Meredith Masony (top), Tiffany Jenkins (left) and Dena Blizzard (right). (Courtesy/Jeffrey Vincent Photography)
Tiffany Jenkins will probably never let her kids attend her comedy shows.
She said her daughter gets the most sad whenever she goes on the road, so Jenkins does at least want to bring her backstage someday to let her see what she does for a living.
“All she knows right now is mommy makes people laugh, that’s what she says,” Jenkins said.
She is currently touring the country with two other comedians — Meredith Masony and Dena Blizzard — as part of a show that mixes standup comedy, stories and audience interaction.
The trio is bringing the tour, named “My Name is Not Mom,” to Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Saturday.
“It basically goes back to the idea that we were people before we were mom, and even though we hear it a million times a day, ‘Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom,’ that's not our name. I'm Tiffany, and before I was a mom, I was a person and I had hopes and dreams and goals,” Jenkins said.
She and Masony, both from Florida, do a podcast about parenting called “Take It or Leave It,” which they had always wanted to take on the road. But Masony had the idea to tour with Blizzard, a standup comedian from New Jersey and friend of hers.
“(Masony) was like, ‘It's never been done where three different brands with over a million followers each have gotten together to create a night of comedy,’” Jenkins said.
The three of them built the show over Zoom in four months and began touring, starting around June at comedy clubs before pivoting to theaters. Jenkins said they’ve so far done 25 shows on the tour.
They first get up on stage and “have fun together” before breaking off and doing their own standup comedy sets. “Then we come back together to get the audience involved,” she said.
Jenkins didn’t want to give away the surprise, but she said they encourage people to bring their husbands and boyfriends. “It's not just for women,” she said. “Feel free to bring the guys along, and we'll make sure that they're not left out.”
“I think the show is for any parent who needs to take a break from the chaos and laugh their butt off for the night,” Jenkins said.
The point of the show, in her opinion, is to show people that no matter what stage of parenting they’re in, they aren’t alone. “None of us know what we're doing,” she said.
The show blends the experiences of three comedians who became moms at different stages of their lives. Jenkins has young children and explores “what it's like when you're getting your soul sucked out of you daily and just arguing with little people who make no sense,” she said. Masony highlights the teen years, puberty and “the beginning of the attitudes.” And Blizzard’s kids are off to college and ignoring her as she embraces having a newly childless house.
“I think it's just to explore who we were before we became moms, because you tend to forget that as time goes on,” Jenkins said. “I used to get wasted and party and have fun and look attractive, and that person is still in here somewhere ... it's a celebration of the before, the during and what's to come.”
The three of them have also had vastly different life experiences outside of motherhood. Jenkins, for instance, is a recovering addict and has been clean for nine years.
In addition to comedic skits, she uses her social media to advocate for mental health and addiction awareness. On her blog, she shares stories people submit about their addiction recovery, looking for ones that have a happy ending. “I think that by sharing other people's stories, it shows other people that they aren't alone and it gives them hope,” she said.
Jenkins is working on her second book after High Achiever: The Incredible True Story of One Addict's Double Life, was published in 2017.
Doors will open at 6:30, and the event will start at 7:30, according to the ticket page. The show includes some adult language and discussions, Jenkins said. The Elsinore is located at 170 High St. SE.
Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.
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