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Nina G is a Comedy Passionista

Nina G is a comedian, professional speaker, and author of Stutter Interrupted, and her new book, Bay Are Standup Comedy: A Humorous History. Nina’s been featured in and on everything, from NPR’s 51%, BBC’s Ouch, Psychology Today, TEDx, multiple daytime talk shows, Howard 100 News, and even The Stuttering John Podcast. Nina shares her wit and wisdom with corporations, colleges, libraries, conferences, and community events.

Her no-nonsense approach to disability awareness and acceptance helps institutions, communities, and individuals to deepen their understanding of disability and bring practical approaches to making a more inclusive society.

Here’s a sneak of our interview with Nina and her journey in comedy and disability activism.

Passionistas: What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about?

Nina: There are two things. One is stand-up comedy and the other is d-d-d-disability rights, d-d-d-disability in general. So it's kind of like a head-to-head race there. Like I am a standup comic, who's stutters and has dyslexia. And I've loved comedy my entire life, and that's why I have the book, book out now on Bay Area comedy, because I'm also from the Bay Area. I'm from Alameda and I've lived in Oakland now for 20 years. Just love, love, love comedy. I've been doing it now for 12 years.

Passionistas: Tell us when you first really became interested in standup and who were some of your early comedic influences?

Nina: I think I kind of found comedy when I was around like four or five, like my family. It was the seventies and my family was super into Steve, Steve Martin. And then as I got a little bit older, when I was like 7, 8, 9, my parents never put any restrictions on us around TV me, me and my brother, and they also just brought us in to watch whatever was on. So I would stay up and watch, like the old Sa-Saturday Night Lives, which then old was like five years prior. And so I was exposed to all of that, to first cast and I have like a stuffed animal that I named Gi-Gilda after Gi-Gilda Radner.

Passionistas: Tell us a little about your time spent in disability activism.

Nina: I found myself doing advocacy within the co-college and looking at access issues there. There are so many ways that we could penetrate issues around access, and issues around d-d-disability rights. And for me doing like the individual piece and working with an individual to get access, I think that is really important.

Passionistas: How did you start to build your career and extend your reach as a comedian?

Nina: Well, I like kind of kept it hidden from most people I knew for about six months. And then even then it was like slowly, slowly, slowly. The first year in comedy, you're developing your voice. And I wasn't sure which way I would go. And I don't quite know when it was, but I think it was like my second year in, I was like, I'm a disability activist and I'm a comic.

Learn more about Nina.

Listen to the full episode.


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