Born and raised in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, with a BA and MA from Columbia College Chicago, Erica Watson is an actor, stand-up comedian at clubs around the country, and film/television director. She is a St. Thomas the Apostle Elementary School alum (where Bryant Gumbel and Steve Allen attended), as well The Chicago Children’s Choir and The Merit School of Music. She currently stars in the short film “BlacKorea” and has appeared in the Oscar nominated film “Precious,” “ChiRaq,” “Top Five,” and “Side Effects” following starring in the feature film “Dirty Laundry.” She has also been featured on TLC’s Big Sexy, The Dr. Phil Show, The Oxygen Network, The WE Channel, Black Entertainment (BET), MSG-TV, You & Me This Morning, The TV Guide Network and is a recurring correspondent for “Windy City Live,” and “The Jam.” Watson is also a blogger for the Huffington Post.
Up next you can see her in “The Chi” on Showtime created by Emmy winner Lena Waithe. She has also been featured on the NBC drama “Chicago Fire” and “Empire” a FOX drama directed by Lee Daniels. Watson was featured in two Gracie Award-winning commercials that she wrote for the Oxygen Network called “Tresstify” and “Kiss & Tell;” as well as a recent guest star on TV One’s sitcom “Love That Girl” and featured on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,”
Erica was a commentator and pundit for six Black Entertainment (BET) specials, including “Shining Stars: BET Awards Nominee Special” (2010) “They Like Me: BET Awards Nominee Special” and “Top 12 BET Award Show Moments” (both in June 2009); “Countdown to 2009: BET Year in Review” (December 2008); “I Wanna Thank My Momma: BET Awards Nominee Special” (June 2008); “The Evolution of Mary J. Blige” (March 2008); and “The Evolution of Jay-Z” (April 2008). Additionally, Watson is a recurring politics and pop culture panelist on the BETJ talk show “My Two Cents;” and director of the reality TV Series “My Model Looks Better Than Your Model” on the BETJ Network.
Erica’s 1 woman show “Fat Bitch!” was a 2010 Black Theater Alliance Award Nominee, and was curated at The Brooklyn Museum as a part of Target First Saturdays in October 2010. Since then, her show has toured the country and is a favorite in every city that she visits. Watson starred in the “Broadway in Chicago” production of “Love, Loss and What I Wore” and went on to star in the final cast in New York off-broadway under the guidance of Nora & Delia Ephron as well as with The Delaware Theater Company. She was also chosen by the prestigious NBC Diversity Program to receive a full scholarship to study with the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC.
ABOUT ‘FAT BITCH’
“Fat Bitch” is a funny and thought-provoking look at how society’s obsession with weight, race and class have formed the way the world perceives Erica. Via her interactions with men from the boardroom to the bedroom, she engages with historical images such as “Mammy” and the “Hottentot Venus” to show how the past haunts the future. These stereotypes continue to influence modern day images of black women. Written and performed as a combination of theatre and stand-up comedy, “Fat Bitch!” responds to how black women and their bodies have always been subjected to sexualized admiration and ridicule.
Through personal vignettes, anecdotes and video clips, “Fat Bitch” offers a humorous and honest glimpse at the American “fat and sassy” black woman racial stereotype. By being fat and sassy in meaningful and honest ways, she ridicules stereotypes, exposing them for what they are and showing how they relate to other images found in the media that impact on her self-esteem. For example, she pokes fun at PETA’s recent “Save the Whales” billboard campaign aimed at overweight women, ridicule the current national “war on obesity” and critique the recent controversy surrounding President Obama’s nomination of a plus-sized black woman for Surgeon General. Put plainly “Fat Bitch” targets society’s racial, gender, class and body prejudices through a comedic performance.
Whoopi Goldberg’s “The Spook Show”, Richard Pryor’s “Live on the Sunset Strip”, Dick Gregory’s “Nigger” , Sandra Berhard’s “Im Still Here….Damn It!”, Karen Finley’s “We Keep Our Victims Ready”, Annie Sprinkle’s “Public Cervix Announcement”, Anna Deavere Smith’s “Fires in the Mirror”, Sarah Jone’s “Bridge and Tunnel”.
GET IN THE GAME:
THE Single Girls’ Playbook to Building A Dream Team and Winning A Championship Ring
Have you ever had a friend that’s single and lonely and is always telling you how to run your love life? Well, meet Erica Watson… she’s that friend! She knows you… you’re a confident, sexy, successful woman living your dreams, except you’re always single! You’ve been playing by the ‘rules of love’ with no success. You’ve been sitting on the sidelines waiting to get some playing time… but you’re never called off the bench. “Why are so many women single?” WOMEN SIMPLY DON’T KNOW HOW TO DATE.
The GET IN THE GAME podcast is here to help women to create a winning strategy for The Game of Love.
The critical key to every single woman playing the game is that she should be dating AT LEAST FIVE MEN at one time.
Hosted by a standup comedienne who has been a student of human nature and been every guys’ best friend and every girls’ gal pal. She’s seen first-hand the way men operate in their relationships and takes a humorous look at dating strategies to assist single women in their pursuit of The Dream Team and The Championship Ring. Because after all, whether you know it or not, all women have been a player on some other man’s team. So there’s no time like the present to… GET IN THE GAME!
The Huffington Post
“Her delivery of narrative paradigms that are scarcely acknowledged in the public arena are flawlessly delivered with gentle but outspoken candor. Watson’s performance style is reminiscent of stand-up comedy with as she wields well-chosen vernacular cusses and directly addresses the audience, but her style is inherently gracious and respectful of basic human dignity…an element not usually seen in stand-up.”
“In this ferociously intelligent one-person show, Watson deconstructs and obliterates the stereotype that’s imprisoned her throughout her adult life by transforming herself into Super Mammy and flying from one appalling memory to the next.”
— The Chicago Reader
“Erica Watson is a big personality. Intelligent, intuitive and immensely entertaining.”
— Rolling Out Magazine