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COOL FACES OF BASTET NOIR: Meet Tina Friml, Comedian

Tina Friml, Comedian, wearing the Silk Satin Jumpsuit by Bastet Noir

When external expectations and limitations become the new norm, the power of self-belief becomes a transformative force. It’s a reminder that even though life throws at us challenges and doubts from others, our own conviction can help us move past them. When opportunities seem nowhere to be seen, or when naysayers question our ambitions, it’s crucial to harness that inner strength and determination. Embracing this mindset not only opens doors but also helps us find our resilience, fueling a journey where self-confidence reigns supreme despite external skepticism.

Tina Friml is a comedian based in New York City. Originally from Burlington, Vermont, she transitioned into standup comedy after being a background in local theater and a decade spent as a songwriter. She gained recognition as a 2019 New Face at the Just For Laughs Festival and has appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show’s ‘Bananamores,’ as well as on numerous comedy festivals throughout the years. She has amassed milions of views on the social media platforms Instagram and TikTok, and continues to be a trailblazer thanks to her innovative and unique approach to comedy. If you’d like to get to know Tina a bit more, continue reading and get inspired by her story.

Who is Tina Friml? 

I ask myself that every day. A work in progress, a listener, a liability. The best I can come up with today is “the most extroverted introvert.”

For the readers that are not yet acquainted with your inspiring story, we give the floor to you. In a video you mention that you don’t suffer from Cerebral Palsy, but “from people”, which is a very powerful statement veiled in a humorous delivery, just like your comedy work. What made you want to pursue a career in comedy and how did you find the industry’s acceptance at first?

I fell into comedy accidentally. Growing up I’d wanted to be an actress or a musician, but comedy was the first performing outlet in my life where I was encouraged to keep going. It was clear something was working. I began comedy in an incredibly supportive scene in Burlington, Vermont. I never once felt hesitancy from anyone to invite me onto their showcase. It wasn’t until I began coming to New York City trying to mingle with other comics that I was faced with the energy of ‘how good could she be- Really?’ and it reinforced in me that I would, do, and will always have to prove myself in these spaces.

As huge fans of your work, we applaud every aspect of your approach to comedy: from your delivery to the different tongue-in-cheek topics you “dare” to touch upon. Were there ever any insecurities about making it in this industry, or moments that made you feel as if it’s not meant to be? 

Hugely. For the first number of years the thought would haunt me that I would nover be celebrated as more than a human interest story, or booked on a lineup as more than a token diverse comic. One of the first articles ever written about me had the headline “She’s a standup comedian with Cerebral Palsy…AND she’s funny.” The intent wasn’t to be patronizing, but it felt so. The truth of the matter is that my disability will always influence my opportunities, both negatively and positively, as does being a woman in a male-dominated industry. My focus is to challenge myself to continue to write better and better material as to continue to show not how I got to where I am in my career, but why I’m there.

What makes your approach to comedy unique and genuine is your ability to laugh at yourself before anyone else, thus disarming the perception of how we are supposed to react to people living with disabilities. Has this always been your approach to comedy, or was it something you fine tuned through years of experience and observing the audience?  

Absolutely, even before I got into standup. Humor in general was my way of signaling “it’s ok, I’m just a person and you can talk to me” to others. It only took me about a week and a half of doing standup to start leaning into talking about my disability. The uproar of laughter after I first made a joke about it - essentially breaking the ice in a major way, made it clear that this was an important path to go down.

Three things you wish you knew before starting out? 

To enjoy it as a hobby, because soon it will become a career. 

Practicing good microphone technique is an art in and of itself, so pay attention to how you hold it. 

You will never be satisfied with yourself as a writer- That’s the point.

Biggest setback in life and what you’ve learned from it?  

I’ve had very promising creative projects I’d spent over a year developing go nowhere. In the entertainment and TV development industry, that’s practically a rite of passage, but it was only after that happened that I was able to focus on posting my comedy online, which is how I gained my audience and why I am where I am now. Never take a setback to mean anything more than a re-direct.

Books that changed your life 

“Boundaries” by Henry Cloud. It not only taught me the criminality-undervalued tools of setting my own boundaries with those in my life, it also broke down my ego in the most terribly, painfully liberating kind of way. I’m a bit of a self-growth masochist.

Favorite female empowerment speech

Any 1AM drunken pep talk given in the women’s restroom.

What’s in your Bastet Noir cart? 

The Silk Satin Jumpsuit - I’m trying to natural incorporate more reds into my wardrobe. Also the Reese 3-Piece Set. I love my suits, even in the summertime!

If you liked Tina’s story, there’s plenty more to come, just hit that sign up button to get in our inner circle of coolness and shop sustainable Bastet Noir dresses — zero waste and custom made.

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