Philadelphia sketch group ManiPedi (Aubrie Williams, Briana Kelly, Madonna Marie Refugia, Shannon Brown, Kaitlin Thompson) have been accepted into the 2012 Ladies Are Funny Festival in Austin, Texas. To help with the cost of travel and expenses the group is holding a fundraiser, this Friday at Circa 1212 (1212 South St. Philadelphia). We caught up with the group to ask them some questions about themselves, their show, and the plans for Austin.
WITOUT: Tell us about the formation of the group. How did you all meet and decide to work together?
Madonna: I was asked to do an all-female night at Camp Tabu and I needed a sketch group. I knew Shannon from working with Brendan Kennedy in Camp Woods and I met Kait at a Sketch Up. So I forced them to be in a group with me. From there it was just a matter of finding more people to work with.
Briana: I’d seen ManiPedi at Sketch Up and Madonna was in my Sketch 101 class so we decided to collaborate.
Shannon: I remember Madonna and I were at Bonner’s drinking free beers(Madonna does not think they were free.). She told me she was thinking about asking Aubrie to join us, and after whispering to eachother like a pair of middle school girls, she asked Aubrie. Also, I was not forced into the group. I like food and making people listen to my neurotic rambling. They like eating, and will listen to me.
WO: Who are some of your comedic influences?
Madonna: My grandma and dad, Camp Woods.
Aubrie: Showalter, Stella, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Amy Sedaris
Briana: Generalissimo Franco
Kait: The State, My Dad, Louis CK, anything with a mid-day re-run on Comedy Central during 2002.
Shannon: My Mom and Aunts, The Kids In The Hall, and as corny as it sounds, my friends from Philly.
WO: How do you write and workshop ideas?
Shannon: Typically we work on things individually and then bring them to the group when we’re ready.
WO: How would you describe your comedic style?
WO: What member of the Wu-Tang Clan best represents each member of Mani Pedi?
Briana: Ghostface (Madonna” Oh, man..”)
Aubrie: ODB, cause he was in the fantasy remake…I also shook his hand once.
Madonna: I’m Beyonce.
WO: Other than performing comedy – do you have any plans for when you get to Austin?
Kait: Get really burned..like, by the sun, see Bill Hick’s grave(if he’s buried there), eat lots of food. And do the thing from Pee Wee herman where he goes into a bar and sings The Stars at Night.
Aubrie: Eat a lot of food. I;m going to do monologues as Hattie Dealing(she was drunk off bourbon the whole time. It’s a good play.) Get a belt buckle. That spins maybe?
Briana: I am going to get a real genuine cowboy hat. I am not going to buy one… I am poor. Instead, I am going to dress myself as Santa Anna and “haunt” everyone I see wearing a cowboy hat. Hopefully one of them will run away in fear, leaving their hat for the snatching.
WO: What kinds of things do you have planned for the ManiParty Fundraiser?