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EP 9: Finding Your Voice with Tara Brown Comedy (Part 2)

Today we continue our conversation with the talented Tara Brown, who has carved out her space in the world of comedy through clean humor.

We spent time in the first part focusing on the role her faith plays in her routine, which we encourage you to check out. In this part, we expand on that to learn more about who inspires her, why we have to stay true to our own self to find our voice, and how we evolve as people and professionals.

Many of us need to find ways to laugh even in the darkest moments, and Tara has a unique perspective on how we do that.

Here’s some of what we discuss in this episode:
0:00 – Intro
2:26 – The accessibility of clean comedy
7:31 – Her comedic influences
9:31 – Finding your own voice
13:41 – How we evolve over time
17:07 – Laughing through tough times
20:01 – Coming up with material

Featured Keyword & Other Tags
Tara brown, comedy, faith, clean comedy, dave Chappelle, eddie murphy, voice

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Welcome to the catastrophic comeback podcast with American Injury Lawyer Clark speaks, helping you find hope, purpose and joy after a catastrophic injury.

So, so that makes it that reminds me, so, when I was, you know, when my kids are growing up, I would always just bring him wherever, like, in other words, the thing was, if you're going to invite me to something, you know, my kids are gonna be with me so, so if that's cool with you, and it's cool with me, so they've been to, you know, any kind of party that I go to, or whatever, or reset for reception or, and so, I've taken them everywhere. So so we went to, had to go to Cleveland for work, I don't know, 10 years ago. And so while I was there, I was like, Okay, let's see a show. They have cool shows have good shows to get good. And, and then there was a comedian, a couple of comedians performing, and I tried to do some research and figure it out. And there was no like, vulgarity warnings or anything. It was, it was right when Sebastian Galco Yes. Was was started, you know, and I'm like, Okay, well, you know, and I think I got to 14 and 15, and then nine year old, that's about right. And so he go as it was five years ago. And so we go, like, maybe they were a little younger, anyway, that we go to this show. And it was like a at seven o'clock, eight o'clock show. And then there's another one at like, nine or 10 Yeah, and I'm like, This is gonna be the first guy comes out, and He's great. He's a guy that you would probably recognize I kept his name, great, clean, it was good. And then Sebastian, who's a funny, funny guy, you know, it was great. But it was a kid.

He's not pretty kids, but he's hilarious.

The whole time. Like, you know, when I'm when I walk in, I'm thinking, is this the right? Because there's not another kid in the whole place, you know? And so, so anyway, so it was fun. It was funny, he's a talented guy, not nothing at all. But But it's so nice to have an option for kids. I mean, they love for you stuff. You know, parents want to be involved in there with their kids. You know, I want my kids with me every minute they can be with me and you know, and so, so I think that's a wonderful thing that you're that you're building there and I can see the effort that you're putting into not just participating in it, but building this as a, as a thing. In Charlotte and maybe the world. I'm

trying to thank you. And that means a lot that you say that it's my name is synonymous with that brand. And I wear that very proudly. Um, because I you know, there used to be it. I don't know if it still is, but there were people like oh, I don't think clean comedy is funny. And I was like nothing could be further from the truth. And it and clean is more profitable. If you think about over the years clean comedians, again, you can go into more spaces and you're more lost the word I was gonna say but you're more appealing to a lot of audiences and that's the thing I really like to I love that the people who I get to call I don't like say fans, but friends range, the ages I have, you know, people who are younger who like me, I like people older. Again, I play well in our timezone. So you know, you get people from different ethnicities, and I love that it was so funny. I had the amazing opportunity a couple of years ago to open for Theo von at Belk Theater in Charlotte, which was insanely crazy, you know, it's like, oh my gosh, that's so good. And it was funny. So when I was gone back to get my car after the show, and I'm getting ripped off and I see these people like oh my god, it's you and I'm like, Whoa, and I'm like, it felt weird. And I was like, okay, you know, but it's nice. So yeah, I mean, it's a good ride.

