HENRIETTE MANTEL, editor, is a writer, actress, director, and producer. She is proud that so many of her friends don’t have kids and have lived to write about it. In eighth grade, Henriette came in third in the Vermont State Forestry Essay Contest. Her Emmys for television comedy writing will never compare to that. Her favorite things she has written/directed are the show In the Middle, Midge and Buck, the documentary An Unreasonable Man, and The Beaver Play. She grew up in Vermont before it was cool to do so, and continues to live between there and New York City. You can see what she’s done in her illustrious career at HenrietteMantel.com. (Photograph by Jenine de Shazer.)
JENNIFER COOLIDGE, foreword, has been in many movies, TV shows, and plays. In 2010 she was on Broadway in a play entitled Elling. A certain generation knows her best as Stifler’s mom in American Pie. Her favorite role ever was playing Charlene, a mental patient who escaped the hospital to fall in love with a beaver and go to Vermont with him to meet his family. She grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Los Angeles and New Orleans.
JANETTE BARBER is the host of Janette’s Show on SiriusXM Stars 107, a spin-off of the very successful RosieRadio, of which she was Executive Producer and sidekick. Janette is a stand-up comic, a six-time Emmy-award-winning TV producer and writer, a former TVFN host, and a USA Today best-selling author. Janette is Ambassador at Large for Medical Missions for Children (www.mmfc.org) a nonprofit organization that travels to Third World countries to do free surgeries for children with birth defects.
As is the case with many actors, CHERYL BRICKER began writing in self-defense, creating her own opportunity for voice and vehicle. Her one-act play Catering to Comedy was first workshopped in New York at the Westbank Theatre, later produced at the Phoenix Theatre Company in Dobbs Ferry, and subsequently appeared at the Lincoln Center Library Theatre. In Los Angeles, she performed her metaphysical fable/comedy 1-800-CALL-GOD at Arcade. She also penned a scenario for a video game called Love Resurrected, as well as a satirical political video encouraging people to get out and vote called Dr. Cause. She is currently writing with a partner on a screenplay entitled “Coulda Woulda Shoulda,” a coming-of-age crime/romance, a first for the genre. Other projects—screenplays, a novelette, unfinished plays—remain in a drawer. But, liking nothing better than her own opinion, Cheryl has an affinity for this essay format, had fun with it, and was honored to be included.
VALRI BROMFIELD worked as an actor/writer/producer in television and film until she felt she no longer had the intestines for it. Now she is a therapist and loving it. Either way she has been in therapy all her life.
CINDY CAPONERA, a native Chicagoan, is an actress and writer. She started at the Second City Theater in Chicago, where she performed in the National Touring Company, the E.T.C., and Main Stage, as well as many other local plays. She’s written and performed three critically acclaimed solo shows: Against the Grain; The Debutante Ball, which appeared at the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen and was produced for Oxygen Network’s Life Out Loud series; and Cookies and Booze. Her many television writing/producing credits include: NBC’s Saturday Night Live; Showtime’s Shameless and Nurse Jackie; and Comedy Central’s Strangers with Candy and Exit 57. Cindy has also developed shows for HBO, FOX, Showtime, CBS, and ABC. Her television acting credits include Sherri, Thick and Thin, Curb Your Enthusiasm, That 70’s Show, SNL, and Exit 57. She is looking forward to publishing her first collection of essays: I Triggered Her Bully . . . Stories from Canaryville and Beyond.
MARGARET CHO is a multiple-Emmy-and-Grammy-Award-nominated comedian, actress, and singer of Korean heritage known for her edgy, no-holds-barred humor. Having performed stand-up comedy since the age of sixteen, she continues to draw from the primal influence of the eclectic San Francisco neighborhood where she was born. In her early twenties Margaret received exposure from no less than Jerry Seinfeld, Arsenio Hall, and Bob Hope, which rocketed her into celebrity status and to her own TV sitcom. Since her 1999 acclaimed one-woman show I’m The One That I Want, which also spawned a feature film and best-selling book, she has had a string of sold-out tours and successful films. In 2008 Margaret returned to TV on the VH1 reality-sitcom series, The Cho Show, and in 2009 she joined the cast of Drop Dead Diva, airing on Lifetime. In 2010 she self-released the critically acclaimed and Grammy-nominated CD Cho Dependent, a funny collection of musical collaborations, on her own Clownery Records. She is currently touring with her latest stand-up show entitled Mother. Please visit www.margaretcho.com.
