www.LargeInCharge.com: What is your name (Real and Stage)?
real name is Veronique DeOna Carr. Veronique is just Veronica in French.
I capitalized the "O" in Deona to give it effect and lo and behold it
means "The One" in some language. Nikki of course comes from the "Nique."
My dad, who was one of the greatest jazz drummers in the history of the
trade (Bruno Carr), named me. He was obviously a pothead.
www.LargeInCharge.com: Where are you originally from, and where is your home state now?
was born and raised single-handedly by my Mommy in NYC. No sibling, only
lil' ole me. My Grandmother was who I considered my second parent because
after about nine years old or so, I never saw my dad again. He never did
live with Mommy and me. Now I live in a predominantly white town in
western MA, called Amherst. It's like living in sleep-away camp. Very
picturesque to say the least. Lots of farms and animals running around
that I never saw anywhere but in a zoo or on the Discovery channel.
Certainly not combing the streets of BX, NY.
www.LargeInCharge.com: Have you always shown an interest in comedy?
I have always been a
performer. I spent an awful lot of time by myself as a child. So my toys
were really my first audiences. I would perform for them with a brush as
the mic, so you see it was me who invented the cordless mic. I don't
think I did any comedy at that age. I used to sing more than anything. I
could make my voice sound pretty much like any singer that I loved. My
mother actually thought I would be a singer. But there was this crippling
shyness about me that came whenever I was put on the spot. I guess I was
always funny. I remember that my mother would always ask me, "Why are you
so silly all the time?" Everybody thought I was cry as a child, because I
was. I learned that making people laugh by doing stupid things like
suddenly and for no reason at all, ripping my shirt open as the buttons flew everywhere, was
fun. I also had an incredibly wild imagination and I loved to write. My
aunt NIecey who is only six years older than me used to inspire me to
write poems and took me to poetry readings where I could read the poems
that I wrote. My mom knowing that I would definitely be a performer of
some sort, fueled my love for the stage by taking me to the Apollo
religiously (my dad was also their drummer for a while). Later she put me
in a drama class and that's when we found out that I could really act.
When it came to acting there was nothing shy about me. It opened up a
whole new me. The applause afterwards was something that would haunt me
for the rest of my life until I finally heard it again almost twenty years
www.LargeInCharge.com: How old where you when you started your career?
was eight years younger than I am today.
www.LargeInCharge.com: How long have you been a comedian professionally?
started telling jokes in 1997 and winning comedy contests -- hell people
were even asking for my autograph! But it was 1998 before I actually got
paid for my humorous out look on life.
www.LargeInCharge.com: What agency do you work for or who is your manager?
not have an exclusive manager or agent. If you want me. Call me and I'll
come. However, I do believe that not having representation does hinder you
from a lot of things. I've decided that it is time to find representation
but I'm not really sure how to go about it. I've established relationships
with a great many agencies, comedians, bookers etc., But the easiest way
to get me right now is to just email me. Nikgotjoax@aol.com
www.LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about the first time you were on stage, Date, location,
My comedic debut came after watching Steve Harvey on
BET late one night talking to Tavis Smiley. He was talking about the
differences between a "comic" and a "comedian," basically saying that a
comic was a good teller of jokes, stories, etc., not really written by the
performer but delivered as if it were their own, and a comedian was like
an all- time "at all time" creator of funny. Like a comedian can find the
humor in almost any situation. A comedian can make you smile through your
tears....I knew he was talking to and about me. I called the NY Comedy
Club on 24th street and told them I was interested in trying comedy. They
gave me a date and told me to bring five paying customers. I was a little
nervous until my feet hit that little stage. Then it was like I became
someone else. I performed like I'd done it everyday for years. They
laughed so hard and loud that it scared me. When I was done they jumped
to their feet with applause. Steve was right. I am a comedienne.
www.LargeInCharge.com: Were you always a person of size or were you smaller when you
started your career?
was born a "premie" A month early and less than five pounds. That must be
the only time I was ever small. My mother was an EXCELLENT cook. She
loved to cook meals from cook books of other countries and cultures. She
made me love food.
www.LargeInCharge.com: Did you find it hard to break into the business since you were a
person of size?