Well, so since have become familiar with you and your career, I have sort of been more open and more observant of clean comedy as the thing. And I'd see. You know, Nate, Mark

Godsey Yeah, he's,

he's clean.

He is the Master. Yeah,

he's a clean and he's one of my favorites. Along with you. I noticed that a Seinfeld is is mostly clean. He's

mostly. Can we put a pin in this for a second? I want to go back to Nate Bugatti for a second because Absolutely. He did something that was so incredible. He sold out last year Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, and so happy for him that he did that. But what also it is it's saying that people love him. People love clean comedy. So that was so nice to see for him. So I Really, kudos to Nate Vargas. He's worked really hard. He's so funny. He does it so effortlessly, that it's just I got to see him. He was here in Charlotte. Last year and up until the tournament, I went by myself. And he I just laugh from the moment I sat down. So good. So happy to see, you know, good guys like that when? Well, so

let me ask you this, who are some of your influences? Because it's hard to be it is hard. Is it hard to when you're a pioneer in something? You're the first over the wall? Okay.

That is what you call me. I'm gonna put that on my business card. If he said that.

It seems like well, you know, growing up, we had clean comedy. We, you know, Cosby was, in my opinion was a clean comic. Yes, no. And then, and then I remember listening, my cousin comes in, he's got cassette tapes, and he's like, okay, as soon as soon as they go to bed, I gotta shake. And he plays Richard Pryor for me. And, you know, I love clean comedy, but oh my gosh, like the brilliance of the whole thing. And I'm there my

favorite jokes is a Richard Pryor joke that I could never repeat. But it's a favorite joke. So you're

just like, you know, so it was like opening this hole. And then it kind of progressed. From there. He got Eddie Murphy and some different and it and it seems like it goes down a direction, which is fun. And it's hilarious. And it's has its purpose. And it's wonderful in lots of different ways. But But it goes so far that way that now, the idea of clean comedy to me is original, unique, unusual, encouraging, inspiring. And, and to me, it's absolutely a pioneering thing when everybody else is going in one direction, and you stand up and you go, no, no, no, even if it cost me something. I'm going in this direction, because it's something I believe in, because it's something I want to provide for people who are underserved. That's pioneering as something can be in my opinion. It's interesting.

When I first started out, I started out with another comedian. And I remember we at want to a show, I can't remember who it was time. And she was talking to this comedian who workflow. And she says something along the lines about me, she goes, Yes, he she works clean. And she doesn't want to change who she is. And I said, Let me correct you. She will not change. Like, it's not like I'm just as like, you know, oh, this is better. Okay, I'll go here. It's like, No, this is this is what see what what you see is rich get his interesting thing about me. I like to tell people, I can take everything in its place. And just because I work clean doesn't mean that all of my comedic influences are clean. You mentioned Eddie Murphy. Eddie Murphy, to me is just brilliant. Like I used to love watching Eddie Murphy stand up for anyone. I mean, for everyone, he was the guy for me. So I have a tremendous amount of respect for his comedy career. But as I said, it ranges from Michael Jr. Great Christian comedian who is so funny. Another one who just he gets on that stage he does it so effortlessly. The other another thing I like about someone like Michael Jr. I'm not animated and my movements on stage. I'm just you know, telling you jokes like this. You hear people who are animated. So I love when I can watch a comedian, especially a clean comedian. Do just go out to a give you the material, just very straight face and it just delivers every time so Michael Jr. It's kind of on my Mount Rushmore of clean communities. Brian Regan, another clean comedian who is so funny. I watched him I got to see him to front row it though, which was great. He this was so brilliant on his part, he forgot one of his jokes. And he made a 10 minute joke about forgetting a joke and the best thing ever. And then I like people like Will Ferrell Will Ferrell I can sit down and watch a marathon Will Ferrell movies all day and I will be the happiest camper. Tina Fey Amy Poehler. So it ranges for me. So I like have a lot of different comedic influences for a lot of different reasons.

