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Sandra Valls Calls Out the Posers and Chats About Her New Showtime Special

Sandra Valls Calls Out the Posers and Chats About Her New Showtime Special

Nebraskan-born and Mexican-raised Sandra Valls is not afraid to tell you what she thinks. In fact, the moment she picked up the phone for our interview she started talking about the bag of dicks she had in tow while in Provincetown, MA. Showtime has recruited Sandra Valls, Poppy Champlin, "Ugly Betty"star Alec Mapa and Scott Kennedy for their Pride-themed comedy special "Pride: Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam" (originally airing June 2, 2010 with encore presentations throughout the month of June).

Nebraskan-born and Mexican-raised Sandra Valls is not afraid to tell you what she thinks. In fact, the moment she picked up the phone for our interview she started talking about the bag of dicks she had in tow while in Provincetown, MA. Such topic of conversation might have thrown another reporter off guard, but Sandra was about as down-to-earth as they came and that fact alone was intriguing to me. I attempted to ask her questions in between her out-loud chatter about where she might leave one of the…penises…next (she seemed to like my idea of tying it to the back of someone’s truck). The free-flowing conversation led to very personal thoughts and beliefs on the comedy circuit in general and other items of communication related to Lesbionics. And you thought Catholic school taught children about Jesus.

Showtime has recruited Sandra Valls, Poppy Champlin, Ugly Betty star Alec Mapa and Scott Kennedy for their Pride-themed comedy special Pride: Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam (originally airing June 2, 2010 with encore presentations throughout the month of June).Sandra also had a spot on Showtime’s The Original Latin Divas of Comedy in 2007. Before her stints on Showtime, Sandra worked comedy clubs across the United States making a name for herself in the predominantly straight, male world of comedy. Her appearances at the GLAAD Media Awards and Club Skirts The Dinah have made her a fan-favorite in the lesbian pop culture community.

Hey Sandra!How is P-Town treating you?

I’m in this weird thing right now.It’s like - I’m in P-Town now!I was in Manhattan yesterday and today I’m in P-Town!What the fuck?I drove all day yesterday and before that I was in New Jersey and tomorrow I’ll be somewhere else!On top of it all, Mimi Gonzalez and I drove here and we were staying at a little apartment behind the art house, but they just told us that we have to move somewhere else.So we’re all over the place.I was moved to a B&B but it has a shared bath and I’m so sorry.  I’m just so sorry.  Look, I’m not a diva, but I’m not into sharing a bath with God knows who.It’s Memorial Day Weekend so what if I walk into the bathroom and there is someone in there workin’ it out?You know?Workin’ it out…I just can’t do it.

[Mimi interrupts Sandra to show her a text message]. Mimi, I’m in the middle of an interview.Mimi, I’m clearly on the phone, have both of my headpieces on and I am talking into the air.  I’m not even talking to you!  I’m in the middle of a phone call.Even if I wasn’t in an interview, do you really think I’d read your text in the middle of a phone call?That’s what makes this so hilarious.Sarah, we just got here and bought groceries so we’re in the middle of eating everything like little kids!  We’re trying these buffalo wing-flavored pretzels.

Sounds like you and Mimi are having a blast out there!

We’re very funny together.  Yesterday, Mimi came with a bag of dicks. 

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I’m sorry…a bag of dicks? Did I hear correctly?

Mimi got in the car and she goes, “I’ll have you know, Sandra Valls, that I am traveling with a bag of dicks from all of my past girlfriends and I need to get rid of them”.  So, we have been trying to find different places to leave them.  We left one in the bathroom at a gas station and then we left another one somewhere else.  We’re burying them.  We left one at Slow Cum street and another one on Johnson Street and yet, another one on Ball Street.  Now we’re going to throw some off the dock.  Are you recording?

Why yes, yes I am!  Is that good with you?

Bag of dicks, dude!  You got it all.  [Mimi puts one of the dildos in her face].  Get that out of my face, dude!

Well, you certainly have your readers interested right now!  They love you and they love dildos.  Speaking of which, you are going to be on Showtime soon in Pride: Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam.  Getting excited for the premiere on June 2, 2010?

I am going to be in Provincetown far away from Hollywood so I won’t be doing a red carpet premiere for Pride - Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam or anything like that.  I have to find a television somewhere to watch it.  I asked the art house, but they already have an event planned on June 2, 2010 during that time.  The B&B here doesn’t have a TV.  They have a shared bath, once again.  I am not doing a shared bath.  I can’t do it. I’ll be in P-Town until Women of Color Weekend.  Then I’ll be in Boston the following week for Pride and then I’ll be in Chicago with Poppy Champlin doing The Queer Queens of Qomedy. 

How was it working with your friend Poppy Champlin on Pride: Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam?