That is a double edge question because I was not
ever proud of my looks. It held me back in a lot of ways. I had no
self-confidence what so ever. I hated being heavy because people always
teased me about it. Especially my twin aunt and uncle who were like my
brother and sister in a lot of ways. They loooooved to call me "fat back
in a tee shirt", " porky pig", "fatso", All kinds of mean stuff. I hated
my knocked knees, I even hated being dark skinned. I wanted to be
beautiful like my mother, tall, shapely and caramel complexioned. I think
that's why I made a lot of fun of myself as a kid and did funny things so
that people would laugh with me instead of at me. As a youth I played a
lot of scripted parts that required a chubby person ,(usually someone's
mother), so I was comfortable doing that. By the time I was ready to go
out for comedy being "Big" was almost a prerequisite. There were a lot of
funny "Big Girls [and Guys), on the scene.
www.LargeInCharge.com: Do you feel
that your size helps you come up with routines?
Being heavy is part of my set because I know a lot about it. As soon as I
come on to the stage people see my size. I address it to let them know
that I'm comfortable in my skin. But it doesn't necessarily help me come
up with routines. Living and imagination does that. Being too anything
is funny to the person who lives that life e.g. too skinny, too tall, too
www.LargeInCharge.com: How do people of size feel about your routine, do you get more
positive or negative feedback?
like to believe that everybody in the room enjoys my performance.
Countless times I meet and greet after the shows the "Big Girls" say y
that I represented and they identify a lot with what I say as well as
those of "average" size. I don't think one group or the other enjoys my
work any differently than the other.
www.LargeInCharge.com: Please Tell us about the many TV, Show, appearances you have
I have done three seasons
of "Comic View". I appeared on ShowTime at the Apollo, where I pretty
much BOMBED on National TV. My mother had died two weeks before and I was
still very broken about it. It was a bad decision to do the show in the
first place. I'm ready for the Apollo now but they haven't called me to do it
again. Maybe they think I suck!!! They say you're only as good as your
last show and people tend to remember the bad ones
www.LargeInCharge.com: Are you currently on tour?
not on tour right now. It's hard for me to do tours lately because I have
a H. S. senior and an elementary school aged child and no support network
to care for them while I'm gone. I am usually in and out no matter what
city I perform at. Not because I don't want to stay and explore your
wonderful town, city, state, country or Island but because gotta go!
www.LargeInCharge.com: Who are some of comedians that you admire?
When I was a kid, Lucille
Ball and Jerry Lewis were my all-time favorite people in the world. They
made me laugh so loud and so hard. This is the kind of stuff I fed my
brain with when I was a child. All the old-time sitcoms
from back in the day, Family Affair, The Partridge Family, The Brady
Bunch. Sitcoms were all I ever watched!!! There weren't that many Black
shows then and my mother would say "Look how crazy those white people
act." But I didn't see it like that, to me they were funny and
great! The first Black woman I'd ever seen do standup was Marsha
Warfield. I loved her instantly! Then Whoopi Goldberg, exceptional! Now
my list of favorites is so vast that I couldn't even name them all but
aside from the aforementioned I love Ellen Degneres, Rita Rudner, Paula
Poundstone and Boney to name a few. Though I never really wanted to be a
comedian, I've adored it so much all of my life that I am not surprised
that I am.
www.LargeInCharge.com: You have helped to pave the road for big women in comedy, who do
you believe was paving the road
before you and other current comedians?
Marsha Warfield's set was about being a "Big" woman when I first saw her.
Though I was very young at the time I still remember a lot of it. I'd
never heard of these kinds of jokes told about one's self until then. A
far as comedic actresses of size there were so many from Mabel King to
Shirley Hemphill to Nell Carter. All great women in my book!
www.LargeInCharge.com: What would you say to other young ladies and women who are
looking into being a comedian?