BONNIE DATT is a comedy writer and producer, fashion journalist, and, in a former life, an award-winning stand-up comic. Her writing credits span television, print, stage and the web and include works for ABC, PBS, USA, Oxygen, UPN, MSNBC, The Disney Channel, racked.com, comedycentral.com and the infamous SPY Magazine. She is an elected Council member of the Writers Guild of America, East, and has been a writer producer on every WGAE Awards show since 2009. Bonnie and her husband Chris are very happy with their child-free status, although Bonnie has been known to occasionally anthropomorphize stuffed animals and house plants.
JEANNE DORSEY is a playwright and author of Footprints in the Snow, a play about a couple who adopt a troubled eight-year-old Russian boy. The play developed at New York’s Naked Angels’ Tuesdays@9 weekly reading series and the Ensemble Studio Theatre Playwrights Unit, where she is a member. She recently produced and directed the short film Blood from a Stoner based on her one-act play of the same title, which was produced in the 2009 Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon.
NORA DUNN’s first job in front of a camera was with Saturday Night Live. Other TV credits include NBC’s drama Sisters, Fran Drescher’s sitcom The Nanny, HBO’s Entourage, as Dr. Markus, as well as Boston Legal, Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Don’t Trust the B—— In Apartment 23, Everything’s Sunny In Philadelphia, Harry’s Law, Law & Order, Numb3rs, Psych, Pushing Daisies, and The X-Files: Wonderland Parts I & II. Film credits include Bruce Almighty, Bulworth, Drop Dead Gorgeous, It’s Complicated, Laws of Attraction, Miami Blues, Pineapple Express, Runaway Jury, Three Kings, Working Girl, Zoolander, and Guilt Trip with Seth Rogan and Barbra Streisand. She published a collection of comedic stories, Nobody’s Rib, with HarperCollins. Theatrical performances include Nora Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, and George Furth’s Precious Sons. Her critically acclaimed one-woman show, Small Prey, ran for sixteen weeks in Los Angeles. Her new one-woman show, Mythical Proportions, opens in 2013 in Chicago, her hometown.
JANE GENNARO is famous for her talent and versatility as an artist, writer, and performer with an eclectic array of accomplishments that include being a commentator on NPR (National Public Radio), a playwright at The American Place Theatre, and an exhibiting artist at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She lives in New York City and upstate New York with her sexy husband who loves to cook. www.janegennaro.com (Photograph by Taylor Hooper)
LAURIE GRAFF is a writer living in New York City. Her novels include the bestselling You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs, Looking for Mr. Goodfrog, and The Shiksa Syndrome. She’s a contributor to The New York Times Complaint Box, Live Alone and Like It, It’s a Wonderful Lie, and Scenes from a Holiday, and has penned several short plays and published monologues. Visit her on Facebook or at www.lauriegraff.com.
JULIE HALSTON is one of the theater’s busiest actresses and comediennes. She just finished costarring on Broadway in the Tony Award–winning musical Anything Goes. Her performances have garnered her three Drama Desk Nominations, two Outer Critics Nominations, and two Drama League Nominations. Her range and résumé include costarring on Broadway with Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche in The Twentieth Century to her acclaimed performance as Bitsy Von Muffling on the smash TV show Sex and the City. She cofounded the legendary off Broadway theater company Theatre-in-Limbo with playwright Charles Busch and received the prestigious Legend of Off Broadway Award from the Off Broadway Alliance. Her sold-out one-woman show Classical Julie has been extended five times at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club, and she will be back there in the spring of 2013. Her book Monologues for Show-Offs, which she wrote with friend Donna Daley, is now used as a standard text by colleges, casting agents, and performers in all media. Julie and Donna are currently adapting their success with this book into a play. Miss Halston lives in New York with her husband, Ralph Howard, the anchorman for Howard Stern’s Howard 100 News Department on SiriusXM Radio. www.juliehalstononline.com.
