If you're looking for Almost Pretty, Kelli's second and most recent comedy CD, add a "2" to the end of the URL you are currently viewing. Thanks!
About Kelli (the short version)
Kelli Dunham is not your typical houseboating-dwelling, skateboard riding, ex-nun-on-the-run dyke comic and "I am NOT a 12 Year Old Boy" is not your typical comedy CD.
Kelli, who longs to discover she is the love child of Chris Farley and Eddie Izzard, is gently edgy in her comedic observations about life on the run from overzealous (and not very observant) truancy police, her convent misadventures and growing up baby dyke in a very very red state.
Kelli has shared the stage with Bitch and Animal, Doria Roberts, 35 Human, Sharon Katz and the Peace Train, Suede, Michele Balan, Jade Estrada Esteban, Pandora Scooter, Deidre Flint, the Royal Renegades, and even 90's pop icon Crystal Waters.
Kelli's stand-up, dances gently on the comedic edge, examining the contradictions in life, including her own.
About Kelli (the long version)
Kelli grew up near Hartford, Wisconsin ("Population 1547," she says, "if you count cows as equal to people, which, if you live in Hartford, Wisconsin-- you do").
When she was ten, Kelli informed her relatives she would no longer be going by "Kelli Sue," her given name. She explained to them they should refer to her as "Kelli Sam" instead, and to their credit, many of them complied. This was the same year she announced that as soon as she was old enough, she was going to get married...to her skateboard.
Perhaps it was no coincidence, then that when later that year Kelli's mother decided to move the family to Daytona Beach, Florida, she sent Kelli and her sister to a small, extremely conservative fundamentalist Christian school where the rulebook forbade-among other things-attendance at unwholesome movies, dancing, card-playing, and the wearing of flannel shirts by females. "Who do you think they were trying to weed out with that one?" Kelli asks. "Still," Kelli says with a sly grin, "I had a good time. We had small classes, the teachers seemed to really care. And of course, there was softball."
Kelli followed up her time at Podunk Christian Academy with attendance at Podunk Bible College in Oklahoma City where she studied English (and of course, the Bible) and for a short time was even engaged. "Talk about your close calls," Kelli says, "If someone wants me to tell 'em a scary story I always say 'I was 2 months away from being a preacher's wife in the Bible belt.' "
When she was done with school (not finished, just done) Kelli moved to Haiti where she developed recreational activities at a school for kids with disabilities until the school closed temporarily due to political problems.
With time on her hands, Kelli began volunteering at the Home for the Dying a few blocks away from the school. This is where Kelli met-and fell in love with-- the Missionaries of Charity. Hoping her crush would spend itself, Kelli volunteered with the Missionaries of Charity (or MCs as those on the inside track say) not only in Haiti, but also in Norristown, Pennsylvania and finally, Miami.
After four years, Kelli requested to become an MC and was told to report to their convent in the South Bronx for boot, uhh, um aspirancy, the first level of training.
Because she "had insufficient docility;" "too much self-esteem" and "walked like [her] shoulders were angry" (all direct quotes from the nuns) Kelli was held back in aspirancy for 12 months, the convent equivalent of flunking preschool six times. Kelli's time as an MC and the story of the ultimate demise of her religious vocation are chronicled in her spoken word one-woman show "Bad Habit."
When Kelli left the convent she moved to Philadelphia where she went back to school (she received her RN in 1998), joined a softball team (of course) and began a joyful life as a 28-year-old baby dyke.
Kelli, who lives with her two cats on a houseboat and regularly kayaks the Delaware River before breakfast, is amazed by her life. "I feel very lucky to have had so many good people cross my path," she continues, "and I feel doubly lucky to be able to spend time making people laugh, and -I hope-making folks think and drawing them closer to one another. I believe laughing is a revolutionary gesture, and laughing together is perhaps the greatest revolutionary gesture of all."
PS Don't forget-- I am NOT a 12 Year Old Boy was recorded live at Joe Coffee, a fairly traded coffee shop at 11th and Walnut in Center City Philly. Fair trade means fair prices for family farmers, decent working and living conditions, environmentally friendly farming practices, and kick-ass taste. Check out fairtradecertified.org, or joecoffeebar.com for more info.