“If you can’t stop talking, and everyone you know personally is tired of hearing your sh*t, get on a stage and tell the most intimate details of your life to a room full of strangers.” -Hillary Wells
For my inaugural blog post, I thought I’d talk a little bit about comedy and what got me into it.
The bio is true. I moved to Minnesota because my boyfriend’s job was here and I worked from home (aka I was portable). Well… let me back track a little.
I came to visit him and never left. It was extremely early on in our relationship. But I’m a spontaneous mad woman and I felt like I wanted a change. So when he said he didn’t really want me to leave, I was like “OKAY COOL SOUNDS GREAT THIS IS HEALTHY.”
Fast forward to me working from home in a new state where I know no one, having no way to really meet new people, and finding out it snows in April. Like… a lot. Top that with my boyfriend’s increased business travel, and you have a cute little ice cream sundae that tastes like depression and leaves your stomach feeling emptier than it did before. The things we do for love, right?
So here I am, in my mid-twenties, thinking I found everything only to feel more lost than I ever have. (Don’t believe what anyone tells you, kids. Your twenties are a decade-long existential crisis.)
At this point, looking for any reason to get tf out of the house, I sign up for improv classes. I’d studied film acting in my late teens-early twenties and loved it, so I figured this was right up my alley.
At the same time, I start trying to network. “I’ll get a local job that anchors me even more to this frozen tundra,” I thought in a moment of clear misjudgment and great despair. To make this long story short, I’ll tell you that I had what I thought was a networking breakfast with someone locally influential, only for him to end up pulling my true calling out of me in the span of an hour. It went something like this “I want to know what’s going to make you proud of your obituary and I don’t want to hear a job title. What do you want to leave people with?” “What an easy question,” said no one ever. So I did some momentary emotional digging and said “I think the things my family miss the most about me when I’m not around are my humor and my empathy. I like making people feel better and I think I use humor to lighten the mood and de-stigmatize things people otherwise feel too ashamed to talk about.” Then he said “okay, now what can you do with that?”
I started writing a funny phrase book for someone I knew who was going through a difficult time and was having trouble with the constant questions about it. It was my way of saying “here are a bunch of responses I’ve pre-written for you so you don’t have to fight off tears as you come up with one on the spot.” They were funny and weird and rude and I drew little illustrations for each one. Writing it sent me into a fever pitch. I was obsessed and couldn’t wait to pull off my grand surprise of making a final hand-bound copy and sending this person a gift that would help them laugh about something they only cried about and know that someone truly cared.
Then I lost it. And thanks to Budget rent-a-car of Dallas, I never got it back.
While I still find this upsetting, I was now left with a burning desire to make people happier, and a new question: “What now?”
Then a little voice inside me said, “I think I’m gonna try standup.”