“Comedy is how we begin to work together and change the world for the better.” Meet Desiree Staples.
Although Staples always wanted to perform, she found herself struggling to get cast in serious roles during her first year at Northwestern University. Finally, she was cast in her first roll. but it wasn’t what she expected: “Drum roll please…my first role was a Witch named “Blonde-girl,” who came back from the dead through her ex-boyfriend’s refrigerator to seek revenge….I mean. The role was perfect for me! Since then, I kept playing with roles that came out of refrigerators….. and realized I should become a comedic actress. In all seriousness, I’ve always been totally quirky and uniquely weird! Instead of fighting my nature, I fully embrace the truth of my weirdness. That’s been the key!” An unexpected opportunity pushed Desiree down a new path: comedy!
Staples uses comedy to interact with and understand the world around her. “In our world right now: so divided politically and socially, but totally connected digitally – it’s important to laugh, to find the humor in our everyday lives. My everyday life inspires me to do comedy. Life gives you something completely different than you expected, you know? Comedy is how to deal with that!”
Staples is no stranger to the pressures put on women in our society, but she uses comedy to challenge them. “The most empowering aspect of being a woman in comedy is defying societal expectations. Women are expected to act a certain lady way. We are conditioned to apologize and to be so polite. Being a woman in comedy means I get to smash the glass ceiling of female expectations. Burst right through them. When a woman starts talking about her power, her sexuality, or her experiences; when she stops being polite, she commands the room. Impolite women cause people to stop in their tracks. They get noticed.”
Her final words of advice to women trying to smash their own glass ceilings? “Embrace the weirdness in yourself. Let that freak flag fly! Make your own content. Break the rules baby! You won’t get far being polite or waiting for someone to tell you you’re funny. Simply live your truth. Make your OWN opportunities. Because your story matters, and it is likely one we all can relate to!”