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TRACI SKENE has appeared on VH-1's Standup Spotlight, A&E's Comedy On The Road and Lifetime's Girls Night Out, all of which has done her absolutely no good.

Traci Skene


Traci Skene

SHECKYmagazine Chief

Comics Often Sleep...

Since this is the Anniversary Issue, we figured we'd run Traci's first column. It was uploaded with the first issue on April 1, 1999. We hope you enjoy it.

Even the cockiest comedian is occasionally overwhelmed by feelings of insecurity--often while staring down a tableful of toothless goofballs in West Virginia. More often though, self-doubt reveals itself long after the show's over and you're safely tucked into your hotel bed. It comes in the form of dreams.

For 14 years, I have had a recurring comedy nightmare. The scenario is always the same: I'm in a comedy club and I hear the emcee announce my name. As I walk toward the stage, I realize I'm barefoot. I frantically search for my shoes as the emcee announces my name over and over again. The audience stares at me with disgust. I awaken in a panic--long before I find my oh-so-fashionable footwear.

In the light of day, going on stage without my shoes isn't all that frightening. I'd wager that if I had been performing shoeless all these years, I'd probably have my own series by now. However, no amount of psychobabble self-analysis can convince my subconscious that a shoeless comedian is not an affront to mankind.

I had another comedy dream. No matter how many times I tell folks about it--no matter who I tell it to--no one ever believes me. Even Freud would think I was trying out material on him.

In the dream, I enter a comedy club and ask the club owner, a male, if I could do a set. He emphatically tells me that he doesn't let women on his stage. Just then, a chimp hands the owner a note. The owner studies the note briefly then says to the chimp, "Sure, you can do a set." The monkey kills. After the monkey leaves, I ask the owner again if I can do a set. "I told you," he says, "I don't let women on my stage."

From my analysis of these dreams, I can only conclude that either I'm insecure about my abilities as a comic and paranoid about my role as a female in a male dominated industry, or I despise my feet and I have a morbid fear of being cast as the lead in the new version of BJ and the Bear.

Either way, I know that when my slightly larger-than-normal head hits the pillow, I will enter a world where I feel lost and don't quite fit in. And that is much better than being on stage in West Virginia. HOME Back to the Top