Gettin’ It: Hilarious True Stories Of Women Getting What They Want is a show that’s basically your best night ever sitting in a corner booth at your favorite bar. Six women tell hilarious, true stories about the time they really went for broke and learned a thing or two along the way. It gets real as quickly as it gets knock-down funny. We recently spoke with Julia Cotton about the show.
What are the origins of Gettin’ It?
Noa Gavin reached out to me about wanting to do something with “stories”- writing a story, gathering stories… something. I think she was still writing or finishing writing a book. I had participated with Dallas’ “Oral Fixation” and fell in love with storytelling as performance. Noa and I also stay on our “women empowerment” tip and talk a lot about women taking charge of themselves and stepping out to try things and how that should be something we celebrate in ourselves. “Gettin’ it” is something that I say fairly often, albeit usually about sexual conquests. But it’s a notion that applies to all types of conquests: financial, educational, friendships, jobs, spirituality, hygiene, being able to tie your shoes… When you think about it, tying your shoes was something you had to decide to conquer and you probably took a few tries before you got it done, or maybe you never learned how to do it and you have a relationship with Velcro shoes now (a la Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season 2). Either way, that journey that you went on in that effort is part of your story and who you are. You got something out of the quest and that is something to reflect on, celebrate, and share. Noa and I talked about these things over lunch one day and, Gettin It was born.
Even though I’ve been a fan of Julia Sweeney’s one-woman shows for years, I’ve noticed an uptick in storytelling as a use in comedy more recently, particularly with Mike Birbiglia’s specials and movies. Why do you believe storytelling is becoming more of a facet in comedy as opposed to the “one, two, POW” joke writing method?
Storytelling is one of the most direct ways we relate and connect to each other. Delivering a story about yourself is such a raw and exposing thing to do. It can be very cathartic for the storyteller, but also socially affirming for the audience. After storytelling shows, my favorite part is when people walk up to the performers and let them know, “Hey, me too!” They have found themselves in another person and it feels good on both sides. I believe that’s all we want, is to be closer to one another. Plus, I think people appreciate the boldness that it takes to be so vulnerable and honest versus just shooting out a bunch of one-liners. My favorite stand-ups are those who find that even blend between storytelling and jokes. The punchline carries a lot more weight when you feel connected to the person delivering it.
If you could have three women from history and entertainment, past or present, in Gettin’ It, who would you choose and why? (Yes, this is basically the dinner party question, but more fun!)
Sally Hemmings – she’s got some stuff to talk about, I’m sure. But mostly I wanna know which version of “Shake It Off” she would relate to more: Mariah Carey’s or Taylor Swift’s. (It’s actually probably the one by DJ Jazzy Jeff and Chef Word.)
My grandmother – she got shot in her abdomen by my grandfather with a shotgun. As a kid, I was always fascinated with her scar, but I never got her version of that story. She never left him and outlived him. (She is a “known” historical figure in Houston. Plus, as her descendant, I can confirm that lady was hella entertaining.)
Phylicia Rashad – another entertaining historical figure from H-town. I wonder how she feels about being everybody in America’s mom and then having to stand by our dad after he’s been accused of date raping a bunch of white women.
What tips can you personally offer to women who want to “get what they want?”
Go get it!
Here’s the thing, you don’t always know what you want all of the time anyway. Sometimes you think you do and sometimes you’re sure you do. Moreover, whatever it is, you may not end up with it. But, you WILL end up with something. A lot of the times that “something” is different than what you thought you wanted. A lot of the times that “something” is merely a lesson. But, every time, you will have a story about going after it. And that story is always a good story… because it’s your story.
(The lesson I learned about myself after completing this interview is that I am extremely corny.)
KC Ryan is an improv graduate turned Sketch Writing Level 2 student. When she’s not working at the day job, she is a writer and podcaster for everything that combines feminism, comedy, theatre, and nerdery. She also performs in the puppet improv troupe Empty Inside.