For Crystal, comedy is more than just a career choice.
Amazed at how her career has taken off, Crystal Powell-Cooper is well aware that this is her moment. That would explain why, as she says it: her cheeks are still hurting from grinning.
Basking in the success of being the only female comic to represent Texas in Kevin Hart‘s nationally syndicated television show, Hart of the City ; the Comedienne chooses to sum up her emotions in three words: excited, thankful and blessed.
“It’s insane to think about what I’ve experienced, what I will experience. I’m super thankful. I’m a Christian woman so I know that none of it is possible without God. I am a Believer. I’m just thankful that I have great people around me, I’m thankful that I have a husband that believes in me. I have a great, great support system and what people don’t realize is that is takes a village. I tell people all the time that you are only as good as your team.”
A Southern belle with big, Hollywood dreams, Crystal admits comedy was not her first career choice. In fact, if it was left up to her, Crystal says she would have continued to pursue acting.
“When I moved out to LA, I got into SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) rather quickly. Probably sooner than I should’ve been because that stepped up the auditions and the roles I was going for. [laughs] My feedback would be: “She’s tight, she’s uncomfortable.” I was training when my agent told me to try stand-up to get me to warm up. So, a friend and I went out and did open mic, and I got booked. The more I did it, the more I loved it.”
A male-dominated field, Crystal admits that comedy is indeed challenging – particularly for females.
“In anything that you do, you’re going to have some bad apples. With comedy and women, [promoters] will try and treat you any kind of way. I’ve signed up for open mics and I knew I was to go third and I look down and now I’m number 20. Once you set the standard, go in there and don’t play any games. You can’t pick a fight with everyone and you have to have thick skin.”
Having experienced first-hand the inappropriate comments and harsh rejection of show promoters, Crystal uses her experiences to ignite a desire to help her fellow female comics reach higher heights.
“I produce my own shows and I have nothing but female comedians. I don’t know why people don’t book female comedians, you get to look at pretty women and you get to laugh. What better night do you want?”
Despite the challenges and struggles, Crystal says for her- comedy is worth it because it healed her.
“My parents split up when I was in high school and my mom was a single mother. When she became ill, I became frustrated with my family because they wouldn’t let up. They continued to lean on her as if she was 100% healthy. Not knowing anyone or anything, I packed up and moved to California. Casting calls were brutal and I would say to myself if I can lose my mother, there’s nothing that can hurt me like that. So, I can face anything.”
Crystal credits her drive and determination to succeed to her late mother.
” My mother was my biggest advocate and she told me from a young age that I can do anything. She’s the angel on my shoulder. And, sometimes, you have to laugh to keep from crying.”
In October, Crystal appeared on Hart in the City, the only comedienne selected to represent Houston. After enduring an extremely rigorous process, Crystal says she couldn’t be happier with the final production of her episode – especially the comedians she had the opportunity to work with.
“It feels amazing for a million reasons. One, to let other female comedians know we can hang with the fellas. Two, let young girls know “hey, at least we can try!” Kevin and Joy did a great job picking a comedian for each city. I couldn’t be happier with the episode. I text Kevin and Joy continuously to just say thank you because this is huge and its amazing! Will this make my career? No. But will it put me in a greater position to make these things happen? Absolutely!”
Of her many accomplishments, Crystal says her proudest accomplishment is that no matter what, she continues on her journey to success.
“I’m proud of continuing. As a woman, I’ve been told face-to-face, “You’ll never do this.” I have a proclamation in Houston, Crystal Powell’s Laughter Heals Day. If we make one person laugh, if we can touch one person then we have done our job. I’m proud of myself because I had a lot of naysayers, people are mean. But that comes with the territory. I’m proud of myself for the growth and for believing in myself.”
Aside from the fame and popularity, Crystal, who is indeed a lover of life, says she’s adamant about leaving behind a legacy filled with: Girl Power.
“I’m all about girl power,. I want women to understand that we can do just as much, if not more than men. I’m certain it won’t happen overnight. For some people, it happens quicker but follow your own journey. If you don’t believe in yourself, there’s no way anyone else can believe in you. I want to be known as the comedian that helped people through hard times, that created great projects. I want to reach back and pay it forward.”