It sounds like a joke: What’s the difference between comedians in New York and Boston?
A bus ride.
“I still end up going up to Boston once a month or more,” said Giulia Rozzi, a comic who was born in Boston and now lives in New York.
“I know comedians who live in both places [at once]. There’s an exchange program kind of comedy going on.”
Perhaps that’s why Rozzi was able to get such a full bench of Beantown-raised comics for “A Wicked Awesome Boston Comedy Show,” her upcoming Union Hall stand-up benefit to support Boston Marathon bombing victims.
Some of the Dunkin’-drinking, jimmie-licking, Charles Regatta-watching performers include Myq & Micah, Selena Coppock, and Josh Gondelman - proving that for a relatively small city, Boston sure gives New York City a lot of talent (think Louis C.K., Conan O’Brien, Denis Leary, Dana Gould, Steven Wright, and Patrice O’Neal).
Even though Rozzi was born in the Hub (as Bostonians call their city) and first performed at a Nick’s Comedy Stop open mic in Boston’s theater district, she didn’t start doing stand-up professionally until she moved to Los Angeles at 21.
“I didn’t mean to move to LA,” she said. “My original plan was to be an expressive arts therapist.”
Though Rozzi had an interest in comedy, she didn’t know how to pursue it. While vacationing in Los Angeles with some friends, however, she did a set at the Comedy Store and did well enough that the management asked her to continue performing.
“I thought that was a sign to move,” she said. “But then four years had gone by. I definitely wasn’t ready to be there. I went out there, but I hadn’t developed that kind of East Coast work mentality yet.”
Rozzi said she doesn’t have any regrets about it — but looking back, she wonders if it would have been better to stay in the Bay State.
“[Smaller cities] are great because they have an art scene, they have comedy fans,” she said. “People do go out and support comedy entertainment but there’s not the same sort of pressure to be auditioning.”
New York, of course, is anything but a small city, but Giulia finds that Boston and Brooklyn comedians aren’t that different. Of course, there are a few exceptions.
“Comics in New York make jokes about the subway and how dirty it is,” she said. “Comics in Boston make jokes about the Red Sox.”
“A Wicked Awesome Boston Comedy Show,” at Union Hall [702 Union St. at Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 638–4400, www.unionhallny.com]. June 21, 10 pm, $10.Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at email@example.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.