B-Phlat aiming for sharp laughs at Helium
Beverly Perkins, known professionally as the “Baby Hair, Super Fresh” B-PHLAT, comes to the Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., on Sunday.
The St. Louis native moved to Philadelphia in 1992 to do graduate work in art administration at Drexel University. It was later that she found her true career path was in comedy after she left school and got a job in a law firm.
“I became the marketing director at the firm and eventually hosted the yearly retreats that were held in the Poconos for several firms that gathered there,” Perkins recalled.
“Everyone used to tell me how funny I was and maybe I ought to be in show business. By 1997, I took their advise, quit my job, and did a variety of things while trying to make ends meet and carve out a comedy career for myself,” she said.
Although it was tough going, Perkins said she had enough confidence in herself to keep trudging down that unknown and rocky path.
“Although growing up I was not the class clown and never thought of myself as particularly funny, I did have a lot of faith in myself. And I knew I didn’t want to work for somebody else, so I decided to run with this,” she said.
Along the way she acknowledges she hit some rough spots until 1998, when she was invited on an “unofficial USO tour to perform at various bases in Europe. Before then, I had mostly performed at open mic nights. But now I began to think maybe I really could make this work.”
And make it work she did. Over the years, she’s performed on TV Guide Channel’s “Stand-Up in Stilettos,” HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” and Showtime’s “Comics Without Borders.”
In 2009, she was showcased on several stages at the “Just For Laughs-Montreal Comedy Festival,” one of the world’s premiere comedy exhibitions. Her comedy concentrates on the funny side of her life, love and everything in between, which is how her newest one-woman show was born.
Combining all her musical talents — she plays five instruments — and lifelong experiences, “Sophisticated Ignorance” was developed, and is what audiences at the Helium Comedy Club will get to enjoy. This musical show delves into the origin of her name, and how being awakened by her mother and forced to play a musical instrument at 2 a.m. has shaped her comedy experience.
“I play the trumpet in the show, and along with the band, feature some old school music inspired by my mother,” Perkins said. “The show is basically dedicated to her, and truthfully, she’s the reason I am what I am today.”
For information, call (215) 496-9001.