Moms, comedians Tracey Tee and Shayna Ferm know you’re overworked, overtired and seriously need a break. They also know that some of you haven’t been out of the house without the kiddos in about a hundred years, which is why they’re coming to town to give you night off on Wednesday at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.
The two mothers of young children have been friends since eighth grade. After college, they moved to opposite coasts and reconnected when they both moved to Denver.
“A few play dates in, I remember we had wrangled all the kids, and for some reason we wound up at a Chili’s after being at a park,” Tee said. “We kind of got to talking and Shayna’s like, ‘You know, I’m reading all these listservs in my local mommy group, and people are freaking out. One woman’s freaking out because she wasn’t sure her house was baby-proofed enough, and this other woman was freaking out because her kid ate a un-organic cracker, and I keep thinking people need a night out.’”
And so the Pump and Dump Show was born. Tee said they started out in a small bar in northwest Denver and were surprised at the turnout.
“The first time we were there, 75 people showed up out of nowhere,” she said. “The second month, we walked in and the manager was wide-eyed. He goes: ‘People have been calling all day long – there’s groups of 15 moms that want reserved seats here . We’re a bar, we don’t have reserved seats!’”
The two moved to a bigger venue in downtown Denver and performed sold-out shows once a month for about a year and a half and added a second show at a second venue.
“Eventually, word got around. People would start hearing about us from other states, asking us to come,” Tee said. “We decided to travel, and now we’re on our fifth national tour.”
Tee said the show incorporates songs and games, and as they enter, audience members are asked to write down the craziest thing their kids have done and turn it in. The two pick some to share with the rest of the audience. Tee said these have proved so popular, they are the basis of the duo’s book, “Parentally Incorrect: True Tales by Real Moms About the F**ked Up Things Their Kids Have Done.”
And for the two comedians, the shows are also about celebrating mothers, Tee said.
“Our whole mission is just to spread humor and generosity and remind moms that they’re doing the best they can, that this (stuff) is hard and that we’re all in it together. And that’s really the main theme of the show,” she said. “But then we just laugh at the things that are just completely messed up and ridiculous about parenting that we all have in common.”
Tee said there are more common truths among mothers than not: They’re all in the same boat.
“We’ve wiped butts, we’ve all cleaned up puke, we’ve all been sleep-deprived, we all worry,” she said. “We always say, it doesn’t matter if you’ve eaten your own placenta or if you’ve never even tried a cloth diaper, it doesn’t matter; we’re still doing the same things, essentially. I think sometimes we forget that because there’s so much information now, and everybody’s an expert and you start to question yourself.
“I think what we do is sort of release the pressure gauge,” Tee said. “We’re not parenting experts, we don’t pretend to be, we don’t want to be. We just kind of let it go a little bit.”