The Baltimore comedy factory is a place where people of all ages can learn, perform, and collaborate.
And it’s where some of the biggest names in hip-hop are coming from.
BuzzFeed News sat down with comedian and Baltimore-based hip-hippy star, Kimberly Clark.
BuzzFeed reporter Samira Ali spoke to Clark about her new book, The Big Picture: The Story Behind the Hip-hop Story, which is now available for pre-order.
What do you do at the Baltimore comedy studio?
I do comedy, mostly.
I’m also the host of the show ‘Comedians, Politicians, and Hip-Hippy’ and have been doing it for almost 10 years.
It’s one of my favourite shows.
You are the face of the industry, and it’s a huge privilege to be a part of that.
So, to be able to come here, you would think it would be like the big Hollywood studio.
But it’s really a community-based experience.
What’s the most surprising thing that you’ve learned from working at the factory?
That when you come in here, people can be so welcoming and open.
I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything like it.
The other thing that I think is really exciting is that they are always open.
There’s always a little something going on, or a guest coming in and going, ‘I want to come in, I want to see how your show is,’ or something like that.
People are always so accepting.
What does the experience look like?
I think they have a really great idea of what they want to do.
They are really supportive and always have a great time.
When I first got here, I didn’t think I was going to get much.
I didn I think I would just get a gig?
I mean, it was hard to get a job.
But I just found out that I was the one who got my start at this place.
What was the hardest thing to get through?
The hardest thing was that I had to start over.
That’s a lot of pressure.
You’re starting over, and that’s a real big challenge.
I think it was one of the most challenging things to do, because it’s such a young, new industry, but I think you just have to do your best to learn and adapt and grow.
How has your work been received?
I don´t know that anyone is really surprised by what I do.
I was actually surprised by how the community reacted to me, and I think that it was really exciting to see.
It was like, ‘This is how we like to work together,’ and I didn´t even think about it that way.
But people really wanted to know what it is I was doing here, and so they were so welcoming, and they were really open.
How do you feel about the fact that people in the community are still learning and growing as hip-hoppers?
It was a really positive thing.
They were welcoming, it’s very open.
And they were just very supportive.
Thats really great.
I love that.
I like that people are willing to embrace this new way of doing things, and to do what they do.
It just shows how open it is.
What is the most exciting thing about working at this facility?
What I really enjoy is being able to do this work and just show people how to do their own thing.
I can really make it fun for the audience, and people can really enjoy it.
So many people are getting really good at it.
You have to keep up with new stuff, but it’s fun to keep learning.
What are some of your favorite moments at the studio?
My favorite moment is when the director and producer come in.
They come in with this idea and then they come in and show the people what they are doing, and then it just builds.
And then they go back to the writers, and the actors, and you see them all learning together.
So much of it is learning.
I would say my favorite moment was when the crew comes in.
That is when I started doing my own thing, so they are the crew, but the staff is my family, and this is what I want.
It´s a really nice, relaxed atmosphere.
When they come back, they want more.
What other projects are you working on?
I’m really excited about doing the show with ‘The Big Picture’ about Baltimore, because that´s my home, so that really helps me get my feet wet in a new city.
I also am working on a documentary, ‘Big Picture: Baltimore’ that will be released this year.
Is that something that you’re currently working on, with ‘Big Pimpin’?
I am really excited to do the documentary.
I am a big fan of Big Pimping, so I would like to do that