Kate Willett's debut comedy album, Glass Gutter, covers topics ranging from feminism to conspiracy theories to polyamorous clowns.
Among many other accomplishments, Willett has toured with Margaret Cho, been featured on "This is Not Happening" on Comedy Central, and been named a top "Artist to Watch in 2016" by SF Weekly.
Windy City Times: What are you most excited about with the new album?
Kate Willett: There's not a ton of comedy albums by young women … and I'm excited for there to be more content out there that young women will be able to relate to and say, "Hey, here are some things I recognize form my own life that I haven't seen represented in this medium before."
WCT: Why that title?
KW: There's so much stuff in this album that's about things that really aren't okay to talk about, but it was part of what I was trying to do … [to] talk about the specific way things aren't okay for women to talk about because of this "glass gutter perception" that somehow women can't be gross.
WCT: Have you received negative reactions to your feminist and other liberal views? How do you handle that?
KW: I definitely have gotten a lot of negative reactions; I try to just shake it off. You want a certain amount of negative reactions because if I go to Portland or San Francisco it's just preaching to the choir, so sometimes if you go somewhere where there is more diversity of views you may get more boosbut you may also get the chance to change someone's mind which is more exciting.
WCT: Was your decision to discuss your bisexuality toward the end of your set intentional?
KW: No, it was not intentionally put at the end. I think that the crowd I was performing in was familiar with my comedy and familiar with me as a person...
In terms of my material about my sexuality, the past few years of my life I have been in a lot of relationships with guys, and before that I was in a seven year relationship with a woman, and I think heterosexuality and my experiences dating guys I've been talking about a little more recently because it's what's been happening in my life, but in some of my newer work, I am digging into what it was like to be a queer teenager and what was like to get gay married and get gay divorced after that [and many other things like that].
It's definitely a direction I want to take more strongly in my comedy in the future.
WCT: How do you feel about the term "bisexual?"
KW: I guess I'm bisexual because I feel emotionally and sexually attracted to both women and men, but honestly I'm the kind of person that's mostly attracted to the person I'm with.
I feel like I prefer the term "queer" because it sort of acknowledges, like, "Hey ya know there's just something about me that's different than the normative assumption that everyone is straight."
I don't fit that template but I don't like feeling like in order for me to be able to identify as something or not that it has to be like 50/50 because it never is.
It's a lot of the time like 100 percent who I'm in love with at the time.
WCT: Do you find your audiences relate more to heterosexual stories?
KW: No. It depends. Honestly probably some of the reasons I haven't written as much about dating women is because [I focus on] times I have been really appalled in relationships and there is so much baggage around heterosexuality and the way women and men have been taught to behave in relationships and so much of my comedy is about this thing happened and how do I make sense of it, and I haven't found that happening as much with women because there is less societal pressure to take on certain roles.
WCT: What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?
KW: Getting to work with Margaret [Cho], she's one of my heroes….
Also, getting to go a lot of places in the country and perform comedy, everywhere from New York City to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and get to know people from so many different kinds of backgrounds has been really neat and definitely has taught me a lot as a person about how different and how individual people are everywhere.
I guess what I mean by that is that growing up in the coast you could get an idea of what the South or Midwest is like, but there are progressive people everywhere, there are gay people everywhere, there are feminists everywhere. It's been great to connect with people from all over the country.
Kate Willett's Debut album, Glass Gutter, was released through Audible Comedy and is available through outlets like iTunes and Amazon.