Jenn Snyder, along with a close group of friends and fellow comedians, created and continue to nurture Columbia, South Carolina’s ever-growing comedy scene. And, as Jenn increasingly takes her show on the road, she’s been breaking stereotypes about the region and bringing queer Southerners to the forefront. We here at Auntie Bellum jump at every opportunity to talk to Jenn about her life and dreams, and, once again, the charm and smarts runneth over. You can catch Jenn and other local and traveling comics at Pearlz (in Columbia’s Vista) and otherwise keep up with all of the comedy happenings at Soda City Stand Up.
Where do you call home?
Describe your work life.
I’m a wordsmith and a laughomancer. I use words or conjure joy and laughter. I travel the country and meet people all over the country and I make them laugh. It’s amazing.
Share an accomplishment that makes you feel proud.
Winning the Free Times Best Of award. Even though they only did the category one year. It’s makes me the lifetime recipient I guess.
What does being a Southern woman mean to you?
Being a southern woman to me means that special blend of charming and kind but also witty but polite until it’s time to not be polite. Then that southern wit can become sharp as knives. Julia Sugarbaker is the patron saint of southern woman.
What motivates you?
My family and my friends. I’m so ridiculously loved it makes me want to do everything in my power to be worthy of it all. I want to make everyone who loves me so proud. Drives me to work hard and stay humble.
What is one change Southerners could make to improve our current culture?
We need to be more vocal about how progressive we southern people have become. Southern culture has too long been synonymous with bigotry and hatred. That’s no longer the case. Southern voices are changing and so should our public narrative.
Has there been a defining moment that set you on your current life path?
My whole life I’ve wanted to entertain people. For a long time I wasn’t sure how. Singing? Acting? Finally in eighth grade I did stand up for a talent show. It was good enough to miss three classes the next day to do three more assemblies. When I realized being funny could get you out of work, it was a wrap.
Who do you depend on for support in your life and who depends on you?
I depend on my parents so much. They’re my everything. Everything I do is to make them proud. Their love is what gives me the courage to do what I do. I hope my friends depend on me. I want to always be there for them the way they’ve always been there for me. I’m a very blessed person. I have a lot of beautiful and amazing people who have my back.
What brings you the most pleasure in your life right now and how has that changed over the years?
Doing stand up full time and making people happy fills me with immense joy. Every job I’ve ever had I secretly hated except this one. It’s my calling. I think in previous years I ignored it and therefore wasn’t as happy. This is all I ever want to do with my life.
What did you want to be when you grew up and how different is that from where you are now?
I wanted to be a star. Whatever that meant. I’m more like a space substation you don’t really know about it but it’s up there. I’m close.
What’s your favorite southern saying?
It’s hotter than three rats fornicating in a wool sock behind the dryer. I normally use more colorful language.
Well, I Declare is a series that highlights Southern women and non-binary and trans Southerners making a difference.