What happens when a pandemic strikes and a stand-up comic can no longer ply her trade? In the case of Poppy Champlin, you simply adjust your career. “I became a handyman,” crows the comic who created the popular touring collective, “The Queer Queens of Qomedy.” “I broke out my drill and my tools and started by making raised bed gardens for people. I kind of enjoyed that choice.”
Shortly thereafter, she established an official business — Garden Starters — to keep revenue flowing and maintain her life.
Still, Poppy had been itching to get back to stand up, and this Sunday afternoon she’ll do just that at Magooby’s Joke House in Maryland. Poppy will be headlining the first “Queer Queens” show since March, featuring a robust lineup that includes Paris Sashay, Michele Balan, and Rose Vineshank.
Seating is limited, and social distancing measures will be in place, including mask-wearing requirements, but Poppy doesn’t mind — she’s just eager to hear people laugh again.
“Laughter is your natural morphine,” says the Rhode Island native. “It’s part of your body’s makeup. If it wasn’t part of your body, then you wouldn’t need it. But you need that laughter, you need that serotonin it creates, you need that salve, especially now. It calms your soul when you find that place of laughter.
“So it’s going to be great to hear the sound of laughter again. It lifts you off the ground. That’s why I laugh at my own jokes — which is weird, because I’m not really laughing at my own jokes.
“I’m laughing because the audience is laughing and that makes me laugh, too. Once I put the material out and they’re laughing, then I’m part of the group. I’m enjoying it as much as they are.”
Poppy Champlin’s Queer Queens of Qomedy is Sunday, Nov. 15, at 5 p.m. at Magooby’s Joke House, 9603 Deereco Road in Timonium, Md. General admission is $30. VIP tickets are $40. Call 410-252-2727 or visit www.QueerQueensofQomedy.com.
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