5 years ago

KIOWA NEWS - Kiowa Tribe

KIOWA NEWS - Kiowa Tribe

November, 2011 Long Road

November, 2011 Long Road to Laughter ...Adrianne Chalepah (Kiowa Tribal Member, Adrianne is one of only 3 female Native American comedians in the U.S. She is currently touring solo and with “49 Laughs Comedy” troupe.) My life in Oklahoma starts when I was roughly 2 days old or 2 weeks (depending on whose telling the story). I was born in Flagstaff, AZ but my parents wanted to move back to Oklahoma so they wisped me away from the hospital into the car to make the 12-hour drive to Zoltone (west of Carnegie). I have no idea what their urgency was... running from some kind of debt, I suspect. haha. We lived in Carnegie for some time, then back to Flagstaff when I was three. My parents had a lot of marital problems and ended up divorcing around that time. My parents got back together when I was 6 and we ended back up in Oklahoma to live with my Grandma (Libby Tonahcot) in Zoltone. During that time, we moved everywhere . Till age 18 , I lived in Carnegie, Chickasha, Zoltone, Anadarko, Lawton, Cache, Indiahoma, Norman, and Bokoshe. By the time I was in 10th grade, I attended 10 different schools. My childhood was very unstable, to say the least. I ended up at Riverside in 10th grade because I got kicked out of Cache High School in the 9th grade... not for anything crazy like drugs or fighting... it was simply because I had a big mouth and wouldn't stop making fun of my teachers... I was a class clown and had detention everyday so finally they suspended me and I even got swats. haha. I realized that Riverside was my last shot at school, so I pretty much straightened up. I felt like both of my parents had given up on me and when I went to Riverside, I realized that I was alone and if I were to make anything of myself, I was going to have to do it on my own. I graduated from Riverside in 2004, maintained a 4.0 GPA the majority of time and had all kinds of awards. I was a National Science Honoree, president of a club called "Close-Up" that traveled to Washington, D.C. every Spring to get a better look at politics and government. I was also a cheerleader and track-runner. I applied and was accepted to Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado where I met a lot of influential and inspirational people. I once sat down and ate lunch with N. Scott Momaday and told him that I am a direct descendant of Satanta "White Bear". He thought it was pretty cool. In 2005, I had a friend who organized a Native American Open-Mic night at the college and was showcasing his comedy routine. I have always loved comedy and always lovedmaking people laugh. I expressed my interest in standup andmy friends encouraged me to try it. 4 Adrianne during a performance. She tours solo and with the “49 Laughs Comedy” troupe that has dedicatedthemselve to doing only clean comedy. She has video clips available on youtube. He put me down for 3-5 minutes. So I gathered some material, rehearsed and about had a heart attack from nervousness. The night came and I was one of the last to go on and the only female doing comedy. Others did poetry and sang songs. I took the stage to a packed room of maybe 60 people. I killed it! They laughed and kept laughing and it went better than I could have ever hoped for. I ended up being on stage for about 17 minutes instead of the planned 3-5 minutes. I walked away floating on clouds and felt like I found my calling but, the next year, I had to put it on the back burner as I focused on school, a new relationship, and becoming a mother... I wouldn’t pick up the mic again for 4 years. In February 2010, I attended a "James and Ernie Comedy" show in Colorado and met them afterwards. I told Ernie about my college experience and how well it went. He looked at me pretty seriously, then said, "Can you do clean comedy?" I said, "Yes." He said, "If you want to open up for our group, we have a gig in May at the Convention Center in Farmington." He handed me his business card. He went on to tell me that their group "49 Laughs Comedy" was looking for a Native female comedian. After a few months of writing, rehearsing and extreme nervousness, I opened for them to a packed convention center in Farmington, New Mexico in front of a crowd of maybe 700. I did good. The crowd liked me. It wasn't my best performance but it gave me the hope and strength to keep pursuing this crazy dream. The guys in the group were impressed and allowed me to open for them show after show. In October of 2010, they asked me to join the group as a fellow performing member. Since then, I have toured all over Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. The largest crowd I've performed in front of was to a sold-out crowd in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was nearly 3,000. (Editor’s Editor’s Editor’s Editor’s note: note: note: note: You You You You can can can can also also also also find find find find Adrianne Adrianne Adrianne Adrianne on on on on Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook at at at at


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