Photography by Benedict Evans. Styling by Alison Brooks. Hair & Makeup: Maureen Burke for Exclusive Artists Management using Sisley Paris and R + Co Hair Care.
There are few anecdotes from her life that comedian Cameron Esposito keeps offstage. Just two days before she wed her partner, Rhea Butcher, in December, she filmed a stand-up show in her native Chicago, welcoming the sizable audience to her "bachelor party," as she called it. Topics included everything from menstruation to becoming physically ill the moment she got her marriage license.
"If I were a smarter person, I would have spaced it all out so I wasn't so exhausted," says the 34-year-old Esposito, whose one-hour special, Marriage Material, aired on NBC's new streaming service Seeso in March. But, she adds, "It's a great gift to be able to talk about my life as if it's normal."
Raised in a conservative household, Esposito attended a Catholic college-prep high school and then enrolled at Boston College, a Jesuit university in Chestnut Hill, Mass., where she supplemented rugby with improv classes. It was seeing the first gay couples marry in Massachusetts shortly after she graduated in 2004 that made her realize the importance of being open about her sexual orientation in her routine. "I'm really part of this first generation of comics that can begin their careers talking about being out," she says. "My life is not only being gay in gay spaces. My life is being gay in the world."
Now Esposito lives in Los Angeles, where she's embraced a new calling: acting. She recently made her movie debut in Mother's Day alongside Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston; her Seeso half-hour comedy with Butcher, Take My Wife, premieres this summer; and she's developing a pilot for FX. And next? "If Hillary Clinton isn't the first female president, I'll be doing that," she says. "Just give me 20 years."
Check out Esposito's upcoming shows across the country.
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