Well, so So there's two things that are interesting to me about what you just said. Lots of things. But one thing that strikes me is that authenticity becomes a very important component of comedy, which is interesting because in in as an attorney as a trial lawyer, I remember going to in the school, I went to, I went to school and my focus was on trials and trying cases and how to do that do that. And so, I had this professor, and we all kind of wanted to be like Perry Mason, you know, a man, you know, a big thundering voice, you know, and kind of and I grew up in the church like when the church was open. We were there not just like Sunday school, not to church for the, you know, Wednesday night,

Bible study Sunday

Vacation Bible School and so so so that's kind of those were the those pastors were kind of the, the, what I had in my head, well, this, this, this professor comes in. And she's like, very, it's a female. She's about my age now, mid 50s, very soft spoken. And she starts to tell the story completely unrelated to law or anything else she's telling about climbing Kilimanjaro 25 years ago, and I remember to this day, and she's very self spoke, can very deliberate. And she's kind of, you know, and by the, by the end of it, I'm like, looking around, and every single person in my whole class is leaning forward on the edge of their seat. And her at the end of it, she kind of wraps it up with, this is not about you imitating somebody that you've seen in a movie, or a pulpit, or on a in a courtroom. This is about you, finding your voice, who you are, and, and being honest, transparent, vulnerable and open. And, and I thought that was one of the most profound things that I've heard. And so it sounds like to me that you have a similar philosophy when it comes to your craft.

That's exactly right. Listen, the best comedians are the ones in my opinion, who can tell you stories about their lives. I can't replicate that, you know, if you I can't tell, like I have these experiences in my life that are only funny when I tell them, you can sell you know what I heard her say this, you can't deliver it the way that I could. But so that's what I kind of lean on and the authenticity of my life and the moments and it's funny, because I told my pharmacist, I made a joke about him. And he goes, Is it funny? And I said, if people laughed, and he said, Okay, you can keep telling it. So I told his joke. And it's like, I realized that no one could quite tell a joke the way I could. I just came back from the National Speakers Association Conference. And, you know, a theme, one of the things that I took away from it, is that exactly what you're saying is that we all have our own authentic and unique stories, and we shouldn't run away from it. You know, a lot of times, you can look at someone and say like, I want to be like that comedian, or that speaker and that lawyer even, it's just like, No, you just be you and be the best version of you and people that one of the highest compliments I get after a show is when someone comes up to me says you know what I can so relate to what you're saying. That, to me means everything. And we all know, when I first started doing comedy, I was talking to everybody like this, I'm talking really fast. I was so afraid to be on stage. And I was like, oh my god, I gotta get out of here pretty relaxed. I shouldn't be here, that and plus, I'm a New Yorker. So we just naturally talk fast. But then as I started getting comfortable, because the other piece of it is you get nervous when people aren't laughing when you first start. But as you start doing it, and to your point about the professor with her story, and you watch people lean in, you're like, it's okay that they're not laughing that every 10 seconds. They're listening to what I have to say. And that's the beauty when you see a Nate Bugatti or Dave Chappelle. Chappelle is masterful at that. storytelling. And to me, that's what I love the most about comedy is the ability to tell stories. And so, you know, I get to give you a glimpse of my life in this set to stories. And I love that.

Also you bring up Dave Chappelle. So what strikes me about Dave Chappelle who is, you know, you know, if you think about the brilliant comedians, social commentators have for generations, it might be Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle,

bass rock, even Chris Rock,

you know, Johnny Carson, Gary Sandlin, Jerry Seinfeld, some of these girls. But but but one thing that strikes me about Dave Chappelle is that he he seems to have changed when he went away and came back. He has much more social commentary and has a different it seems like he has, what do you think that's my observation? He seems like he has a different message. Can Can you change over time? How does that work? What does that look like when you know? And when you're responding to different things that happen in the world and you want to be able to say those things and maintain your authenticity and still be funny?

