By Taroue Brooks
Tell us about your education.
CB: Education is very important to me. I always say y’all gotta keep supporting me because if this comedy thing didn’t work out I will be in your kids’ classrooms! I have a Bachelors in Mass communications with a focus on advertising and PR and a Masters in secondary education.
What inspired you to become a comedian and an actor?
CB: I was inspired to become a comedian out of sheer boredom. I realized through not only my own personal insight but also through people who “saw” me that I was not supposed to be confined to a cubicle for the rest of my life. An actress is something I always dreamt of becoming but it wasn’t something I ever thought would be possible. As a child I would write and put on plays for my friends to watch but it wasn’t until I became a comedian that I realized “Hey, this is something I can do!”
At what point did you realize that you were funny?
CB: I’d have to say my funny started in high school because I’d make my friends laugh at my unique observations of things and I think the next biggest moment was when I won the D.C. Comedian of the Year my very first year in the business!
Life happens to us all, how have you been able to laugh through your pain?
CB: I am so blessed to have a place where I can release my pain because I get to put it out on stage unfiltered. Sometimes I don’t care if it’s funny or not but it allows me to get it out of my system so the microphone and the audience are like my therapy.
What’s your take on racism today?
CB: Unfortunately I feel like we’re going backwards, but at the same time I believe it was always there. For some reason now it’s become bolder and people are no longer hiding their dislike for other races.
What kind of discrimination have you experienced in the entertainment industry?
CB: This is a really close to home topic that I don’t think we talk enough about. I know personally I’ve experienced discrimination for my complexion, weight, gender, and race. Unfortunately most of the discrimination that I’ve experienced have been through the actions of people who look like me.
What advice do you have for a female who aspires to become a comedian?
CB: Take full advantage of the resources available. It used to be a necessity to get on every stage every time you could but now there are so many opportunities to get your talent out there from the comfort of your own home. Find your niche because you are an original and no one else does what you do! Learn to truly master the craft and respect it and those who came before you because the game isn’t new, it’s just got new packaging.
How is it being a single mom of a black boy?
CB: On one hand it’s absolutely amazing because it has helped me understand the mind of a black man and how they perceive things especially when it comes at them from a black woman. But it’s also very frightening to know that no matter how much I try to make my son into this great human being, there will always be someone who sees him as just another you know what. And the heartbreaking thing is that it’s not going to come from just other races but it will also come from his own.
How is the dating world treating you?
CB: What dating world? Next!
Your jokes and humor about life are a big escape for many. What do you think it is about your delivery that has such an impact?
CB: I think the biggest draw is that I’m not trying too hard and when I go on stage I’m having a conversation with my audience. I’m not talking “at” them but I’m talking to them, and with them, and they feel a connection with me. I could be their homegirl sitting at their kitchen table or a sister they catch up with a few times a year and reminisce about their childhood. I think that instead of getting on stage and trying to be funny I just get on stage and have a conversation that happens to be funny and it relates to my audience.
Where is the voice of our female comedians?
CB: Well, Hollywood tends to think that only two of us can be funny at the same time and it’s typically one white and one black. They tend to lean towards beauty vs funny. There’s so many funny females out there but unfortunately it’s a crap game and and all you can hope is that one day you roll the right joke and don’t crap out.
What would you say to let people know the importance to get out and vote?
CB: I hate when I hear people say ‘My vote doesn’t count.’ I
always look at is as though my one vote could be the deciding one between
progression and regression. Yes the political game is very complicated and all
about schmoozing and rubbing elbows but a lot of us need to do more research on
the candidates and really find out what they stand for. Don’t just go with
who’s popular or who is the best looking or who has the best gimmick. And if
your candidate doesn’t win, don’t take it personal. Just know that you
contributed and did your civic duty as an American and always know that you
count. We should get to a point where not voting isn’t even an option.
Tell us about your radio show “For Grown Folk”
CB: The Cocoa Brown show is kind of a spin-off of an Instagram LIVE that I do called “Single Mom Struggles that can be cured with Wine.” People were saying that I needed my own talk-show and instead of waiting on Hollywood (which could’ve had me waiting til the graveyard) I decided to use my voice and my platform and bring some people that I respect and admire to form this show. And trust that even though you haven’t seen the tip of the iceberg yet you will always get 100% genuine from the Cocoa Brown Show.
What can your fans and supporters expect next from you?
CB: I’m at the point now that I don’t say things out loud but I will say that you will see Cocoa Brown take her life and her career by the reigns and maneuver it on her own terms and what will manifest from that will blow your minds!