August Show Dates!

I have some exciting standup dates coming up in August! Come hear me say a lot of the same words in different locations. How many new hair colors will I debut this month? Let's find out!

More information to come!

On Comedy Coven, Alienation & Authenticity

I had an emotional experience at the most recent Comedy Coven show and, like any millennial without access to a therapist, took to Facebook to post some late-night thoughts on the feelings of frustration that fueled us in our angsty early stages, only to gradually give way to gratitude. The response to this post was straight-up heartwarming and made me feel even more supported and heard, so I've reposted the text here:

Okay, a few things. First of all, thank you to everyone who attended Comedy Coven SWEET XVI: Just Desserts tonight and to everyone who makes what we do possible. To close the show, I gave a lengthy, emotional, and hopefully funny speech about the strong foundation we've been able to build thanks to our audiences, our comics (Michael, Will,Sarah Jean, and Heather all absolutely killed it tonight), and folks like Dylan, Jeana-Dee, Julia, Andy, Dan, and Marites who have offered unwavering support for all of our weirdo creative ventures. For me, and probably for Stephanie and Tricia too, comedy is, at its core, about being vulnerable, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have access to a space in which I am free to explore the heaviness of trauma, queerness, and alienation through silly jokes about pop culture and junk food.

It was pretty surreal, after getting as emotionally raw as I've ever gotten during a comedy performance, to hop on my bike and catch an Against Me show just a few blocks away. Suddenly I found myself in a totally different, but similarly safe and welcoming, space. This time, I was part of the audience--in this case, a screaming, sweating, crying, tangled mass of largely queer and certainly alienated people. I thought of the tragic Orlando shooting and how, in the aftermath, many folks in the community spoke of the idea of sanctuary, and of the importance of spaces that make room for mutual acceptance among members of a marginalized group. That message didn't entirely click with me until tonight, when it hit me that I'd been given the privilege of this back-to-back safe space experience--this strange sanctuary double feature.

As I said onstage tonight, Comedy Coven has become a primary source of positivity in my life, but it was originally borne out of anger, alienation, and feelings of exclusion; that was our impetus. No matter what successes we achieve moving forward, that motion will likely always be driven by an undercurrent of angst and agitation (which has as much to do with who we are as individuals as with the identity we've formed as a group). But that fighting spirit is something I'm glad to have, because it allows for rawness and vulnerability onstage as well as in our personal lives. It allows us to be genuine, and I hope that that translates to a powerful and connective experience for our audience. That's the effect that we're going for. Because walking is still honest.

When Against Me took the stage for their encore, Laura told us, her audience, that we made her "feel safe and welcome." Of the many things I learned tonight (Fruity Pebbles make for excellent milkshakes! My posture is pretty terrible! Comedy Coven's crowd takes Solange very seriously!), the most resonant lesson was that we all have the right to seek out spaces in which we feel safe and welcome, and the responsibility to help create those spaces for others. Honesty and vulnerability are powerful tools. And Comedy Coven has shown me so many ways to use them.

Again, I am so thankful to our audience, our support crew, one of my favorite bands, and my best friends for leaving a lasting impact on my memory and my heart. I will never forget that night.

Welcome!

Hello hello! Thank you for checking out my little site and its even littler accompanying blog. Eventually, this will become the space where I announce upcoming shows, drop news about my writing and publishing endeavors, post links to whatever content I find meaningful, and maybe even unload an opinion or two. But for today, this is where I talk about myself, which is one of the most simultaneously exhilarating and mortifying things for me to do.

If you already read my about page, you know that I’m a writer, standup comic, and founding member of Comedy Coven. If you’ve seen me onstage, you know that I’m softspoken, introspective, pop culture savvy, and deeply traumatized. And if you know me in real life, I just want to say that I’m sorry (but also, you know that I am an overzealous empath, a hyper-attentive dog mom, and an impassioned Real Simple subscriber).

Describing yourself is an unsettling process because it’s so heavily contextual. Right now I’m poring through Emily V. Gordon’s Super You: Releasing Your Inner Superhero with a fast-moving pen and a notebook specifically designated for the cause (did I mention I’m an unabashed self-help guy?), and in doing so, have been forced to answer a lot of questions about how I choose to brand myself when meeting new people. Sure, it makes me feel like a manipulative serial killer, but at the end of the day, we’re all selective about what information we offer to whom and when. Everyone’s trying to make an impression, and only a statistically tiny portion of us is trying to bake that impression into a cannibalistic pie.

For example, right now I’m putting out applications here and there for part-time day jobs to supplement the hours I put in as a receptionist at an animal welfare non-profit. When I describe myself in that context, I’m only worth as much as my WPM, Excel proficiency, and customer service skills (I’m extremely wishy-washy and conflict-averse but, when yelled at, am really good at waiting until I get home to cry; in my mind, this constitutes a “customer service skill”). It can be kind of degrading to view myself in that way, but it’s not dishonest.

As another example—and one that sounds like a flimsy segue in my standup act to boot—I’m a single lady. These days, that’s by choice, but at one point in my not-so-distant past, I’d go on first dates and find myself in one coffee shop or another, blathering at length about my upbringing, my passions, my secret fears and my hangups to some bemused person who, more likely than not, was just patiently waiting for the part where we bone. So sometimes I’m not terribly calculated about what I share with whom, which helps me feel better even if it’s hella embarrassing in retrospect.

Now you know a little bit about me than you did before, and just like after first dates or job interviews, I feel the need to take a shower to cleanse myself from the humiliation of oversharing. But please check back soon so that I can do it some more, because my water bill’s not high enough already from all of the crying in the bathtub and feeling dirty constantly.

Until next time,

Emily