Keith Price is a comedian, actor and a walking/talking encyclopedia of everything noteworthy in the entertainment world. He’s also an interviewer extraordinaire, who is now the host and executive producer of his podcast Keith Price’s Curtain Call. With his effervescent and charming personality, he’s been granted interviews with everyone from Glenda Jackson to Michael Feinstein to Jessica Lange. Plus, this out and proud entrepreneur is a contributing guest theatre critic on NY1’s Onstage television show. In one-word Keith is Fabulocity.
Keith, it was a few years back when we first met and I was a guest on your Sirius XM OutQ radio show. When that gig ended, how did your career morph into what it is today?
Well, when we met, I had just started working in radio, but I had been a comedian the whole time. After the 10-year gig ended, I did what everyone else did. I started a podcast and continued doing gigs. I also started writing more, thanks to the political climate of the last few years. The pandemic has curtailed so much of the live energy a comedian really needs to thrive, but the show will and must go on.
What was it like growing up black and gay in Texas?
Not to completely poo-poo the Texas of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, but It was a challenge. Imagine trying to craft this dazzling personality under those constraints? It’s sooooooo much easier for the kids today. I loved growing up in Galveston. Waking up to the sounds of the waves is a gift that you do not recognize until you trade it for the Bright Lights of NYC.
When did you realize you wanted/needed to move to NYC?
I was born in Brooklyn, and I was kidnapped, I mean, moved to Galveston when I was 6. So, the minute the moving van pulled up to our new home, I realized right then and there that I needed to move back. I often think of how different my life would have been if I had been able to stay in Brooklyn. Would I have been a Fresh Air kid? Could I have gotten into the Stage Door Summer Theater Camp? Would I have gotten to see all the Broadway shows that lived only in my cast albums and movie soundtrack collection? Would I have actually become a doctor? Would I have still been a comedian? How gay would I have become? I have so many questions.
I know you are working on the 3rd installment of your one man show, Ebony Chunky Love, how is that coming along? And what can we expect in this show, which is different from the other two?
Yes, I am still working on it. It really is hard to develop something like this, when you have to rely on virtual energy. Because my style of comedy has been more semi-autobiographical storytelling than set up and punch style, crafting it under these current times is a bigger challenge.
Well, the first installment was Ebony Chunky Love: Bitch Can’t Get A Date, which became the subject of an award winning documentary. It was a comedic quest to find out why I was still single. The second installment, Ebony Chunky Love: Heartaches and Hard Ons, focused on some of the stuff that I was going through at the time, like finding a constructive way to deal with my parents’ passing, some experiences with the dates that I got after the first installment, and what I learned from them. In the 3rd Installment of the Ebony Chunky Love series, subtitle TBA, so far it is set within the boundaries of a global pandemic and political upheaval, while still being middle aged, black, and gay.
You’ve interviewed a dazzling amount of celebrities ranging from Chita Rivera to Joel Grey to Kristin Chenoweth…does anyone stand out as the most intimidating?
So far, I have not been “intimidated” by anyone, per se, but I have been nervous AF (as the kids say) when meeting those legends. Because I am such a huge fan, especially of the theater folks, I have to make sure to do diligent research along with my knowledge base as a fan. I don’t come across as too crazed, but I also have to be me. Also, my approach is that I genuinely adore them because of their craftwork, so to have a conversation about whatever they are doing is really a bonus. The best part is that the inner fanboy is doing cartwheels, because I just had a moment with (insert legend name here).
Who was the most surprising?
Naomi Kakuk. She is a triple threat that I met on the red carpet for the Chita Rivera Awards in 2019. At that moment, when I started to interview her on the red carpet, we talked about her career, and as she was telling me her story, and I realized that she and I had met almost 15 years prior. We were both trapped on the subway underground during the Blackout of 2004. We had to walk through that gross tunnel to get to the surface. When she said that she had worked with Susan Stroman in THE PRODUCERS, and this is a testament to the impact of people of color on Broadway, combined with being knowledgeable as a fan, I remembered her as the only Asian- American dancer in the ensemble of THE PRODUCERS. She happened to be on her way to the show that night when we were trapped. We reunited on that red carpet, the perfect surprise.
Does your career take you to far-flung places?
Well, if you call Florida and Poughkeepsie far flung then sure, however there are places that I would love to play. Right before the pandemic, I was negotiating gigs for cruises, and my dreams of working a Bear Cruise to Mexico was dashed to bits. I would love to do a Vacaya Resort or Cruise as things get back to a new normal.
Any advice for anyone out there wanting to get up on stage and make people laugh?
Know yourself. Know what YOU find funny. Keep it honest.