Anjelah Johnson Knows the Way to San Jose . . .
By Paul Turse, a.k.a "Samurai Raider"
Raiderdrive-Bay Area Sports Drive & Entertainment
E-Mail: Samurai Raider
Former Pro cheerleader and Bay Area's SJ homegirl Anjelah Johnson opened Thursday evening, December 20, at the San Jose Improv, in downtown SJ, to a sold-out crowd of delighted patrons, who were regaled by the petite but dynamic comic possessing such charismatic charm and poise.
Like most standup comics, yeah, Anjelah is funny all right. Nevertheless, there is something more behind her quick and seemingly spontaneous wit, which draws audiences to her the way that a magician’s pendent mesmerizes a subject about to be hypnotized. Indeed, Anjelah does weave a comic spell over her audiences, but she does not have to lull them into accepting vulgarity or sexually-oriented humor as being the standard for standup routines. Her comedy won’t make audiences feel self-conscious nor make them feel conflicted by the use of off-color material, something many comedians find to be a convenient mode of soliciting laughter. On the contrary, Anjelah’s colorful repertoire is material to which all audiences will be able to relate.
While many audiences might respond to such R-rated comedy, they do not always have a sustained rapport with the performer on a personal level. On the contrary, Anjelah, through her skillfully crafted characterizations and use of ethnicity, builds a bond with her fans by creating true-to-life scenarios and mini-slices of life. These are vignettes that audiences can relate to because they themselves have lived through many of the same situations that she presents, and they have known and met those same zany but very real people she imitates, whether it be their own families, friends, hairdressers, or simply a few chance encounters with strangers.
And yet, behind each character that Anjelah creates, whether it be a pickup artist, a Mexican mom, a teeny-bopper, or the notorious Tammy, the Nail Girl, it is her own dynamic personality that shines through because no matter what character she plays, she is always, in her unique way, Anjelah, first and foremost. To say that her comedy is family-oriented is true, not only in the G-rated comedy she produces, but also in the way that she makes audiences bond with her and with each other. When spectators are in her house, they don’t feel like an audience but rather like one big harmonious family as they laugh at Anjelah and perhaps in some small way at themselves as they recognize a little of their own personalities in the characters Anjelah brings to life on the stage.
Although Anjelah will be giving her final performance to a sold-out crowd tomorrow night, December 23, 2007, at the Improv, you can be sure that her career will not end there. In fact, you will be able to see more of her as a new-cast member of MadTV, and if it is in the stars, she will one day find her way back home to her family in Bay Area's San Jose.
Coming soon: There is much more to Anjelah Johnson than the performance side of her life. While many have seen the comical side of Anjelah, not all have seen the spiritual side of this outstanding young talent. So be sure to watch for an up close and personal interview with Bay Area's SJ down-to-earth homegirl by Paul Turse (Samurai Raider), Contributing Writer, Raiderdrive.com/Bayareasportsdrive.com.
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