Comedian Annie Lederman is giving locals a fun, laid back activity every first and third Friday nights with her free comedy show, Pirate Party, and karaoke party afterwards.
Lederman started the show at the bar four months ago, and since then the response has been great.
“We have over 100 people coming in,” she said. “I just want people to have fun for free. They can come, watch the comedy and then do karaoke after; it's just a fun Greenpoint Friday night.”
She cheered the bar's cheap drinks and good food. “When I'm handing out flyers and telling people about the show, I tell them, 'I swear there's no angle, just to have fun.' That's why I like to have party at the end of the name,” she said.
Lederman, a native of Pennsylvania who went to school in Santa Fe New Mexico before moving to New York City and settling down in Williamsburg, said she got into comedy because she wanted to impress her father.
“My dad is super funny and so I always was trying to impress him by being funny. I kind of got in trouble in school a lot, I was a juvenile delinquent,” she said.
After college, she moved to New York to pursue the dream of standup, doing 15 open mics a week, and writing while waitressing on the side.
“Nobody starts off funny,” she said. “You suck and you're performing in front of people and other comedians who don't laugh at your joke. It's this weird thing and you just have to suffer through that and become this bombing machine.”
“Eventually through repetition and getting up there and getting more comfortable on stage you figure out what's funny and find your specific voice,” she added.
In addition to Red Star, Lederman also performs at other venues throughout the city. She still attends open mics to try out new material and is currently in the March Madness competition at Caroline's on Broadway.
“When I do standup, I try to keep it personal,” she said. “It's definitely self-deprecating and darker.”
A recovering alcoholic, Lederman is not afraid to turn the darker parts of her past into laughs.
“I like to talk about the crazy days; my life is just very different now,” she said, noting that she quit drinking after her first open mic in New York. “I've been sober for over three years.”
Lederman also currently recaps “The Bachelor” each week for NewsCorp's tablet publication, The Daily.
“It's such a ridiculous show, it's so fun to make fun of,” she said.
Lederman doesn't like to limit herself by being identified with the “female comedian” label.
“A lot of people say it's a disadvantage as a woman and there are certain things that can be when you start: people are not taking you as seriously, but I really don't see the disadvantage personally,” she said. “I think if anything I got a lot of shows in the beginning because they tried to have a well-rounded show.”
She said when she started there were less women doing comedy.
“You just stood out more and if they want to book a woman on the show you have more of a chance getting on faster,” she said. “I work really hard and try to never think of myself as a female comedian but think of myself as a comedian and just go that way.”
Lederman plans to go forward with her comedy by doing more video-based shows and writing. Eventually she would like to have her own show on television. But for now, she enjoys performing in Greenpoint.
“The crowd is smart, they don't want dumb material. They want quality comedy and I love that,” she said. “I really want to be giving Greenpoint a fun thing to do.”
Pirate Party is held every first and third Friday of the month at 8:30 p.m. at Red Star Bar, located at 37 Greenpoint Avenue.
To learn more about Annie Lederman, follow her on Twitter at @annielederman or visit her Facebook page, Facebook.com/annielederman.