I? Yes, I respect anyone. who uses their platform to speak out about injustice and things that are just not right. And I think after a while when you see things happen for a number of years, you have no choice, but to kind of speak on it. And so to watch his comedy, I remember when he first started, and you know, watching him and it was more slapstick than anything, and to see what he's become. I think he's one of the most brilliant minds in comedy. And I think he makes no apologies for who he is. And no apologies for what he says. And I respect that tremendously. I also think he has gotten to a place from a stature standpoint, where it's not about the money, it's not about the fame is just this is how I feel. And this is what I'm going to say. And he finds a way to make it funny. And I think honestly, at this point, if you buy a ticket for a Dave Chappelle Show, or you watch a special, you know, what you're gonna get, you know, that you're not gonna go in there and laugh every 10 seconds, and that's okay. So again, you know, this has become his brand. And that's the thing about comedy, too. No one says it has to be the same thing all the time. So you can evolve, as I said, what I found five years in is that, you know, I became a different comedian. And when I first started, I was when I first started talking really fast. As I go went on, I became taught, I started talking about being a woman of a certain age, and let me come to me being okay, if they're not laughing, because I know they're listening, and that sort of thing. So I think it's more than okay to evolve into change and be different. And sometimes this is, life makes you that way, you know, you think about someone who's gone through something, you can't be the same, you know, if you, you start out maybe more on the silly side of things, but you have a life altering experience, say like a cancer diagnosis or something, it changes you and I think, how could it not?

So, so how do we let me ask you this? I sort of have always said, or have always thought, you know, nothing is really off limits in terms of, let's try to laugh about the situation, you know. And then doing what I do. Sometimes, there's just nothing funny about, yeah, child dying, you know, there's no, there's no, there's no redeeming comedic value in, in that it's just, it's just sad and heartbreaking. So how do you find ways to laugh through those types of situations

is really tricky. I mean, you have to, for sure, pick your moments and to know, things that you should say, Well, I didn't forget, I did a show with a couple of comedians. And it was right after Kobe Bryant died. And you know, everyone's just devastated. And it was just so tragic. What happened, and wanted to convenience thought it would be wise to make a Kobe Bryant joke about how he died. And the other comedian that just looks at each other, like, Is he serious? Like, I just thought that was the dumbest thing to do. And it wasn't even a funny joke, you know? And so I just couldn't think of what went in his head to make him think that that will be okay. Me personally, I don't find jokes about blasphemy funny. So when I see that I just I cringe a little bit. But, you know, as a creator, as a creative, I am not one to kind of chastise people about what they choose to do. It just would not be for me. Like I said, I don't think you find a way to make sickness and illness funny. I actually was a little put off, honestly, with COVID jokes. Because we people died. You know, people died about this. And so I didn't really find that stuff. Funny. It wasn't my cup of tea. So for me, I think what works also, is that I'm not controversial. I don't do hot button things. I don't talk politics. If I talk religion, it's, you know, it's more lighthearted. For instance, like, you know, as Christians were taught to, you know, you pray for people, and then sometimes I forget, and I feel, you know, that kind of things, but it's never anything. That's very hot button. So I don't have those types of issues. I remember I was working with a comedian once. And he did some really strong political jokes, which was very tricky. And he got into a back and forth with an audience member and that's like, this is not going to end well. Me personally, I can't walk that stuff back so I don't even touch it. You know?

Well, so So what kinds of things? So if you're going through your life, and you're going through your day with your pharmacists or lady in traffic or whatever, what are the kinds of things that you observe that you see? And how do you how do you come up with your material?

