Pastor De’Rain Irvin is a local cleric at the Hope Aglow Ministries in Woodbridge, Virginia. She is also an educator in the Prince William County Public Schools system. Her notoriety is fast becoming the talk of the community and area comedy circuits. In a recent interview, I talked with Pastor Irvin to find out how she balances career, the clergy and comedy.
You’re known locally, how are you balancing your career as educator, pastor, and comedienne?
God has taken me through many valleys and over many mountains to be where I am today. I praise God that I am living out my dream. I am thankful and grateful. God has empowered me to uplift and encourage men, women, and children. I am living my blessed life. To God be the glory!
How did you get started doing comedy?
Growing up in South Philadelphia, comedy was a way for me to make people laugh. I grew up on welfare; there wasn’t a lot to laugh about so I did what I could to make people laugh. I was raised by a strong single mother; and she taught me that I could be anything I wanted to be and have a better life.
I was in middle school when I realized that I had the gift to make people laugh. I used to pull pranks and tell jokes and my classmates would laugh. I’d sit back in my chair and like I didn’t know what was going on.
Would you say your style of comedy is observational?
Yes, I would. In fact, I believe all comedy is observational in some way or another. It’s just what it is. I have the gift to see humor in a situation that is not ordinarily funny. Even at some funerals I’ve done, I’ve injected humor and it helped the bereaved family.
What’s the inspiration for creating your material?
I like to make people laugh. I don’t like to disappoint people. At a young age, I developed a desire not to let people down. I wanted to please my mother and make her proud of me. To some degree, I still have that desire for those who are in authority over me.
What does the acronym “DIVA” mean?
When I joined Hope Aglow Empowerment Church in Woodbridge, VA, my undercover comedy routine continued. I used humor while teaching Bible Study, preaching, or as an MC.
One day, one of the members of the church said, “I really enjoyed that Minister DIVA.” The ironic thing was I always considered myself a Diva but when he called me Minister DIVA, literally a lightbulb went off. I began referring to myself as Minister DIVA and so did members of our church. DIVA stands for Divine, Inspirational, Very Fine and A Crazy Thang.
Do you think comedy is at a good place with especially with the pandemic going on?
Yes, I do. Right now, we need comedy to deal with the pandemic and anything that can make people laugh and see situations from a different perspective and deal with difficult times in their lives, I think is a good thing. I think comedy is especially needed right now.
What would be your view on how comedy influences our society; do you think it has a lasting effect – positive or negative?
Since comedy is purposeful, it can go either way, positive or negative. I think it depends on the comedic intent. I believe that the comedy I perform has a positive effect on people.
Pastor Irvin, thank you so much for your time. You are an inspiration. God bless you.
Follow Pastor De’Rain Irvin on Facebook at De’Rain F. Irvin | Facebook and visit her website: 3n1ministries.com