Many months back I interviewed Caitlin Gill for a piece featured on Antithesis Comedy. Much of the interview was trimmed out for brevity but I’ve lovingly transcribed a bit to present to you, the loyal readers. [P.S. I’m performing with Caitlin tomorrow at Vitus. I’m super excited for that fact alone. Added to that, one of my favorite comedians of all time (whom cannot be named for legal reasons) will be headlining the show. I’m incredibly blessed.]
Courting Comedy: Is there any story behind your name?
Caitlin Gill: My mom said it was Robert Frost’s wife name, but I’ve never fact checked that. I just ran with it; could very well be true. It’s Celtic, I’m Scottish.
CC: Where are you originally from?
Gill: I grew up in Napa, the illustrious Napa Valley… I don’t know, I hated it. It’s beautiful but I hated it. It’s repressed and people are happy about it; they’re just so content, so smug and content.
CC: Have you preformed out there?
Gill: Uh-huh, yeah, it’s brutal. Napa has a really nice venue where good comics play. Things are getting different and better there since I left in the last 10 years…Good things have happened downtown and it more fun to be there… [It was] culturally empty beyond alcohol during my time spent there.
I’ve played [Napa] at a place called Downtown Joe’s, which is a shitty brew pub. (I’m not afraid to say it Downtown Joe’s)… And the bartender was somebody I went to high school with. I was there with my boyfriend at the time who was sleeping with somebody I went to high school with (that wasn’t me). [I think] my parents were there with Kaseem Bentley, so I think I watched my father insulted by Kaseem Bentley. I had a good set and people were admiring and polite but I felt like it didn’t go well. I knew [the audience] appreciated it and that always makes me think badly of people. Like really? [Be]cause I know that was mediocre. So it’s nice of you to compliment but you are either being insincere or wrong.
It was skin-crawly. And I tried to go back and do it again because James Fluty ran a nice room out there that other comics made great use of (and they had awesome posters and it was fun to be a part of) but it was like laying on glass. Being on stage [in Napa] is like laying on glass; an impressive spectacle but painful for the performer.
CC: Was that your first taste of performing in front of the people you grew up with; were you in theater or anything like that?
Gill: I was in theater in high school… I tried to perform stand-up in high school. I got my whole drama class to sit down and listen to my “debut”. But I really thought I could just walk up and perform stand-up; it didn’t occur me to write anything down. So it lasted about, seven seconds (which may be generous) and it definitely ended in tears. I did comedic theater after that and then went to college.
— Heather Isaacs Royce (via Facebook)