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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

Age Before Beauty

One night at last month's Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, I was standing in a Delta Hotel corridor talking to a fellow 30-plus woman (age, not size), when a drunken 19-year-old gentleman--and I use the term loosely --approached. "My goal," he said in his own inebriated style, "Is to someday sleep with a woman between the ages of 28 and 35." As a woman between the ages of 28 and 35, I informed him that the best way to bed down a woman between the ages of 28 and 35 is not to say "I want to have sex with a woman between the ages of 28 and 35" when you hit on her. I then conjured up my most condescending tone, looked him right in his bloodshot wandering eyes and said, "Go away, boy." All in all, a rather satisfying encounter.

As I watched the loaded lad stagger down the hall in search of future rejections, I must admit there was a small, feminine and rather insecure voice inside me that wanted to yell after him, "Which one did you think I was? The 28 or the 35?!" Ok, so it wasn't so satisfying after all.

Tipsy tots notwithstanding, I actually received more compliments than insults at the 2000 edition of North America's largest comedy soiree. Trust me when I tell you that the flattery was welcomed. You see, August is, and always will be, my birthday month. On August 27, I will reach the ripe old age of 35 and don't give me any of that crap about aging like fine wine because, unless I've had several bottles of that fine wine, I'm not buying it. At last year's festival, everyone thought I was 24. This year, they all guessed 28. Somewhere in the last 12 months, I've aged 4 years. On the bright side, if I still looked 24, then the teenage drunkard wouldn't have wanted to have sex with me. Ah yes, in my little world the glass is always half full.

If you're wondering why my age is always a topic of conversation, I can assure you that it's never my doing. I'm not one of those obnoxious broads who is always embarrassing party-goers by yelling, "Go ahead, guess how old I am!" Folks are always asking how long Brian (McKim) and I have been married and when they discover it's been 11 years, they quickly do the math and realize that I'm older than I look. Here is a typical response, "Eleven years?! Just how the hell old are you?!"

In all fairness to my spouse, Brian looks pretty darn youthful himself. When super-manager Rick Messina saw him at the Delta bar he said, "This guy looks the same as he did when I first met him." (I thought, "What? Desperate?" Just kidding.) But, I wouldn't be a good wife or feminine role model if I didn't tell the world that Brian has aged in certain ways. In the 16 years that I've known him, he's gone from skinny to thin. Much to his dismay, I now refer to his jeans as his "fat pants." (I've had fat pants for years and it's only fair that he joins me.) In other gravitational news, I've also, sadly, filled out a bit. While I've always been the strong and squat type, I can now carry Jennifer Lopez on my ass. Perhaps I could get a job as a talent escort.

If you're over the age of 30 and you want to feel old, attend a comedy festival; especially a comedy festival that puts so much emphasis on "New Faces." Brian realized that some of the new faces were in junior high school when he taped his Evening at the Improv. Many of the new faces are impossibly young, but occassionally a seasoned face will somehow slip under the radar. Last year I suggested to Dom Irrera that they change the name from "New Faces" to "In Need Of New Faces." He did the joke on stage and it actually got a laugh. (Note to self: Put "Writes for Dom Irrera" on resume.)

There was a time when I would have been a perfect "New Face:" I was 21 years old, cute as a button and I did my act in a cheerleading outfit. (I was alternative when alternative was just "weird.") I had the entire package, but what I didn't have was a manager. I was reminded of my favorite scene in Rocky when Burgess Meredith visits Sylvester Stallone and tells him he'll never make it without a manager. No truer words were ever spoken. After 16 years in the business, I've concluded that management and representation are the real keys to success.

With that in mind, I've decided that I want to be a manager. During Jeffrey Ross' Manager's Roast, I had an epiphany: I could be a manager. Not without a lot of training and absorption of knowledge, mind you. But I think I could be a manager...a damn good manager. So, I'm putting all the top managers on notice. Attention Rick Messina, Dave Becky and Barry Katz, do you have the balls to hire a standup comic who's as smart as a whip, sharp as a pistol and isn't afraid to use the occassional cliche or mix up the occassional metphor? Come on guys, give a girl a chance. Remember, I'm not getting any younger. HOME Back to the Top