DEBBIE KASPER is a two-time Emmy-nominated TV writer and award-winning producer/writer/performer, as well as a director, actress, stand-up comic and international humor author. She’s toured America several times over, either as a stand-up comic or a writer/performer with one of her many theatrical shows, entertaining America one hit at a time. Her one-woman show Without Me My Show is Nothing won the DramaLogue award as best solo show in L.A. Her two-woman show Self Help The Comedy toured America for several years, earning rave reviews. Her show BoomerMania: The Musical About the Baby Boomers, which she cowrote, codirected and coproduced, is currently touring America. She will soon be performing/touring her new parody Zelda Bing’s Love Camp. Always darlings of the press, Debbie’s shows have been called “masterpieces,” “hilarious,” and “hysterical” in dozens of national papers. Whether in NYC, L.A., or criss-crossing the country in between, Debbie has been making people laugh for several decades. www.debbiekasper.com
SUE KOLINSKY started her comedy career as a waitress in New York City. After getting fired for a cynical remark to a customer, she decided to take her humor somewhere it would be better appreciated . . . The Original Improvisation. And it was. For the past twenty years, audiences have appreciated Sue all across the country. Her comedy skills also landed her a job as the original host of Short Attention Span Theater on Comedy Central. Other TV appearances include The Tonight Show, Comic Strip Live, two comedy specials for Lifetime, and Bob Hope’s Young Comedian’s Special on NBC. She has written for the WB show, Brotherly Love, HBO’s Sex and the City, and The Ellen Show. She also had a morning talk radio show, Mason and Kolinsky, on WNEW in NYC. She cut her teeth as a producer on The Osbournes, and for the past three years she’s produced Top Chef, garnering two Emmy nominations.
MAUREEN LANGAN is an award-winning comic and broadcast journalist. She headlines at clubs and theaters throughout the United States and has been featured at festivals in Ireland, Canada, and England. She’s appeared on HBO, FOX (sorry), ABC News, CBS This Morning, Comics Unleashed, The Joy Behar Show, the Paramount Pictures film Marci X, and in many national commercials. She hosts a weekly talk show on KGO Radio in San Francisco. Maureen lives in New York City and Los Altos, California. She grew up in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, where there is no lake.
BETH LAPIDES is the host and creator of Un-Cabaret, which she has produced since 1993 as a live show and for Comedy Central, Comedy World Radio, and Amazon VOD. She has hosted a daily radio show, The Beth Lapides Experience, on Comedy World Radio as well as the series The Other Network and Say the Word. She’s been on NPR’s All Things Considered, Politically Incorrect, ABC Radio, and HuffPo. As an actress she plays offbeat authority figures, most notably on Sex and the City. Beth is the author of Did I Wake You? Haiku for Modern Living and has written for O, The Oprah Magazine, Los Angeles Times, and Elle Decor; her monthly column, “My Other Car Is a Yoga Mat,” was syndicated by LA Yoga magazine. She teaches The Comedian’s Way workshops at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. She has written and performed numerous shows, including her most recent show, 100% Happy 88% of the Time.
WENDY LIEBMAN has been a regular on late-night television, including Carson, Fallon, Letterman, Kimmel, Ferguson, and Leno. She has done half-hour specials for HBO and Comedy Central, and her first hour, Wendy Liebman Taller on TV, premiered on Showtime. Wendy has been in two documentaries: The Aristocrats, and The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story, and she was the recipient of the American Comedy Award for Best Female Comedian. Wendy currently cohosts Unbound with Terri Nunn on KCSN, 88.5 FM, in Los Angeles, and writes LMAO with Wendy, a blog about health (because if you can’t do, teach)! She was also recently #23 Down in The New York Times Magazine crossword puzzle. Wendy performs at clubs, corporations, and benefit shows throughout the U.S. and Canada, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Jeffrey Sherman, her amazing stepsons, and her two funny dogs.
BERNADETTE LUCKETT is from Berkeley, California. She discovered her talent for writing when she won first place in the Oakland Tribune’s Aunt Elsie’s Story Contest at the age of eight. As a teenager, she wrote beautiful yet extremely depressing poetry and was published in a national poetry anthology. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in biology, and has worked as a lab tech in a VD clinic, a model with the Wilhelmina Agency New York, a cookie packer at Langendorf Bakery, a stand-up comedian, and a producer/writer on several sitcoms. Bernadette recently cowrote 21 Days of Enlightenments, a fun, interactive workbook aimed at pushing people past their comfort zones. She occasionally posts stories and poems on her blog, Stuff Bernadette Wrote at: www.stuffbernadettewrote.blogspot.com.
MERRILL MARKOE is a genial, well-rounded humorist who has, in the fullness of time, performed stand-up and published eight books. Four of her books are novels and four are collections of short humorous pieces, the most recent being Cool, Calm & Contentious, published in 2012. She has appeared on a wide variety of TV shows that range from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to episode #2 of Friends, where she had six lines playing Marsha, the irritable museum curator. During the course of her thirty-year career, she won five Emmies as the original head writer and co-creator of Late Night with David Letterman, a late-night talk show that used to be on NBC. For a lot more than you may even care to know about this fascinating creature, including a long bio and a bunch of videos, check out merrillmarkoe.com.
