By Caitlin Arcand
From New York to Hawaii, Christy Monroe, commonly known as The Stripper Comedian, has headlined shows all over the country. Recently featured on WorldStar, Monroe is famous for her unique brand of comedy and pole dancing tricks, which are often combined for an unforgettable stage performance.
But her talent doesn't just end at the stage. Last week, Monroe self published her first book "Something Ridiculous" on Amazon, detailing parts of her life that her audiences may not know about. The memoir covers the comedian's tragic childhood, explaining how she got to where she is today.
We had the opportunity to talk to Monroe about her newest project, the book writing process and her future goals.
Tell us a little bit about your book "Something Ridiculous" and what readers can expect.
My book is about my dad's suicide. I really struggled to understand his death. It's also about the ripple effect of what happened to my family after he was gone. My mother lost control, started abusing drugs and alcohol, and chose a married man over her children. My mother's married boyfriend was sexually abusive toward me. In my book, I tried to evaluate the downward spiral of my friendships and ability to focus in school.
What inspired you to write a book? Is it something you've always wanted to do?
Everything I do is in my dad's honor. I wanted to write the book because I wanted to help other children who may be suffering the loss of a parent, sexual or physical abuse, extreme bullying, etc. When I was a tween/teen, I read a lot of books about other people's coming-of-age struggles, and never found a story that was quite like mine. I always felt very alone. I hope that my book will make some people feel less alone.
How do you think your childhood, as painted in your book, contributed to you as a performer today?
A lot of the jokes I write are very dark. They address my abuse. But I own it, and have found strength in telling my story. I am a stripper, and that's given me strength too. I think my childhood uniquely prepared me for the complex life I've chosen as an adult, because I learned at an early age the last thing my father ever said to me: "The only thing everyone in the world has in common is that they feel alone." Comedy (laughter) brings people together, and that's a huge reason why I do what I do. I don't want people to feel alone.
What challenges, if any, did you encounter while writing this book?
Writing a book is really, really hard. The main challenge is procrastination. It's very easy to let a few days slip by where you haven't written, and before you know it, it's a few weeks. For me, everything I wrote was extremely personal. I had to go over the specific details of the worst things that ever happened to me over and over and over. I struggled with depression, anxiety, and nightmares while writing my book. I also struggled with the fear of what my beloved brother would think, if he ever eventually read my book. My book clearly states that I am a stripper on the cover, and I've worried what people from my high school or family friends would think. Now that it's all said and done, and the book is out there in the world, I don't really care.
What advice do you have for performers seeking to publish their own memoir?
Work hard to write the best thing you've ever written. Believe in yourself, and stay consistent. Read other people's stories. I've read thousands of books, and always learn something new. There are so many different writing styles. Don't worry about being an international best seller. Worry about positively impacting one person.
What's the next step for you following the publishing of your book?
There are a lot of next steps. I'm going to work hard to get my book into book stores. I'm going to explore more publishing options, to make printing more cost effective. I'm going to focus on getting my book "out there" on blogs, TV shows, and podcasts. It sounds crazy, but 6 days into the new year, I am already working on the sequel to this book. I have a goal to finish the second book by the end of the year.
As a comedian, I receive a lot of criticism that my act isn't long enough, my jokes aren't complex enough, I need to lose weight, etc. I am always working on improvement. I was extremely inspired Hannah Gadsby's "Nanette," and am hoping to find a way to combine my comedy with a spoken word performance, which addresses the topics in my book, Something Ridiculous. I am looking forward to every show I have booked this year. I see each show as an opportunity to inch closer to my goal of creating a Netflix special.
"Something Ridiculous" can be purchased on Amazon today at: https://www.amazon.com/Something-Ridiculous-Christy-Monroe/dp/1651615829/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=something+ridiculous&qid=1578594780&sr=8-1
Image: Christy Monroe 2019/Something Ridiculous