We had the good fortune of connecting with FunnyLady Sonya D and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi FunnyLady, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Honestly, I don’t think people pursue artistic or creative careers. We’re BORN with the talent and there will come a time when you just KNOW it’s time to explore and expand your God given talents. I was BORN a Comedian.
All my life I made people laugh. From Childbirth through high-school. It wasn’t until 1996 I realized making the
world laugh was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
26 years in this business. I create my platforms to STAND OUT! Once you learn the ins and outs of the “BUSINESS”, not just being an Artist, but the BUSINESS, that’s when you WIN! I’m a VISIONARY? I see what others don’t want you to see. I’m a THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX sorta woman. Nothing is really a challenge, unless you make it one. I love the fact I can execute almost anything I create. From Comedy shows, tours to television and film. “Funnylady Sonya D is just not a name…it’s a BRAND!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well I’m back and forth from Chicago to Atlanta, so I have so many favorites, but when I’m home in Atlanta I LOVE Nature! Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of my favorite places to visit for serenity! I absolutely love the SkyView Atlanta. I enjoy different types of food and since I’m a Vegan, I enjoy SluttyVegan ATL. When my friends visit I usually refer they stay at the W-Hotel so we can hang out at the Whiskey Blue. I love the roof-top atmosphere.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shout out to Dave Chappelle! When I was filming my 1st episode of Def Comedy Jam back in 1997, I remember going to this local pizza place and some of the comics in town filming
were there including Dave Chappelle.
Now, I’m in New York with this very thin jacket and it was extremely chilly. You’d think I’d know to dress
warmer being from Chicago!
Long story short, the pizza place was small and crowed so I go outside (shivering) waiting for my order.
Dave steps out to smoke a cigarette, sees me shivering and offered me his gloves. We started talking.
I was telling him I was in town to film Def Comedy Jam. He was in town as a Special Guest Host for Def Jam.
Words I will always remember:
“Shorty, this is a brutal business. You gotta’ come with it! Once your show air
on TV, it will either make or break you. As much as we hate to believe it, people are
waiting for you to fail. You’re about to introduce yourself to the WORLD! The viewers
will either remember you forever or even forget
they ever saw you”, but whatever you do capture that audience and control that stage”
His words hit me HARD. In my mind, I was just happy to be in New York doing
a TV Taping!…Lol
I got my pizza order, went back to my hotel room and just sat for a minute.
I remember changing my entire outfit from “girly-cute” to a Red Leather Jersey and jeans,
so I’d be comfortable.
It’s showtime: I had 8-min to introduce to myself to the MILLIONS of people who would eventually
see that episode. Needless to say, I received one of the strongest standing ovations. I looked up in
the VIP balcony and saw Jamie Foxx, Dave Chappelle & Cedric The Entertainer standing
clapping and bowing. It was the best feeling in the world and words of encouragement I use today!