Asked the funniest thing about her adopted hometown, local comedian Alyssa Yeoman didn’t hesitate to shoot from the hip. Yeoman, a Capitol Hill resident competing in the Seattle International Comedy Competition, went right for how “most people in Seattle think they are out of control, when it comes to basic things like asking someone to move out of your way when they’re blocking you. The passive-aggressiveness here is by far the funniest and most frustrating thing for someone who’s direct/not from here.”
A military brat, Yeoman grew up all over the place, but considers Anchorage, Alaska home, since she arrived there at age 14. The most popular Alaskan misapprehension?
“The most popular one I get is ‘Are you the only black person there?’ to which I respond with ‘No, please read a book.’
“My worst Alaska stories all involve being heartbroken by hormonal teenage boys in the dead of winter. The best stories involve the endless summer days and spotting all the wildlife, all the time. Specifically moose, I love moose and think about them everyday.”
She lived, on first arrival, in a tiny Kent apartment with her now-ex boyfriend.
“Now, I live in Capitol Hill so I don’t have any cares in the world. I am personally the head of the Capitol Hill De-gentrification team,” she said. “It includes me and the other 15 Persons of Color who live in my building (they don’t know I’ve made a team and that this team isn’t real). The biggest perception that’s changed for me is that I haven’t met my Kurt Cobain. I thought every person would be Kurt Cobain.”
The Seattle International Comedy Competition starts Nov. 2 and continues until a champion is crowned on Nov. 27.
“I wouldn’t consider myself nervous or hopeful,” Yeoman said. “I’ve set some internal goals for myself but outside of being happy to be a part of such an event, I don’t have a lot of feelings — which I expect to change when the week comes. The way I’ve been preparing has been to do my normal comedy regime and don’t ask anyone for advice/tips — I pretty much want as little information as possible. In my opinion it’s the only way to go about it because standup is so subjective both in how it’s done and what people like. I’ll do my best every night, attempt to stay out of my own head, and whatever that results in I’ll to be content with.”
Yeoman’s other projects include Naked Brunch, an open-mic all-improv workout for comics, some work in Portland and her standing science-fiction comedy drama review, Alyssa Explains It All, at Capitol Hill’s 12th Avenue Arts building.
About AEIA, as she shortens it, the comedian explains, “It came together for me when I brought in the cast and crew I knew I wanted to work with. It was also important to me to put on people who aren’t the normal comedy person seen aka cis white males.
“This second time around we’ve already written the show outline/synopsis and we have divided it into sections and at the end of it we’ll backtrack over it to create continuity in the writing. I don’t even know how to tell you how the first time went because I’ve blacked it out — it was a fun adventure that involved me crying into the computer and somehow creating words.”