Many people ask me how I first got started doing standup comedy, and I tend to answer differently every time.
It’s easiest just to say I grew up in LA near a lot of comedy clubs, so it was a typical thing to fall into.
So that’s not totally the truth. In LA, it’s not as if they’re just plucking kids from their homes and putting them on a stage somewhere.
I was 16, and those clubs were typically 21+, which meant I always felt a bit strange and out of place trying to sign up for a mic. It took me awhile to get over this and to actually start going regularly.
How did I get interested in standup comedy? It was a combination of watching Last Comic Standing in middle school and seeing the movie Funny People right when I was looking to pick up a new hobby. (For awhile I’d been a sub-5’ basketball enthusiast, but soon I realized that, given my height, I’d hit a ceiling(?) in this sport. It was time to find a new pastime.)
Being demographically different as a standup comedian can be both good and bad. More times than not, I’m the only female comedian on the lineup or the only Asian American comedian on the lineup or the only teenage comedian on the lineup. This can be a negative thing because there is a general consensus that I probably won’t be funny, or I’ll use my identity as a crutch. However, the positive side comes when you can surprise the audience with actually funny jokes. They tend to be even more entertained when they don’t expect to be in the first place.
I’ve been performing for about 3 years now. Though I haven’t been pursuing it full time like I should, due to high school/college (blah education blah), it has still remained my passion and something that I plan to pursue after I graduate college.
In short, I don’t even know if I can say how I got started doing this. Perhaps I’m still starting. It’s such a long, personal, growing process that I can’t pinpoint one moment as the beginning of it all.
But, obviously, it’s great. I couldn’t have chosen a better thing in which to invest my life.