ANDREA CARLA MICHAELS is a storyteller, former Los Angeles stand-up comic, and game show writer who now names companies and products for a living as the founder and sole employee of ACME Naming. Andrea has written for Designing Women and has created dozens of crossword puzzles for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, TV Guide, and The Wall Street Journal. She spent her most memorable years as a chaperone for The All New Dating Game. Andrea loves playing/teaching Scrabble, learning languages, and traveling (when her cat allows). The highlight of her life, thus far, was winning a motorhome on Wheel of Fortune (actually, that highlight is now tied with petting a kangaroo outside Brisbane). Though she grew up in Minneapolis, Andrea has resided in San Francisco for the last two decades and is mother to no one.
VANDA MIKOLOSKI has been making money being funny since 1982. She has worked in all fifty states and a few foreign countries. She has appeared on Showtime and Lifetime. She took a bunch of time away from show biz, became a yoga teacher to the famous and infamous, a personal growth enthusiast, and part owner of a cool men’s underwear company www.MyPakage.com. She lives in Venice, CA, with herself.
JUDY MORGAN, a native Chicagoan, was trained in improvisational theater and performed for three years with Second City’s resident company. Using skills learned though improvisation—observe, recreate, inform, entertain—she has written for stage, radio, television, and film. Feeling the need for change, Morgan now lives in Texas and divides her time between the Piney Woods in the east and the high desert in the west. She writes nonfiction, a genre defined by what it is not. She has been recognized by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors with their Comments and Criticism Award.
Before moving to Maine twenty years ago, JUDY NIELSEN was involved in improvisation and theater in Chicago, New York, and Canada. She was a member of Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm, as a musician for ten years, and has written and performed two solo shows: Mother Tongue and Living in a Body. Judy lives in Whitefield, Maine, where she teaches T’ai Chi Chuan, djembe drumming, and meditation.
SUSAN NORFLEET is a former actor and stand-up comedian whose credits include a long list of TV shows and movies that are so old they are no longer being shown late at night on obscure cable stations. She currently lives in upstate New York where she splits her time renovating old houses, Googling information about hot flashes, and trying to figure out how to delete herself from Facebook. She has not updated her website in five years, so please do not plan to attend anything listed there as an upcoming performance. Most recently she had the good sense to fall in love with a chiropractor and is living virtually pain free with her partner, two cats, and two horses.
SUZANNE O’NEILL has spent the bulk of her life being chased by the villagers, who haven’t caught her yet. At present she is either holed up in a deserted windmill in the Transylvanian countryside or skulking the outskirts of Talbot Manor and wondering why Larry Talbot always wears dark shirts and a light suit. This is what happens when one peaks at age three.
JENNIFER PREDIGER is an actor and video journalist currently living above the loudest intersection in the East Village. The noise helps her avoid hearing the increasingly loud grinding of her own biological clock.
KATHRYN ROSSETTER is an actress, writer, and teacher. She was born and raised in Pennsylvania with three brothers and attended Gettysburg College. She has performed on and off Broadway, on film, on television, and in cabaret. She teaches acting and is currently Head of the Acting Department in the MFA program at The New School for Drama in New York City. She also does executive coaching for speaking and presentation skills. She has three nieces and two nephews and lives in Manhattan with her Chihuahua, Rambo.
BETSY SALKIND is a former staff writer for Roseanne and Saturday Night Special and the author of two children’s books for adults: More Than Once Upon a Time and Betsy’s Sunday School Bible Classics. After earning her master’s degree at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, she worked briefly as a Federal Reserve Bank examiner but left in her mid-twenties to pursue a career in stand-up comedy. Best known as “Squirrel Lady,” Betsy has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Showtime’s Fierce Funny Women. She also wrote and performed the one-woman satire Anne Frank Superstar. In her spare time Betsy has lobbied and organized for the National Association to Protect Children and was instrumental in changing California law to offer equal protection to children who have been sexually abused by family members. www.betsysalkind.com Twitter: @betsysalkind
PATRICIA SCANLON is a writer and actor who splits her time between Los Angeles and New York. Her critically acclaimed play, Death of a Salesgirl, produced at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, was recently nominated for seven 2013 L.A. Weekly Theater Awards. Scanlon’s work has also been presented by the fabulous team of Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner. (Photograph by Mike Weber.)
JEANETTE SCHWABA VIGNE likes to write about normal, everyday things like loving relationships with suspected manic-depressives; living with terrorists/freedom fighters, and pretending to look for work in the worst U.S. economy since the Great Depression. She’s currently writing/performing a story cycle about her adventures in Ireland, which is probably morphing into a novel. On the page, and in acting the story, she brings her characters vividly, and hilariously, to life.
