Brittany Brave, 31, is a Miami comedian, actress, writer, host and activist who uses comedy as a way to share her experiences, raise awareness and make others laugh. A survivor of domestic violence and two abortions, she centers most of her material on her vulnerability and past experiences.
“I’ve always loved comedy, and how I spoke about my past abusive relationship ended up making people laugh,” she said. “As sad as it was, using comedy to cope was not only brutal but also my way out.”
Recently named Miami New Times Best Comedian of 2021, Brave is a rare combination: a regular in Miami’s comedy scene and an activist for women’s rights. Appearing on outlets including TBS, MTV, Sirius XM and The Wendy Williams Show, she currently stars in “The Disastrous Dating Life of Diane Damone,” a new show on Tubi and Roku.
Being an advocate for the women’s reproductive rights movement and having gone through two abortions, she founded Cat Call, a platform for women’s leadership, progress and camaraderie.
“For someone so small in person she is a giant on stage,” said Joe Cahill, a friend of Brave. “There are performances where she leans into real issues (domestic violence, women’s rights, mass shootings) and you get to see her as a philosopher and a vessel for the truth.”
Born in Belleville, New Jersey to second-generation Italian immigrants, Brave had a conventional, joyful childhood. After moving to Miami at three months old, she grew up in Kendall and attended Felix Varela Senior High. Brave was class president all four years as well as a member of the drama club. She prioritized getting good grades, building a career and following a traditional path.
She graduated from the University of Florida in theater and public relations in 2013. Shortly after at 22, she was hired at Columbia Records in New York City. She was still doing improv and sketch comedy while working there and eventually decided to go “all in” on her comedy career after trying stand-up for the first time in 2018.
“When I made the decision to do comedy and essentially branch off to do something that’s ‘against the grain,’ it was almost like a release for me,” she recalls.
Although Brave often thinks about why she didn’t get into stand-up earlier in life, she believes that she wouldn’t have had much to offer. “I came to stand-up after I had been through some sht, and actually had something to say,” she said.
In her mid-20’s, Brave was in an abusive relationship with an older man whom she met while working in the music industry. “It took a lot of time for me to identify myself as a victim, or see the reality of what was happening,” she stated, adding that she didn’t want to disclose further details.
Having been through a physical, mental and verbally abusive relationship, Brave is no stranger to trauma and opens up about her painful past experiences within her comedy.
“The things that I wanted to talk about in my stand-up and what feels the most real to me happen to be the really dark, traumatic experiences I’ve gone through,” she stated. “I just think that people appreciate comedians that are real.”
She openly talks about her two abortions, explaining she believes in transparency –especially in her comedy. Although it is a way of coping, she realized along the way that she isn’t the only one who’s gone through such experiences. “I’ve had girls come up to me after my set and tell me how they can relate to some of my darker material,” she stated.
This realization led her to continue developing an informal networking group she began in 2015. “Cat Call” was initially designed for women in the music industry, but she later decided to widen the organization’s scope. It is now a platform for women to genuinely form bonds, camaraderie and network. In addition, it includes all female content and events, as well as provides women with job and networking opportunities.
Due to the recent challenge of Roe v. Wade, Brave felt both an urgency to do something and a sense of helplessness. In response, she’s planning on creating an event via “Cat Call” (@wearecatcall on Instagram) which will provide entertainment, panel discussions and information sessions on ways to help the women’s reproductive rights movement.
Brave has not only used her platform to deliver comedic entertainment but has also spoken about her past experiences in hope of helping and relating to others.
“She’s not just there to get a laugh, she’s there to help heal,” stated Anna Lipman, Brave’s intimacy coach and good friend, in a recent interview.
When asked about her biggest accomplishments, Brave responded, “I truly believe it’s in the everyday moments. I’ve had people come up to me after a set and say they’ve had a terrible day and weren’t going to come to the show, and they then thank me for turning it around. I’ve had people say I inspired them to start stand-up, and these comments are way bigger than selling out a comedy club. It’s why the good comedians do it.”