Jorgy Cruz’s “Funny Pains” will be available On Demand on Monday.
The film, which features a surfeit of comedians, follows stand-up comedian Wendi Starling, whose career, working process and life are closely examined in the film, as she navigates one of the entertainment’s toughest, most competitive professions – all during the height of the #MeToo movement, feminism, and the infiltration of stand-up comedy by the politically correct. Above all else, the film delves into serious issues of sexual assault and mental health, with Starling revealing her not-so-private personal traumas.
We’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. Can you tell me how long of a journey it’s been for you?
It’s been almost 5 years since we started, a long journey that really paid off. I’m very proud and happy with the film that we have.
What made Wendi such a compelling feature subject?
Wendi caught my attention so much that I decided to quit working on fiction and do documentaries. We met at a comedy show where she just murdered the crowd, I mean every single word she said landed perfectly, all of this while she was severely sleep-deprived, broke and had only been living in NYC for a few months. Along with her bigger than life energy and presence, her material was like nothing I had ever seen, I’m a huge stand-up comedy fan, almost a snob, and her material was so unique. The way she translated tragedy into comedy, and I mean tragedy! Horrible things that had happened in her life became bits that would floor you, just masterfully crafted material that will disarm any difficult subject.
Was she, at any time, unsure about opening up too much to the camera?
Oh no, Wendi is an open book on and off stage, she never resisted to any questions, and never set any boundaries for me, those boundaries I had to create myself which became an important task for me as the director, you have to be careful about where you could take your subject once you start going deep into questions.
Could you relate to her journey – if so, how?
110%. Wendi is a hard worker and a true comic, she loves and respects her craft almost to a fault, just how I feel about filmmaking. She will not stop until she can fulfill all of her dreams, no matter what life throws her way, she keeps going. I try to do the same every day, just keep going, do the work and you’ll get there.
I wanted to finally ask you about the music in the movie. Who are we hearing?
One of the coolest things about making this film is that I intentionally brought in close friends that are beyond talented to work with me from production to the music. We have two singer/songwriters involved in the movie, Juango Davalos, a Brooklyn-based artist, and Diego Cepeda with his musical project The Living Room, who resides in Spain at the moment and it’s also a fellow filmmaker and started his career working with me back in the day.
We got a chance to receive an Exclusive Clip from Funny Pains, check it out!