We know the world is a dark place to exist in right now. But we have a suggestion for a brief reprieve. Put down your phones, step away from the doom-scrolling on your newsfeed, and pre-order a copy of Annick Adelle’s debut comedy album, Between Two Worlds, set for release August 12, 2022 on Blonde Medicine. Trust us, this album will provide the exact type of medicine we all need – comedy!
As the title suggests, the album explores what it means to live between two worlds in various ways: between ‘corporate America’ (where Annick worked before standup) and the arts (now working as a comedian); being German-bred while residing in the USA, and embarking on the gender journey and living on the spectrum between male and female.
Annick made the decision to pursue comedy full time, and “infect more people with laughter” especially during the pandemic when things looked bleak. The result is ‘Between Two Worlds’, which was recorded in front of an unassuming Fargo, ND audience at The Cellar at the Front Street Taproom. This venue is the first comedy club to give Annick a headlining spot and hang Annick’s autographed photograph on the wall! Annick aimed to capture the energy and magic of live stand-up comedy as authentically as possible, thus it was not even announced as an album taping but just as a live show.
For a bit of background, Annick is an internationally performing stand-up comedian who began in San Francisco and now lives between New York City and Berlin. Annick performs throughout the US and Europe, recently opening for Iliza Shlesinger, and has appeared at Sketchfest in San Francisco and Laughing Skull Festival in Atlanta. Annick plans to tape with Comedy Central this fall.
We got to speak with Annick about the importance of laughter during dark times, tackling gender, and cultural differences between Germany and America, which you can read below.
Having just finished listening to your forthcoming album, we cannot stop laughing! How did it feel to record your debut album ‘Between Two Worlds’?
It was two magical nights. I taped at the Cellar in Fargo ND. They were the first ones to give a headlining opportunity and to put my picture on the wall. So it was clear to me that if I ever record an album it would be there, to give back, to say thanks. And Fargo (despite what TV shows say) is such a great town, the audience is TRULY mixed and fun loving. So it was just amazing. I’m thankful for everyone who came.
In your set you talk about gender, cultural differences between your home country of Germany and new home America, plus going from the corporate world to stand-up. How did you decide on the overall theme of the album and the topics you wanted to riff about?
The process of making an album is really interesting. Because as a standup comedian you mostly have bits on certain topics that you present in no particular order at the shows you do every night for like 10 minutes (except when you headline). So to put the bits together into a theme and see how you connect them PLUS stay in the moment with the audience, responding to things happening around you AND modulating energy during 45 minutes is honestly a feat. But once I was clear on what bits I wanted to cover, I was clear I had a theme. And I wanted to add a message concluding my set with which I think came out well.
We’ve seen a lot of focus on gender recently, from some folks feeling very threatened by people identifying authentically, and others wanting to be allies and champion progress. How do you hope your album will contribute to the current conversations?
What I really hope to do is just show the topics I am experiencing. Relating to MY gender journey. Essentially to share what people don’t necessarily know or see every day. Truly just to widen spectrums. And very important to me: not make it heavy. It’s funny to me too. So why can’t we laugh about these things yet share? I honestly don’t think we should take ourselves too seriously.
Why do you think some people are so angry about gender? Could it be that they need more comedy in their lives, perhaps?
Every change in status quo is tricky. We get scared. It’s the unknown. It puts our lives/beliefs in question, or challenges them. It’s ok if people cannot react differently at the moment. My own mom took 3 years to digest the news. I gave her time. And in the meantime I protected myself. In a transition phase you want to surround yourself with people that are good for you.
How did the pandemic give you more clarity in your comedy career and the messages you wanted to share with the world?
The pandemic forced us to introspectively reflect what we want in life. Who we truly are. What is important. And to me it became clear that I was done waiting for permissions, for approval. That I needed to shed that judgmental uber-ich that really kept me from doing things in the belief that everything has to be perfect. I still have a lot of standards. But I do things now. Watch me!
Are there any moments from your set that got a particularly strong reaction, that you didn’t expect?
We sometimes underestimate our impact. Here I was joking about my gender journey and the weird side effects and the funny things that happened to me. And after the show a woman approached me, in tears saying she was so thankful I talked about these things. She has a trans kid and said: “Representation matters. Tonight you represented them. So thank you.” Immediate goose bumps. I guess I underestimated what things mean to people.
What does it feel like to be on stage and feed off the energy of a live audience?
Girl – it means EVERYTHING. The energy you create is pure magic. You are one with the audience. All differences, all animosities, all judgements go out the door and we connect. In laughter and fun. And I get to be a conductor of that? I mean, there is no better feeling in the world.
‘Between Two Worlds’ was recorded in Fargo, ND, before an audience who didn’t know it was being taped! What was it like performing there?
People were giving me grief for taping in Fargo. “Really? Why there?” But this town is actually such a great place. I made a lot of friends there over the years now. It has a very diverse and fun loving population. And most of all the venue, Front Street Tap Room/The Cellar, is one of the best stages I have played in my life. They were also the first ones to give me headlining spots AND put my picture on the wall. So it was very clear to me that if I ever recorded an album I would record there, as a thank you nod to the venue and the people there.
Why is laughter more important than ever right now?
We need to let go. We need connection with others. Our world pits us against each other more and more: vaccine/no vaccine, Republican/Democrat, masks/no masks, pro war/anti war, freedom of speech/cancel culture, guns/no guns etc. We don’t want that. We want connection. Laughter allows that. Im not saying comedians are healers. But if there is this little moment even if tiny in your day where you forget about differences and grief and just laugh? My job is done. If it is an actual party I create: boom! Even better.
You can pre-order a copy of Annick Adelle’s ‘Between Two Worlds’, out August 12, 2022 by clicking HERE. ‘Between Two Worlds’ will be available wherever comedy is streamed or sold.