It really, again, it's like different things that happened to me. And I'll just start thinking, oh my gosh, that's funny. And I'll just start writing things down. And honestly, it literally is just life things. The thing that we're told a joke about the pharmacist is, like, one day, I was getting a check it out and get my prescription. And I said, I'm on a first name basis with him that goes so much that we're on a frequent basis. And so when I'm checking out, and in addition to get my prescriptions, I have a KitKat duo. And he says, you notice that he good for you. And so we're looking at here, Ernest, I feel like you're judging me wants to just go back there and put my diabetes medication. So you know, it's got so little stuff like that. So when it happened, and it really did happen. And so when it happened, I just thought, I gotta write this out. It was really funny. So just things like that. I just, I just write them down. So it literally is life observations that happened to

me. Well, that's, that is funny. I'll be laughing about that all day. So yeah, I'll tell the ducks three. And that's

why. So when I first did that, I want to joke about you. And because it was funny, I said, it's one of my good ones. And so, and just stuff like that. And then like another kind of funny thing that happened is I needed a ladder out of Walmart, I had to change my smoke detector battery. And I was going to Walmart to get a ladder, but the ladder was like $150, but I see a step stool, a two step step stool, and it was only like $28 but also on the step stool, it says wait capacity, 200 pounds. So I want to say I look at this stuff. So it looks carcass. So we think that's like a hard 200 or

so just overestimate. Exactly.

So you know, and but I'll tell you an interesting thing about that joke, and that again, to really happen. And so I sort of had to write that up. So when I first wrote that joke, the way I would tell it is you know, it's a hard 200. And I said turns out it wasn't a hard 200 Right. Did I said you know what? I'm going to flip that. I'm going to say what happens if it was hard to manage. So then I went to another club and I said let me reverse and as it turns out, it was hard to go back to Walmart, get a construction great ladder, some ibuprofen that just got me another and it worked better. When I told it that the ladder gave out on me. I mean, the steps who gave out on me. And so that too is how you kind of work materials. Okay, works better if I tell it this way, not that way. But yeah, day life, everyday life and I tell I tell my family and friends all the time. You get that everything is open to material. So you say something to me, you could be in a routine.

Thank you for joining us, and we'll see you next time.

Transcript

Welcome to the catastrophic comeback podcast with American Injury Lawyer Clark speaks, helping you find hope, purpose and joy after a catastrophic injury.

So, so that makes it that reminds me, so, when I was, you know, when my kids are growing up, I would always just bring him wherever, like, in other words, the thing was, if you're going to invite me to something, you know, my kids are gonna be with me so, so if that's cool with you, and it's cool with me, so they've been to, you know, any kind of party that I go to, or whatever, or reset for reception or, and so, I've taken them everywhere. So so we went to, had to go to Cleveland for work, I don't know, 10 years ago. And so while I was there, I was like, Okay, let's see a show. They have cool shows have good shows to get good. And, and then there was a comedian, a couple of comedians performing, and I tried to do some research and figure it out. And there was no like, vulgarity warnings or anything. It was, it was right when Sebastian Galco Yes. Was was started, you know, and I'm like, Okay, well, you know, and I think I got to 14 and 15, and then nine year old, that's about right. And so he go as it was five years ago. And so we go, like, maybe they were a little younger, anyway, that we go to this show. And it was like a at seven o'clock, eight o'clock show. And then there's another one at like, nine or 10 Yeah, and I'm like, This is gonna be the first guy comes out, and He's great. He's a guy that you would probably recognize I kept his name, great, clean, it was good. And then Sebastian, who's a funny, funny guy, you know, it was great. But it was a kid.

He's not pretty kids, but he's hilarious.

