Talented, Beautiful & Hilarious are all the words that describe the ultra funny comedienne, Aarona Browning! Originally hailing from Chicago, Aarona has been performing on stage since the young age of five. Whether in plays or in person she always displayed a delightfully twisted view on the world, which has now become her comedy act.
Aarona has a sassy, enlightened perspective that evokes laughter and demands attention. She began enhancing her skills behind the mic with improv classes from Second City-Chicago, The Annoyance Theater and later iO West (Los Angeles). Less than six months after she began stand-up comedy, Aarona became a working comic and was selected as a “New Face” in Jamie Foxx’s Laffapalooza Comedy Festival in Atlanta, GA. She not only shared her gift of comedy in the states but has performed overseas at a variety of international venues. Aarona has traveled to the UK performing at The Drum Centre (Birmingham), Jonguleurs (Birmingham) and The Bernie Arts Centre (London) to perform.
Creating another outlet for her fans to follow her, Aarona launched her monthly show at the Hollywood Improv Lab called “Velvet Circus”, a stand-up comedy show featuring original sketches and music videos written, directed and edited by Aarona.
Let’s get to know Aarona little better….
Growing up there is so much pressure to go into specific fields, What was you “Aha” moment when you knew comedy was for you?
My “aha” moment came in 1996 when I saw Chris Rock’s “Bring The Pain” comedy special. It was the funniest thing I ever saw. It was SO FUNNY I spent a lot of time trying to figure why it was funny. I wasn’t the same after that. Something about that made me keep saying to myself, “I wanna try that”. I knew I loved being on stage. I had been performing in choirs and plays since age 5. It still took me 10 years to get over the fear of trying it. I was a store manager for a video store and all my employees kept telling me I was funny and should do comedy. I shunned them. I completely dismissed it because I was afraid of not being good. Out of all the things they could have suggested I’d try, it was ironic that comedy was the only thing they kept saying. The first time I got on stage at “Jokes And Notes” a comedy club in Chicago, I did really well! I got that feeling that everything I was doing before this was meaningless and if I didn’t keep doing comedy I would be robbing myself of something great. I asked God to give me sign to let me know this was for me 6 months later I was selected to be a Jamie Foxx Laffapalooza New Face.
Unfortunately, females often get stamped as not having a sense of humor or even a personality at all, how did you overcome those stereotypes?
Frankly, I don’t listen to the nay-sayers. There are plenty of funny women throughout history who have made a contribution to the field of comedy and MADE MONEY!! (Hello). There’s Betty White, Joan Rivers, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, Marla Gibbs (Jeffersons & 227), Wylonna from “Good Times” was hysterical, Roseanne, Ellen, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Cho, Mo’Nique, Wanda Sykes, Tina Fey, Amy Phoeler and Kristen Wiig. All of these women have done things I would love to do with my career… and if they can do it, then so can I!
Who are your fave comedians that you’ve been inspired by and how have they influenced your personal style of comedy?
My number one is Chris Rock. Before seeing “Bringing The Pain”, I loved watching comedy. I watched every episode of Def Comedy Jam and ComicView growing up. But it was his delivery and subject matter that stuck with me the most and made me say, “I wanna do that”. My second influence is definitely Martin Lawrence. I came up in the heyday of “Martin” mania and all his catchphrases were hysterical, his physical humor and commitment was unreal.
I always enjoyed the humor of both Roseanne and Margaret Cho. They were two women who blew up while I was growing up and it showed me that telling “your truth” is just as important as having something clever or quirky to say. My good friend, Deon Cole, also taught me how to use silence to draw in my audience and take them on a ride. I also admire Robin Harris’ work a lot. He showed me the importance of brutal honesty and being quick-witted.
We’re all about empowerment at C.O.R.E Mag, what does empowerment mean to you?
Empowerment means “being in the know”. It’s all about being aware that you control your destiny. So many times we feel like our lives are in other people’s hands. Being empowered means you have the knowledge (and sometimes the life experience) that no one can hold you back but you! When you’re empowered, you’re unstoppable!
What is your ultimate goal when it comes to comedy?
I got several:) I want a few hour comedy specials, I want a Grammy for a comedy album, I wanna write a book, be on a few TV shows, be in a few films and have an awesome entourage of fellow comedians who I shoot original projects with, like Adam Sandler does!
Fun Faves!!- Food? Song? Artist?
Fave foods…. anything with cheese!!! I’m a mouse and I live for cheese! Namely mexican food with cheese!