Author of Undercover Business Woman
Undercover Business Woman by Angel Starks
As far back as I can remember I’ve felt that I had the gift of loving people and making them love me simply by being me. It helped that I was a tiny little thing, all dolled up by my stylist and my grandmother Earnestine. Madear as we fondly call her, kept me ‘on point’.
I was a miniature ‘little lady’: well spoken, well behaved and polite were all the ingredients that made me a child celebrity within the small Arkansas town where I lived.
I remember feeling sick one day when I was about five. Madear dressed me in pearly white ruffle socks, shiny black shoes and a blue and white plaid dress that had a huge lacey collar. The outfit was completed by my head full of curls which had been rolled the night before with pieces of a brown paper bag. (We did what we had to by then which is why I KNOW there is NO reason women should be lacking in the beauty department. Use what you have!)
As we walked through the town to the doctor’s office people stopped us and asked me my name, my age and then proceeded to label me the most precious thing they had ever seen!
I was full of confidence at this early age but my grandmother kept me humbled by reminding me that if I acted ugly I’d be ugly no matter how cute I was. I was taught to have respect for others, treat folks the way I wanted to be treated but to also don’t let nobody make a fool out of me. Madear said if I didn’t respect myself, no one else would either.
So I was polite, loving, helped others, made my opinions known and did my school work. I think that’s acting cute because I continued to hold the title she is so cute and such a little lady til this day.
We never made it to the doctor that day because as luck would have it, the town grocery store allowed the photographer Olan Mills to set up his photo booth in the back of the store to take pictures of families and babies!
The photographer offered to take my pictures for free saying I was the most well behaved three-year-old he had ever seen in a grocery store and he loved my dress. (I was 5, but since the pictures were going to be free neither my grandmother nor I felt the need to correct him.)
That experience was my first memory of a professional photo shoot and I was in love! People came and stood around to watch me perform in front of the camera. I felt better and no longer felt the need to go to the doctor – lol!
I was healed by the love of people!
I have always loved talking to people and would sit on my grandmother’s lap with a peppermint in my mouth, sucking my middle finger with my head tucked in her ample bosom listening to all the town’s gossip. I suspect this is where I received my gift for gab.
I continued to take in all the life lessons that where given to me and as and young adult I began my life. When my first born –a son, came along I began to work in retail because of my love for fashion and people. I also opened my own small hair braiding shop as a second income so I could provide a more comfortable and quality filled life for me and my son.
As an entrepreneur, I felt powerful and as I made a living doing what I wanted to do, how I wanted to do it. It was addictive and felt instinctual. However, soon my second child – a baby girl, came and I had to ‘step up my game’ and work harder. In addition to my braid shop, I began to take on other jobs.
Soon I was modeling, but when an opportunity came that required me to leave my babies for eight weeks I simply couldn’t bear to be apart from them. This wasn’t the first time I’d had to turn down a job because of travel so I made the decision to stop modeling and in 2009 began doing standup comedy.
Although I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, I inherited this crazy, wild and funny personality from my mom and my late father. I was dared to get on stage at Morty’s Comedy Joint and the people loved me as much as I loved making them laugh. People who did not know me were ‘giving me life’. I won the contest four weeks in a row! I say if you want to know if you’re good at something, just ask a strangers. Family and friends my not tell you the truth because they love you and don’t want to hurt you, but strangers – yea they’d love to throw a beer bottle at you from the audience!
I began doing private events and the money was good, but I didn’t have a fan base. That would take time and commitment. Today, I am a full time traveling comedienne.
Labor Day 2015 I will begin my first comedy tour. I was invited to ‘The Devil Show is Bizzy’ tour by some great comics. If an opportunity is not offered to me, I find a way to make one for myself. I am self-encouraged, self-motivated and self-confident.
It took years of hard work, learning my worth and finding my gift and power over the human mind. It takes more than a heckler to break my spirit!
I am here to heal my brothers and sisters through laughter!
I am The First Lady of Comedy – Angel Starks…