The whole time. Like, you know, when I'm when I walk in, I'm thinking, is this the right? Because there's not another kid in the whole place, you know? And so, so anyway, so it was fun. It was funny, he's a talented guy, not nothing at all. But But it's so nice to have an option for kids. I mean, they love for you stuff. You know, parents want to be involved in there with their kids. You know, I want my kids with me every minute they can be with me and you know, and so, so I think that's a wonderful thing that you're that you're building there and I can see the effort that you're putting into not just participating in it, but building this as a, as a thing. In Charlotte and maybe the world. I'm

trying to thank you. And that means a lot that you say that it's my name is synonymous with that brand. And I wear that very proudly. Um, because I you know, there used to be it. I don't know if it still is, but there were people like oh, I don't think clean comedy is funny. And I was like nothing could be further from the truth. And it and clean is more profitable. If you think about over the years clean comedians, again, you can go into more spaces and you're more lost the word I was gonna say but you're more appealing to a lot of audiences and that's the thing I really like to I love that the people who I get to call I don't like say fans, but friends range, the ages I have, you know, people who are younger who like me, I like people older. Again, I play well in our timezone. So you know, you get people from different ethnicities, and I love that it was so funny. I had the amazing opportunity a couple of years ago to open for Theo von at Belk Theater in Charlotte, which was insanely crazy, you know, it's like, oh my gosh, that's so good. And it was funny. So when I was gone back to get my car after the show, and I'm getting ripped off and I see these people like oh my god, it's you and I'm like, Whoa, and I'm like, it felt weird. And I was like, okay, you know, but it's nice. So yeah, I mean, it's a good ride.

Well, so since have become familiar with you and your career, I have sort of been more open and more observant of clean comedy as the thing. And I'd see. You know, Nate, Mark

Godsey Yeah, he's,

he's clean.

He is the Master. Yeah,

he's a clean and he's one of my favorites. Along with you. I noticed that a Seinfeld is is mostly clean. He's

mostly. Can we put a pin in this for a second? I want to go back to Nate Bugatti for a second because Absolutely. He did something that was so incredible. He sold out last year Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, and so happy for him that he did that. But what also it is it's saying that people love him. People love clean comedy. So that was so nice to see for him. So I Really, kudos to Nate Vargas. He's worked really hard. He's so funny. He does it so effortlessly, that it's just I got to see him. He was here in Charlotte. Last year and up until the tournament, I went by myself. And he I just laugh from the moment I sat down. So good. So happy to see, you know, good guys like that when? Well, so

let me ask you this, who are some of your influences? Because it's hard to be it is hard. Is it hard to when you're a pioneer in something? You're the first over the wall? Okay.

That is what you call me. I'm gonna put that on my business card. If he said that.

It seems like well, you know, growing up, we had clean comedy. We, you know, Cosby was, in my opinion was a clean comic. Yes, no. And then, and then I remember listening, my cousin comes in, he's got cassette tapes, and he's like, okay, as soon as soon as they go to bed, I gotta shake. And he plays Richard Pryor for me. And, you know, I love clean comedy, but oh my gosh, like the brilliance of the whole thing. And I'm there my

favorite jokes is a Richard Pryor joke that I could never repeat. But it's a favorite joke. So you're

just like, you know, so it was like opening this hole. And then it kind of progressed. From there. He got Eddie Murphy and some different and it and it seems like it goes down a direction, which is fun. And it's hilarious. And it's has its purpose. And it's wonderful in lots of different ways. But But it goes so far that way that now, the idea of clean comedy to me is original, unique, unusual, encouraging, inspiring. And, and to me, it's absolutely a pioneering thing when everybody else is going in one direction, and you stand up and you go, no, no, no, even if it cost me something. I'm going in this direction, because it's something I believe in, because it's something I want to provide for people who are underserved. That's pioneering as something can be in my opinion. It's interesting.

