Meet Valerie Jean Garduno, the supermodel stand-up comic
EARLIER THIS YEAR, I observed something so rare in nature, I’m pretty sure that what I actually saw was its genesis: I saw a former runway model perform stand-up comedy.
I had gone to Gotham Comedy Club to see a new talent showcase, and the second comic to take the stage started her set by telling us that she was a former model. I wasn’t sure I’d heard it right. But I had.
Valerie Jean Garduno got her start in modeling at 16, and a year later she moved to Paris to walk the runway, dripping in designers like Valentino, Dior and Calvin Klein. She had done 18 to 20 shows in each city—Paris, Milan, New York—each season, but as time went on and the work and the industry changed, she decided that she didn’t want to live on airplanes only to land and do work that wasn’t intellectually challenging.
“In modeling, no one really cares about your point of view,” she says. The time had come to start anew.
A few years ago, as she searched for a new life path,Valerie took a class for sitcom acting on camera. A classmate suggested she try stand-up, and a year later, Valerie took the stage for the first time. She’s been at it ever since, and April 12, she’ll be bringing humor to an important cause—a benefit for Families Affected by Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer.