My Relationship With Comedy

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My timehop app reminded me that a year ago today our show, The Sneak Around Bunch, was premiering at The Second City.

For eight weeks we had a run on the ETC stage and we performed a newish show every Monday, trying out new material and polishing the old stuff. Even while it was happening I knew it was one of those times I would look back on with a smile on my face and think man, that was really cool. And I was right. I will always remember those eight weeks as a really great time in my life.

It's fun to be a with a group of like minded performers and artists, all fresh faced and full of optimism at the start of such an unknown career.

We'd joke about the famous Second City members who had come before us, their names scribbled on the wall, leaving behind terrible yet hilarious advice. "One of us has to make it. And this is where it all starts," we said one night before a show (or maybe every night before a show.) And I remember looking around and knowing it was true. Although our version of "making it" would be different for everyone.

Here I am backstage with Aidy Bryant's face on my face. Not creepy at all.

In one year since our run has been over I've seen my cast mates perform in solo shows, houseco shows, real Chicago theater productions, and jump on cruise ships to perform all over the world. It's pretty cool to say the least.

And I... well I'm still walking around with Aidy Bryant's face on my face. Jk jk. But in all honestly I have had a bit of a rocky relationship with comedy in the last year. But what comedian hasn't? That's what this world is all about. No one gets into comedy because they're stable.

I stepped away from improv because I needed a breather. And then I went to New York for a standup comedy festival and saw what my future could be and it made me question everything. Did I want to spend the next 10 + years hitting different clubs every single night? Because that's what they say; it takes every good comedian at least ten years. And that's if you're good. Then what? You go on tour and perform in random clubs and colleges staying night after night in a different hotel. Did I really want that life?

Honestly? No. Not one bit. I need my Harlow, Chris, and couch at least 3-4 times per week.

So I wanted to be done with it. What's the point of pursuing something you don't want to go after?

But I was hosting an open mic every week so I couldn't just walk away. I still had to write new material and get up on stage and interact with an audience. So I kept at it, just a little bit, but I was doing something.

And as it turns out, I needed that. I took a few weeks off around Christmas last year and I missed it. I missed the thrill of telling a new joke that hits. I missed being on stage. I missed the audience. I missed comedy.

So almost one year since my brief run at Second City I've found a good place with it all. It's a hobby to me now. I'm not actively pursuing it like I was a year ago, but I'm not ready to just let it go either. However that being said, I am actively pursuing about 100 other things in the comedy realm, but they're off the stage, more on pad and paper. For now...

And I also cracked and sent in a submission clip for the New York fest again. It's a long shot that I'll get in, but I couldn't help myself. New York in October is too much fun. And now to end with a photo of me with bangs and my stupid stage face.

Life is short, sometimes you just have to do what makes you happy and not care so much about where it leads. Even if that means wearing a shirt with jeweled cut-outs on the shoulders.


  1. Girl. If you come back to NYC I owe you at least another slice of pizza.

  2. St. Louis has a really cool up and coming comedy scene. There is a late night talk "show" that is being made into a TV show called STL Up Late. There is also a monthly-ish show called "Stupid Brain" that features local and national improv/stand up comedy. Come to St. Louis and check out our scene (or see if you can get in on the next Stupid Brain show). I'm not in any classes, I'm just a lover of local comedy.

  3. I think you needed to do it. I think sometimes we have to do things in order to figure out what we SHOULD do with our lives. and i have a stong feeling that pad and paper is the jey.

  4. I'd love to see you perform stand up! Let your readers know if you get invited back to NY for that one ;)

  5. I can't wait to see your pad and paper comedy! Do you girlie!

  6. Ahh... what life is all about - figuring out where we want to be & how to get there! As long as you're having fun with it, that's what matters!

  7. That is awesome! I didn't know that you did comedy. So cool. The hubby & I LOVE going to comedy shows & I have a friend that does it mostly in the Twin Cities but once in awhile he goes down by you, his name is Zach Keyzer. He's worked with Daniel Tosh & told me some great stories about that guy. Ha!

    Good luck on the NYC thing, that would be the bestest thing ever. :)

    Mandie ~

  8. I'm glad you haven't given up on it completely. Thanks for the update! I was wondering what you were up to in comedy these days.

  9. Taylor -- same same same same same same SAME! I, too, have had a tumultuous relationship with comedy, and it has ultimately caused me to come to some similar conclusions. It's so tough to let go of the thrill of potentially "making it" in the world of standup or improv. I mean, basically everyone I admire is a comedian on some level, so sometimes I feel like doing anything else is the same as giving up on my dreams. But honestly, going to comedy clubs every night, staying up until 4 AM, never seeing my hubs -- it just isn't a sustainable life for me. So for now, I'm keeping comedy in a nice little hobby box. It's tough, but it's the best move for me right now. So anyway, thanks so much for writing this because it's just good to know that someone else is dealing with this same exact thing. And just so you're hilarious, brilliant, and no matter where you are -- on your blog, on the pages of a book, or on a stage -- you are a comedian.

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