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The duo behind Denver’s the Pump and Dump comedy show—which has sold out every one of its monthly shows for the last year—is extending the weekend celebration to include a Saturday night fling for moms. The “parentally incorrect comedy show,” is a wine-filled, truth-telling session about mamahood, and this weekend’s Mother’s Day eve performance will be followed by a “pump it” dance party. Colorado natives Shayna Ferm—a mother of two, actor and comedian—and MC Doula (Tracey Tee)—a mother, writer, and freelancer—sat down with us to chat about their Pump and Dump creation, the expectations of Mother’s Day, and why every mom needs a night out.
5280: How did the Pump and Dump come to fruition?
Ferm: I had just had my second kid. I was in the shower, which is rare solitude. I was thinking about the Highland Mommies website, which is pretty epic. There are thousands of women and it has been really useful moving here. But, at the same time, I thought, “These ladies just need a drink.” I had been looking for something to produce since moving back from New York City and I’d seen a place I’d like to perform at. That’s how I thought of the Pump and Dump. It’s a place where parents can go to talk about parenting and laugh about it. Now, I’m a mom-musician-comedian. If you would have told a younger me what I do now, I would have said, “Ew, I’m not going.”
5280: How would you describe the Pump and Dump?
Tee: It’s like the dark stepsister of the mommy blogs. We love mommy blogs, but we’re a little darker and like to laugh about it all. Like really belly-gut laugh. Our mission though is just to let everyone know that they’re an awesome mom, and that we are all doing the best we can. Of course, we all have what is right for us. At the end of the day, we forget to tell each other that we are doing a good job. The kids are still alive; they look well fed. That’s our main message. I think everyone is surprised by how funny the show really is. There is music, comedy, multimedia, and prizes.
Ferm: We always give away wine from the Mama’hood. We used to give away lots of other prizes, but we realized moms just want wine.
5280: There’s no buffer around the show’s topics, language, and indelicate performance. Have you ever had a mom get offended?
Ferm: Before the show, we keep it very casual and talk to everyone in the audience. There are card out on the tables that ask moms, “What’s the most f-ed up thing your kid did this week?” That kind of breaks the ice….And I’m like “Get ready.” That’s what going to happen. We aren’t raunchy to be funny. Being a mom is f-ed up and we’re going to talk about it. Usually the stiffies laugh the hardest.
Tee: So many moms don’t think they can’t say if their kid is f-ed up. Sometimes I look at my daughter and think that she is a little crazy drunk person. When we read the card anonymously at the end of the show, we get people yelling, “This is me.” Everyone applauds them.
5280: A weeknight show is tough for moms to break away to. What is the response from moms?
Tee: When moms come to the show, I thank them for coming—we know how tough it can be to get out. They’ll say, “Are you kidding me? Any excuse to get out is good.” The moms just need to get out.
Ferm: Our show is a great neutralizer. You have the moms who eat placentas and the moms who have never tried a cloth diaper. We are all in the same space laughing about the same things because we are all universally doing the best that we can. Every kind of mom gathers. Every kind of mom needs a night out.
5280: Is the show just for moms?
Tee: The show is sort of pink. But guys who come love it. Guys without kids love it. We definitely don’t man-bash. We don’t even kid-bash. We’re the jerks. We say the things you think at 8 p.m. when you are so tired or when you are starring at your kid who won’t eat their food. It’s good to laugh about it.
5280: You’ve each had a few Mother’s Days now. Has anything memorable happened?
Ferm: We had this party last year. My husband was so wasted that on Mother’s Day he was sick the whole day.
Tee: I have a big family and spend Mother’s Day with a lot of other mothers. It’s not this euphoric, relaxing day. I was on a conference call recently talking about Mother’s Day and this woman on the phone said she always ends up crying on Mother’s Day. I feel like Mother’s Day is like Valentine’s Day and New Year’s. The expectations are so high, and things never really work out.
Ferm: It’s never going to be about you when your kids are little.
Tee: And when they’re older, they don’t really care about you. Think about it, we were bad at Mother’s Day. Did you ever really go out of your way for our moms on Mother’s Day?
Ferm: No, but I probably got out of her way.
5280: If you could do anything on Mother’s Day, what would you be doing?
Tee: I told my husband exactly what I wanted. I want to be able to sleep in to 7:30 a.m. I want coffee ready and waiting. And, I want a variety of carbohydrates, freshly-baked and at my disposal. I want to eat several and then I want to eat in my garden. That’s all.
Ferm: Coffee when I wake-up would be it for me. I’d like a hotel room by myself, but that’s not going to happen. I remember one Mother’s Day when my husband and daughter walked into the bedroom with Starbucks in their hands. To me, that was the most thoughtful thing they could ever do. The fact that they left the house to be quiet and go get me coffee was perfect.
Mother’s Day Show and “Pump It” Dance Party Details
Saturday, May 10 at the Holiday Event Center in Highland. The pre-show Treat Yourself cocktail party starts at 6:30 p.m. before the 8 p.m. comedy show. Stay after for the “Pump It” dance party. VIP tickets are sold out, but general admission tickets are available here for $20.