Bushwick Comedian Milly Tamarez raises the voices of performers of color and herself by creating the spaces no one else will. Having grown up in Hollywood, Florida, she originally had plans to become a lawyer, but quickly shifted gears after working for Americorps, where she discovered what she really wanted to do, “I realized that working in nonprofits and teaching preschool was not for me, so I started to think about what I did want to do. I applied for the diversity scholarship at UCB and would come in on weekends and PA [Production Assistant] on shoots in the Bronx.”
As Tamarez continued to pave a way for herself, she discovered she could create the communities she longed to be a part of instead of living outside of the ones that already existed. So, she co-created the “Diverse AF” comedy festival, “A few years ago before diversity ‘got hot,’” she joked.
“We were tired of really talented marginalized people being passed over at big shows and big theaters,” like her co-creator Taylor Gonzalez and Will Martinez, “So whenever we booked our own shows we would consciously try to book people of color and found it was so easy because these people were rarely asked to perform.”
Along with being hilarious, Tamarez also uses her fierce voice to educate with her online parody Ted Talk, “All Dick Is Trash” which was produced by Deadass, a digital content comedy group that solely features people of color. “I kept blaming myself for every shitty interaction with men,” she said.
“I think the strength of ‘All Dick Is Trash’ comes from people getting fed up by this behavior and holding them accountable. I sold almost 200 shirts too.”
Her voice is driven by the need to share her point of view as a person of size, woman of color, an activist, feminist and someone who is passionate about race relations, “I want to get people to think about social issues without actually thinking about it. I also want people to see the world from my eyes for 10 minutes. I also want people to be like ‘dam she is hot as hell.’”
On a clear and steady upward staircase, Tamarez is determined and wants everyone to know it too, “My goal is to have 100 percent of my income come from comedy. I am open to however that happens and I don’t want to limit myself. The high I got from doing a killer set is unparalleled. The rest of my time doing comedy is chasing that high.”
Cover image courtesy of Mindy Tucker.