Speaking of Standup
Guest: Alex Kumin – Have you ever wanted to do standup comedy? I have, so I did. I was lucky to get Alex Kumin, one of Chicago’s hottest comics, as my teacher, and I will just say this – I hit the jackpot! Alex is the host at Cole’s Open Mic and her timing is impeccable. I have never been more terrified when I did my first standup, but Alex’s training and her ability to build a community with her students made it easier. I did standup to be brave and to remind myself to be braver in the things I already do well. What are you doing to be brave? Take a listen to my badass friend and comic Alex Kumin – she will make you want to go do something brave, or funny.
1:14 Girl crushing on Alex Kumin!
1:42 Using comedy to empower women
2:30 Standup is terrifying
2:50 “Fear is often a good marker of stuff we need to look at.”
3:35 “Just the act of being alone on a stage and a whole room of people looking at you is not what we have been taught to do.”
4:00 Fem Com
5:00 My standup story
6:35 I only want to perform in front of a produced audience!
7:20 The community that Alex builds
8:00 Do you still have an accountability partner?
9:30 Callback – when you forget something how do you get around it?
10:13 “Sometimes you have to think with two brains when you are up there.”
11:33 “Standup is all about process and practice.”
12:16 The Joke Tree
14:24 On the corner of Happy & Healthy
15:38 Word economy
16:18 “It’s also about the creation of release of tension.”
16:43 The Amazon coat
18:32 The process of standup
19:30 “We just have to get out of our own way.”
20:30 Alex is a boxer!
20:43 I think standup makes people cooler.
21:16 “It’s a brave act.”
22:10 When did you know you were funny?
23:34 “Silence is so important in comedy.”
24:10 “Tig Notaro is one of my favorite comics.”
24:30 Wanda Sykes jokes
25:06 Who were your comedian heroes growing up?
25:59 When did you decide to make comedy a go?
29:19 90% of open mics are men
32:08 Level 2 – everyone in the room is a teacher
32:50 “Since teaching the class, I’ve become a better comic because I know the mechanics better.”
33:58 I wrote my first set in the backseat of our car on our way to Cleveland.
34:47 The simple act of writing is healing
34:56 “Comedy is not therapy, but it’s therapeutic.”
35:12 Brené Brown
35:30 “Before you share a story you have to be okay with sharing it.”
35:55 Morning pages – getting it on paper
36:26 “You’re laughing because you connect – you’ve been there too.”
37:08 “You’re not in a place of fear when you’re laughing.”
38:38 Removal day
39:26 Who makes you laugh?
39:51 Do you and your boyfriend help each other with your jokes?
40:10 Where do you want to see your comedy go?
41:01 Seth Myers & John Mulaney
42:25 Who in your life makes you laugh?
42:42 “I had cancer when I was 21.”
43:31 “Shit happens in life. It’s messy and it can be scary.”
44:07 Have you ever used it (cancer) for comedy?
44:48 “Write what you know.”
46:02 If someone is willing to go out there and do something brave, we should have an audience to watch it.
46:35 “The thing about hosting is you have to get to know your audience.”
47:04 “It’s a two way street.”
47:45 The minute you make your audience your friend they want you to succeed.
47:50 “You made the right choice.”
48:13 Go-to jokes
49:37 The Oprah Winfrey Show pre-show warm-up
51:00 My improv story
53:40 Favorite season? TV series? Comedian?
54:08 Favorite part of the process?
54:15 Favorite thing about yourself?
Connect with Alex:
Alex Hosts the Open Mic at Coles
Lia Berman’s Open Mic at Logan Theater
Joke Like a Girl