. So black folks can’t be smart and funny? What are we talking about?… So I started originally as that.
When I moved to Los Angeles, I reformatted into this show because I felt that there was a greater space in combining the teaching element. We did it at Nerd Melt. Then we managed to sell it to TruTV, but then I took it back because we were not equipped to handle this content. We had other offers but I realized that it could be most helpful as an entity that was fully in my possession. You know like owning your sh*t. My mom always said, “You take their money, you take their sh*t.” I realized that if I want to make this impactful, I need to think about it in a different way. Bringing it to these audiences feels much more organic, feels much more grassroots. It’s been so incredible because we’ve sold out all of these shows without even announcing guests… That’s what makes me feel the proudest, is that people believe in the content.
Seales continued to reflect on the show’s growth and how she and team had to believe in themselves.
AS: We started out with 10 cities, a show in each city. We sold out every original show in each city. So we officially have a sold-out tour in that respect. Then we added an extra show in every other city.. I’m trying to sell out all of these, so we can show folks. The buyers didn’t want this. When you try to do a show in a market, they give you the guaranteed money you will get if you don’t sell out. That money is basically the club trying to show you how much they believe in your ability to sell out. We would get like a $1,000 guarantee in a place that could easily make $9,000. That’s how little they believe in it. But we had to believe in ourselves. We ended up not only selling out but then added a second show and sold that show out. Now they’re like, “Damn”.
For all those interested, check out ‘Smart Funny And Blacks’ upcoming tours upcoming stops
For Tickets visit SMARTFUNNYANDBLACK.Com
Jul. 30 – Los Angeles (Sold Out)
Aug. 1st – Philly (Sold Out)
Aug. 2, 3, 4 – NYC (Sold Out)
Aug. 5th – Detroit (Sold Out)
Aug. 7th – Chicago
Aug. 9th – St. Louis
Aug. 10th – Atlanta (Sold Out)
Aug. 11th – New Orleans
Aug. 13th – Houston
Aug. 14th – Dallas (Sold Out)