I love Poppy.  She’s a great lady. We shared a room in P-Town last time and she is really just one of the few people you want to go out on the road with to tour.  We support each other and really love each other.  She’s one of those very few comics that are actually really genuine.  Poppy is really amazing.  She’s like family. 

Going back to the Showtime special, Poppy and I also worked with Alan Mapa and Scott Kennedy on it.  So, there will be something for everybody.  We’ve got the gay guys and the gay girls.  All four of us have different material to share about our gay experiences.  The LGBT community is diverse and they understand, but others not in the LGBT community don’t realize that we’re not all the same and that there are all different lifestyles within our community.  It’s not just generic.  They picked the perfect variety of comedians to profile our community and our crazy escapades.  It was so much fun to tape.  The audience was the best.  This is my second Showtime special and I feel really honored. 

You were in The Original Latin Divas of Comedy.  How was that Showtime special different from Pride?

I was so much more honored for this one because it was the gay comedy special on Showtime.  In The Original Latin Divas of ComedyI was the only gay one, but it wasn’t about being gay, it was about my Latino side.  So, now I can bring it all together.  I enjoyed it so much because we were all backstage laughing and cracking up at each other.  It was just a really great experience.

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Do you ever get tired of being the “token” female comic?

It is really surreal.  There are not a lot of female lesbian comics of color.  When you keep breaking it down, it becomes more and more rare.  You’re right - there aren’t a lot of female comics or lesbian female comics…or lesbian female comics of color. 

Did you feel the need to stay in the closet when you first started on the road?

When I first came out, I just did generic comedy.  It was never a doubt that I would do lesbian comedy, but it did take me a minute to find my voice.  Once I found it, there was never a doubt that I would be out.  For a minute, I was like, “shit.  Am I going to limit myself and put myself in a box?”  Then I knew I had to do what I had to do.  Whatever jokes came into my head, I would use them whether they be about being Latino or being gay, etc. 

What do you think about lesbian comedians currently in the closet?

I understand that there are a million-and-one closeted LGBT comedians and I respect them, but I feel that if they are going to capitalize and reap the benefits of the gay dollar in the gay community, they should take the bullets, too.   If you don’t want to be out – fine, don’t be out.  But don’t be out when it’s convenient and you’ve got a cruise for free.  Don’t do that.  I’m out there battling in the trenches and opposing Proposition 8 and you don’t have to do that, but don’t bask in the luxuries of what we fought hard to get.  If you’re not going to take the bullets, then don’t reap the benefits.  Don’t be gay when it’s convenient.  Again, I respect people not wanting to be out, but it’s like, please, come on!  When push comes to shove in a straight room, they are doing jokes about doing sexual acts on their boyfriends!  It’s like, “COME ON!”  You’re taking everybody else’s place on the cruise and in comfy media jobs and we don’t appreciate it.

Are there really that many in the closet?

Yes.  You probably didn’t realize it because you see these people doing gay comedy for gay people.  When you see them in a straight room, you see that they are doing something that is the opposite and not real.  Even if there were only one or two of them, it’s still a lot.  It’s not truthful.  I would never tell somebody to go out there and not be Mexican.  You know?  Or, “in my little village in Italy”… I’m Mexican!

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Your brashness is what attracts so many people in the LGBT community to you.  You recently performed at Club Skirts The Dinah.  How was that?

It’s always a fun experience and I always have a really great time.  My girlfriend and I go dancing, to our room to do our “thing” and then to comedy shows and stuff.  In addition to my comedy performances, we also were there vending for my girlfriend’s clothing company.  It was really fun.  I had my dream doing my comedy and she had her dream doing her clothes.  It was a very powerful event for both of us.  It was exhausting, but it was a really great time.  Until the earthquake hit.  Did you catch Salt-N-Pepa?  Or, rather, Straight-N-Pepa?

I did catch them..

I kind of had a feeling in my gut that they were going, “okay ladies, I support you but what you’re doing is not right”.  That was kind of what I felt.  I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to ruin it for my girlfriend.  When we got back to the hotel, my girlfriend told me that she thought that, too.  I think a lot of people felt that way.  We should’ve re-written that song like:

If I think I’m pretty special because I’m a homosexual

It’s none of your business!

And if she takes a girl to bed instead of giving head

It’s none of your business!

Now you shouldn’t even frown on who I’m going down on

It’s none of your business!

So don’t hate me cuz I like to be a big dyke

It’s none of your business!

Sarah, have you and I met?  Was I wearing fuck me boots at Club Skirts The Dinah?

I saw you in passing, but didn’t get to say hello to you.  I was on the red carpet.  I was near a bunch of fans trying to crash into me and kill me.  They were trying to get to Sarah Shahi (The L Word) and I think I was the roadblock.  

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Sarah Toce