Shawn Hollenbach is a stand up comedian, improv actor and songwriter based in New York City. Shawn is the producer of Closet Cases, a Critics’ Pick from Time Out NY and a Homo Must in HX Magazine. He is also a co-producer of the Back Room and The Skip and Sparkle Variety Show at Ochi’s Lounge at Comix.

1.  How did you get started in comedy?
I started almost 6 years ago. I always wanted to do it but was afraid. I did improv for a few years and stand up seemed to be a natural progression!

2. I heard you hosted the Staten Island Pride parade. How was it?
Staten Island Pride was a lot of fun. This was only the 5th Annual SI Pride and everyone there was so excited and proud, it was really refreshing. I heard that it’s growing every year!

3.  Last month, you organized the first Miss Fag Hag Pageant.  How were you able to pull off a big event on a shoestring budget?
It was A LOT of favors. From the amazing talent like Hedda Lettuce, Michael Musto, Kathleen Fitzgerald and Hedda Lettuce to Comix being so supportive and having a fabulous director, Adolpho Blaire who can do a lot with virtually nothing.

4. Do you have any financial advice for people moving into a big city from a small town?
Just know what you’re getting into, especially when going out. A Bud Light in the city is often times $6, not $2. There are places in the city that have cheap drinks like Phoenix has $1 Draft Night on Wednesdays.

5. You live in Upper Upper Upper West side (Washington Heights). Have you tried to negotiate lower rent from your landlord?
I haven’t actually. I came in the middle of the existing lease and it’s really affordable. I wish I had a better story. I negotiated for an iPod cord on Canal Street last night. I won that battle, $20! Is that even a deal?

6. If you could no longer afford to live in New York, where you go?
EEK! Hush your mouth! I would try to live in New Jersey, first. But if that doesn’t work out, I’d move to a smaller city like Chicago or Harrisburg, PA *weeps in hands*.

7. When you were a kid, did you get an allowance?  What would you buy?
I didn’t get an allowance, we weren’t the richest family around. I had to get a job when I was 15. I bought my first car, my first pair of contact lenses and a lot of Bum Equipment shirts.

8. What is the one personal item that you always splurge on?
Is alcohol a personal item?

9. What is one thing that you feel is always overpriced?
Alcohol.

10. If money can’t buy happiness, what can it buy?
Alcohol.


Read other Queercents interviews in the Ten Money Questions archive.