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"He has such a warm personality that it just radiates throughout the space. He's created a safe environment for us to try new things out."
Greg Walloch, a comedian, on Price in a TimeOut New York article.
Keith Price was born in New York City on April 20, 1966. He is a comedian, actor, writer, producer, and also a medical clerk. He is a self described "black man born in New York City, growing up in Texas, moving back to New York because Texas was not the answer, hunny" (taken from his documentary). In addition to being black he is also part Honduran and grew up speaking Spanish as well as English.
He is the subject of the documentary Ebony Chunky Love: Bitch Can't Get A Date! which is about the personal and professional troubles of a gay African-American comedian. Directed by Lonnie Renteria, the documentary uses clips from Price's act, interviews, and scholarly commentary to explore issues of popular culture, class, and racism in the gay community.
While attending the University of Texas in Austin as a pre-med major he realized his true calling while watching the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson: "There was a guy on the show. I don't even remember his name but he sucked! He got up on national television and he sucked. So I thought to myself, 'Maybe I really can do this.'" ( "Eyes on Price")
Price enrolled in a stand-up-comedy course (twice) and started performing in his hometown of Austin while also working as a unit clerk. Price finally landed in New York City where he performed a string of jobs, including DJ, bouncer, janitor, housemother, MC and a janitor at a local strip club. He finally got his big break when the folks at the Wonderbar. They opened the Starlight and offered Price a hosting opportunity.
In addition to producing Starlight Revue and other local shows, Price has performed at other places including the Gay Pride and college circuits, Caroline's on Broadway and the Gotham Comedy Club. He serves as the producer, host, booker of many shows, and uses his love of laughter to combine both nationally recognized comedians and talented fresh new faces in comedy. Comics that have done Keith's shows have been featured on NBC's Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central's Premium Blend, Late Show with David Letterman Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, LOGO's OUTLAUGH, major films and television, as well as major comedy clubs and comedy festival's around the world.
From being a comedian to being an on-air personality at Sirius Radio, Price believes that "sharing laughter is the easiest thing to do that can help people," according to his biography on ComedyDaddy.com. This sense of humor is helpful when dealing with a particularly huge issue in his life: racism. This is just one of the issues that his documentary, Ebony Chunky Love: Bitch Can't Get A Date! tackles. In the 2007 film "The Pretty Comedy of Keith Price," Price says this about how the documentary came about:
"Lonnie Renteria, the film's director, and I met in Montreal a few years ago. He was a scholar working on his master's at the time. Now he is on his way to finishing his Ph. D. We had become fast friends, so when I did my one-man show [Ebony Chunky Love] I sent him a copy of it. He and his colleagues watched it together with a few glasses of Chardonnay. They socially deconstructed my show, because for some reason scholars don't play Pictionary. Lonnie was looking to do something different for himself, and the next you know I am the subject of a documentary."
Lonnie Renteria is a college professor at the Art Institute of Seattle whose areas of study include Modern Languages, French-Canadian Drama, Performance and Film. Dr. Mako Fitts, an assistant professor of Sociology at Seattle University and affiliate faculty in the Global African Studies and Womens' Studies Programs is one of the speakers in the film. She is an authority on race and ethnic relations, gender inequality, cultural studies, and community mobilization specifically using hip hop as a tool for social justice activism.
Dr. Gary Kinte Perry also appears and is a sociology professor and affiliate with the Global African Studies and Women's Studies programs at Seattle University. His areas of interest are: urban sociology, education polices & practices and U.S. labor history & movements. He has published writings on racism in higher education and authored commentary for the Freedom Socialist and the Association of Black Sociologists. He is currently working on a project regarding urban gentrification in Seattle with Dr. Mako Fitts. Veteran entertainment reporter and actor, Bobby Rivers speaks in the film as well. Through the film, Renteria discusses the history of African American gay man portrayed in entertainment and in everyday life. The three speakers contribute their opinions and viewpoints about racism in the gay community, body image and aesthetics in the entertainment industry among other introspective topics.
In the documentary Dr. Fitts calls Price a "trailblazer" in how American society is presented with images of homosexuality, gay relationships, of African-Americans, of male on male intimacy . In his act Price talks about his life experiences with "such casual candor" that "no matter how many times he's discussed it, Keith has the ability to charm and connect to an audience, straight or gay, the laughter is present." (Bambi Weavil in a film review on OUTImpact.com).
Ebony Chunky Love debuted at the North West Film Forum in Seattle, Wash. Since then, Price and Renteria have traveled to the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst in Amherst, Mass., the Langston Hughes Film Festival in Seattle, Wash., and the John Hopkins Film Festival in Baltimore, Md.