EXCLUSIVE: Aida Rodriguez Talks Latinas In Comedy & "Last Comic Standing"

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Where does your inspiration for your comedy come from?

It writes itself! So, you know my manager and I sit down sometimes and talk and he is always like, "Write this down. Write this down. Did you write that down?" He is like, "Where did you get this stuff?" But I tell him, "This really happened." You know, this really happened. 

A teacher hit me when I was five, and my mom went to the school and hit the teacher back. That's a true story. She's like, "Si te da, yo se lo doy. Ella no tiene que darte." You know?

Life is the way you see it. You know, if you talk to a person that is miserable, everything in their life is miserable. If you talk to a person that is happy, everything in their life is happy. I choose to make my life funny. So, everything that you hear about, it's just that I decided to look at things through a comedic lense. That's what helped me survive, get out of the 'hood, and push towards my dreams. People don't believe me, but a lot of the things you hear in my stand-up are true. I embellish some things for the sake of the joke, but it's all true. I just add my punch lines, because my life is already pretty funny.

Your two children are often the subject of your jokes. Are they ever embarrassed? 

Well, you know my son thinks it's hilarious! They're both very funny. They're both artistic. My daughter is a writer, so she helps me write the jokes. We laugh about most of the stuff. Nothing goes on the stage or goes on the screen unless it's okay by them. They didn't sign up for this, and I will not exploit them or misuse anything that will affect them in any negative way. 

Do you feel a responsibility as a Latina and as a single mom to shed light on certain issues? 

Yeah, I do. I think a lot of people throw away responsibility when they have popularity and influence. I like to call it more accountability, not responsibility. It's not my responsibility to raise the nation's children, but I am accountable. People do see things that I do, and are affected by it. 

I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I take selfies. I'm not that cool kid that looks at pop culture and says, "Oh, I'm too smart for that." I live in this world, and I am affected by everything that goes on in this world. I don't ever want to be above it. But, you know, I do have a sense of responsibility to our community. It's easy to do the dance. It's easy to be the baffoon, and do a dance and misrepresent our people.

When I go on stage, I want to have a level of intelligence and consideration. It's not me just trying to be funny at the expense of my people. 

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Cristina Arreola, Associate Editor

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