Ladies, Men, Cats or
frogs my advice is always the same." STAY ORIGINAL!!!" Joke thievery is
ugly redundant and pointless. My jokes are like my children, created
inside of me, nurtured to their funniest points by me, delivered from my
soul to waiting ears. Do you think I would let you take one of my
children and change their clothes and call them your own? No! Be original don't think you are the only
person that has ever heard the joke you're interested in reiterating in
your own way! Originality brings respect.
www.LargeInCharge.com: What should up and coming comedians do to get on the right track?
on stage and stay humble as I said before, "you are only as good as your
last show," so getting cocky over a good set can set you up for a rude
awakening. Be yourself (unless you're doing and impression) and have
www.LargeInCharge.com: Do you have other comedians that you collaborate with?
love them all, they are the brothers and sisters I never had. I get along
with all of them
Sometimes there are personality clashes but I've learned to deal with
everyone on their own level always allowing them to be themselves in my
presence. I have no preferences as to who I work with though I travel
very often with "Boney."
www.LargeInCharge.com: Do you have a good support system from family and friends?
Nope! Though I know
there are a lot of people who are proud of me and my accomplishments I
can't say that I have a strong support system. Every once in a while I do
what is called "bringer shows" around NY. The name means just that. You
have to bring a certain amount of patrons to the establishment to get
stage time. Usually 5.10 or more people, (I believe Caroline's is 20).
When it's time to do these shows I can't get none of the "let me know when
you're doing something in NY" people to come out. So the club doesn't let
you perform in this case if you can't meet quota. I'm doing one on
Thursday 10/21/04 at a club on
in NY called Comic Strip Live. I need five people to get stage time.
Will you come? If you do, my support system just got a little stronger.
www.LargeInCharge.com: What do you contribute your success to?
My mother. Constantly trying to convince me of the beauty that I
possessed but never saw, the intelligence that she was always so proud of,
and consistently encouraging the talents that I knew I was born with but
was too inhibited by shyness and low self esteem to project.
www.LargeInCharge.com: Where will you be appearing next?
October 9-11 I will be at
the Mirage in Las Vegas, October 15th The
Holiday Inn, in
Bridgeport. October 21st Comic strip Live 1586 2nd Ave. 6pm. reservations
required (212) 861-9386. Other things are pending. I'll hit the message
board with updates.
www.LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals?
would like to regain the discipline I once had to write. I've been trying
to write a book for years but I'm so busy in my mind most of the time that
I don't have the time to work on it. I would also like to write some
screen plays or maybe write for other comedians and shows. Acting is
something else I know that I'm good at so eventually I'm sure I will break
into that at some point I'm already getting offers to do little projects
and hopefully these little projects are just the seeds to planting a firm
foundation in the world of stage and screen.
www.LargeInCharge.com: Give us one word that you can say best represents your
www.LargeInCharge.com: How much have you evolved as a performer since that first
I actually started out
pretty strong. As I said my first performance earned a standing ovation.
I had another agenda when I started. My first two daughters were
kidnapped by their father and taken to
Africa when they were four and five years old. I gave myself a
five year goal to make it to television knowing that If they're my kids they watch comedy
shows. I was right. They were 18 and 19 when I taped my first season of
Comic View. It was 7 months after I taped that they saw me on television
(they ran my set a lot), did a computer search and contacted me through a
gentleman whose website I appeared on. So if I never get a movie role or a
sitcom or even the entertainment job of my dreams I can still say that I
accomplished what I set out to do which was get my girls back into my
life. And I have maintained my position as a strong presence on the
circuit and definitely grown both in material content and performance
www.LargeInCharge.com: How can the readers at www.largeincharge.com help support you?
me! Corporate, private, in town, out of town it doesn't matter. And if
you see that I am appearing somewhere get a ticket for Pete's sake! I am
nothing without you my fans, friends and family. Come see me when you're
not well or when you don't even feel like going out. I promise you'll be
glad you came!
Ms. Carr for keeping it real and setting an example for us Plus Sized people who
believe we cant achieve our goals. Keep making your mark on the Big World!
Wishing you the best LargeInCharge.com