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June 15, 2020 56 min
Episode #18 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. Listening notes: 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? 8:43 Fear 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 13:55 Details 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.” 37:30 Content 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. 46:09 Hosting 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: Instagram Twitter Resources: Fem Com Alex Hosts the Open Mic at Coles Lia Berman’s Open Mic at Logan Theater Joke Like a Girl Tig Notaro
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