Her dad once worked as Blackbeard at Pirate’s Cove mini Putt-Putt golf course, meaning that he would dress up as a pirate and entertain people while they were mini golfing.
History of abuse
She has talked about experiencing sexual and physical abuse from a former boyfriend, further adding that after the two broke up he had asked her to never speak about the abuse so that he could maintain his reputation.
Growing up, I was a huge Jim Carrey and Robin Williams fan, so I knew the whole Mrs. Doubtfire movie, and definitely all of Ace Ventura. So those were my life. I would say those two–I just really wanted to be funny, so I would often impersonate them.
I didn’t get to do a gig because I got fired, and it kind of ruined me because I am a perfectionist overachiever. But they told me, ‘We were thinking you’d be more like Bill Cosby.’ Um, I’m 25 and white…and a girl. They just kept asking for a rewrite of my transcript, and I would edit out things that they considered dirty and then edit more things they considered dirty, and then finally, on my last draft–it was a high tea, and I wrote this joke: “Ladies, we’re here to eat some tiny sandwiches. Just sit back, relax and take comfort in knowing that the crock pot’s off, your sister’s at home and the kids are dead. You shouldn’t have left them with your sister.” And then they wrote back, ‘Yeah, ...
I didn't set out with a plan or specific style in mind, I just wrote, and it came out of me fairly deadpan. Then as the years passed, I grew closer and closer to my own personality, which is a little more lively. I would say the style is inspired by Robin Williams, Jimmy Carrey, Maria Bamford, and from doing Speech (the Humorous Interpretation category) in high school.
I’ve definitely seen some crazy shit. I saw this one show where a guy goes up and somehow picks himself up in a plastic garbage bag. It was so upsetting. I’ve also seen a guy in L.A. jump up and land on thumbtacks. Someone from Chicago, Ian Abramson, did sort of break the mold of a stand-up comic—he found himself performing on Conan, and he did his bit where he wears a shock collar.
In Chicago, I was able to make a good amount of money doing standup, and I managed my friend’s coffee shop a couple days a week, and lived above it. So that was my jam there. Then I moved to LA thinking that I would be able to sort of just have one job and be okay, but that’s not the case. So I was working for a coffee shop for a while but my last day was September 1st, 2012. After Conan, I was able to book some things where I knew I would be able to take care of rent, and that was enough for me to get out of the service industry. I’d been doing the day job so long, I realized, ‘I really can’t do this anymore.’ So right now, I’m just doing standup, and I also took on a job with Doejo, the co...
I don’t know if I necessarily felt voiceless at the time, but in some ways I was. With my stepmother, I couldn’t go, “Hey, are you drinking and driving right now? What’s in the cup?” I’m just buckled in the backseat, making my sisters laugh by fake-humping her from behind. Was it my way of processing it? I think so. Things with her were awkward, and I usually search for times where I was put in a weird position and try to make it funny.
I’m 100 percent okay with it. For a while it was like, I don’t want to be a Moth person. Not like that’s bad, but the Moth is usually looking for one-offs from humans that have one incredible, life-changing story. But comedy’s evolved and there’s something for everybody, and more than ever, my people kind of find me. Of course, in a comedy club, you have a lot of seats to fill. I’m popular in some markets more than others, and so I can feel when it’s like 30-70, 50-50, 80-20 my people.
I put stuff in my act about that because it is how I process or deal with something — I felt like it was out of my nature to not talk about it. But ironically, I had to force myself. It would make my hands shake and I would often put one hand in my armpit. I had a lot of support. I had loved ones say, “It was difficult to watch, but I’m glad you’re okay talking about it.” Then I went to a healing-trauma program in Tennessee called Onsite and worked through a lot of this. You don’t leave these places cured, you just take steps in the right direction. But one of the takeaways was: Some things are sacred. Your life doesn’t have to be an open book. It just took someone telling me, “You don’t hav...