NANCY SHAYNE wrote the book, music, and lyrics for Marcy in the Galaxy, produced by Transport Group in NYC. She contributed music, lyrics, and stories for The Audience (nominated for Best Musical, Drama Desk Awards-NYC). She wrote incidental music for the last two seasons of Sex and the City and most recently wrote with Mark Berman the theme song for Henriette Mantel and Kevin Meaney’s web series In the Middle (inthemiddleshow.com). Once upon a time she was the musical director for Chicago’s The Second City (Touring Company) and one of the founders of Detroit’s Attic Theatre. She is most proud of her one-act musical Two Bitter Women in a Coffee Shop, which premiered at the Aspen HBO Comedy Festival. And in another life she performed for years as a stand-up comedienne and still makes herself laugh. Currently she is working on a new musical and a book.
CAROL SISKIND started her stand-up career in New York, where she honed her skills in all the comedy clubs in the City. She then moved to Los Angeles where she appeared on network television shows, including The Tonight Show with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. She was a regular on FOX’s Comic Strip Live and Sunday Comics, where she wrote and performed a series of personal film pieces. She’s been on two Showtime specials and hosted a segment of Lifetime’s Girls’ Night Out. She’s infinitely proud to have appeared on HBO’s Larry Sanders on an episode she pitched to Gary Shandling. Nominated for Best Female Club Comedian by the American Comedy Awards, Carol has headlined clubs and theaters throughout the United States, England, and South Africa. From L.A. she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she worked every major hotel/casino in town. You may have read about Carol in People, Newsweek, Mademoiselle, The New York Times, The Sunday Times of London, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine, where she appeared on the cover. She’s thrilled to be living back in New York City, her home and never-ending source of creative inspiration.
ANN SLICHTER lives in Los Angeles and has written for such television shows as The Megan Mullally Show, Win Ben Stein’s Money, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? and Rhoda. (Okay, not the last one.) She’s available for a great relationship with the right available man, including your single brother or newly divorced neighbor.
TRACY SMITH kicked off her career in stand-up comedy in 1989 by winning an amateur contest at the Washington/Dulles Airport Holiday Inn. Soon after she moved to New York and then Los Angeles, which was all just as the brochure said it would be. She has appeared in many prestigious festivals, including Montreal’s Just for Laughs; she has had development deals with several major networks and studios; she has written for Spike TV’s animated series This Just In; and, among her many television milestones, Tracy has a half-hour special on Comedy Central, as well as a one-hour special on The Comedy Network. She was listed in Variety magazine as one of the Top Ten Comics to Watch, and the Los Angeles Times says Tracy is “Blonde and buxom with material as tight as her skirt.” Tracy currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her dog, Betty, from where she continues to headline venues all over the continent.
AMY STILLER is an actress and comedian who has been seen in film and television, regional and New York theater. She has also written her own comedy that she performs from time to time in coffee houses all over the place. Characters are her speciality. She is also in the book Dirty Laundry: Real Life. Real Stories. Real Funny. edited by Maggie Rowe and Anderson Gabrych. This is her second published essay. She lives in New York City and Los Angeles. She can be found at www.amystiller.com.
SUZY SORO is a comedian, actor, and writer. On Seinfeld she got the last chocolate babka and on Curb Your Enthusiasm Larry David called her a very bad name. Her first memoir, Celebrity sTalker, was published in 2012. She lives in Los Angeles waiting for the next earthquake to destroy her enemies. Come to www.WhereHotComesToDie.com or follow her on Twitter @hotcomestodie.
Writer-actress NANCY VAN IDERSTINE’s film roles include The Seller, The Last War Crime, and Slowdown. She has provided voice work in various animated programs, including starring as Mama Chu in 2011’s Little Big Panda, as the shape-shifting Impostra in the Power Rangers series and films, and on hundreds of audio books. On stage, her HBO Workspace original one-act 7 Years I Could Have Spent in Vermont found an enthused standing-room-only audience who bought her snacks after the show. Nancy’s thoughts appear in blog form at theme.wordpress.com/credits/gentleroar.com. She has also written hundreds of specialty pieces for film studios. Her first book, Twentieth Century Fox: The First 75 Years, sold exclusively with a collection of the studio’s best seventy-five films at a retail cost of around $500. Her books Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipes To Live For and Really Bad Sex: How Not To Seduce A Woman can be found online for considerably less. www.nancyvaniderstine.com