When I first started out, I started out with another comedian. And I remember we at want to a show, I can't remember who it was time. And she was talking to this comedian who workflow. And she says something along the lines about me, she goes, Yes, he she works clean. And she doesn't want to change who she is. And I said, Let me correct you. She will not change. Like, it's not like I'm just as like, you know, oh, this is better. Okay, I'll go here. It's like, No, this is this is what see what what you see is rich get his interesting thing about me. I like to tell people, I can take everything in its place. And just because I work clean doesn't mean that all of my comedic influences are clean. You mentioned Eddie Murphy. Eddie Murphy, to me is just brilliant. Like I used to love watching Eddie Murphy stand up for anyone. I mean, for everyone, he was the guy for me. So I have a tremendous amount of respect for his comedy career. But as I said, it ranges from Michael Jr. Great Christian comedian who is so funny. Another one who just he gets on that stage he does it so effortlessly. The other another thing I like about someone like Michael Jr. I'm not animated and my movements on stage. I'm just you know, telling you jokes like this. You hear people who are animated. So I love when I can watch a comedian, especially a clean comedian. Do just go out to a give you the material, just very straight face and it just delivers every time so Michael Jr. It's kind of on my Mount Rushmore of clean communities. Brian Regan, another clean comedian who is so funny. I watched him I got to see him to front row it though, which was great. He this was so brilliant on his part, he forgot one of his jokes. And he made a 10 minute joke about forgetting a joke and the best thing ever. And then I like people like Will Ferrell Will Ferrell I can sit down and watch a marathon Will Ferrell movies all day and I will be the happiest camper. Tina Fey Amy Poehler. So it ranges for me. So I like have a lot of different comedic influences for a lot of different reasons.

Well, so So there's two things that are interesting to me about what you just said. Lots of things. But one thing that strikes me is that authenticity becomes a very important component of comedy, which is interesting because in in as an attorney as a trial lawyer, I remember going to in the school, I went to, I went to school and my focus was on trials and trying cases and how to do that do that. And so, I had this professor, and we all kind of wanted to be like Perry Mason, you know, a man, you know, a big thundering voice, you know, and kind of and I grew up in the church like when the church was open. We were there not just like Sunday school, not to church for the, you know, Wednesday night,

Bible study Sunday

Vacation Bible School and so so so that's kind of those were the those pastors were kind of the, the, what I had in my head, well, this, this, this professor comes in. And she's like, very, it's a female. She's about my age now, mid 50s, very soft spoken. And she starts to tell the story completely unrelated to law or anything else she's telling about climbing Kilimanjaro 25 years ago, and I remember to this day, and she's very self spoke, can very deliberate. And she's kind of, you know, and by the, by the end of it, I'm like, looking around, and every single person in my whole class is leaning forward on the edge of their seat. And her at the end of it, she kind of wraps it up with, this is not about you imitating somebody that you've seen in a movie, or a pulpit, or on a in a courtroom. This is about you, finding your voice, who you are, and, and being honest, transparent, vulnerable and open. And, and I thought that was one of the most profound things that I've heard. And so it sounds like to me that you have a similar philosophy when it comes to your craft.

That's exactly right. Listen, the best comedians are the ones in my opinion, who can tell you stories about their lives. I can't replicate that, you know, if you I can't tell, like I have these experiences in my life that are only funny when I tell them, you can sell you know what I heard her say this, you can't deliver it the way that I could. But so that's what I kind of lean on and the authenticity of my life and the moments and it's funny, because I told my pharmacist, I made a joke about him. And he goes, Is it funny? And I said, if people laughed, and he said, Okay, you can keep telling it. So I told his joke. And it's like, I realized that no one could quite tell a joke the way I could. I just came back from the National Speakers Association Conference. And, you know, a theme, one of the things that I took away from it, is that exactly what you're saying is that we all have our own authentic and unique stories, and we shouldn't run away from it. You know, a lot of times, you can look at someone and say like, I want to be like that comedian, or that speaker and that lawyer even, it's just like, No, you just be you and be the best version of you and people that one of the highest compliments I get after a show is when someone comes up to me says you know what I can so relate to what you're saying. That, to me means everything. And we all know, when I first started doing comedy, I was talking to everybody like this, I'm talking really fast. I was so afraid to be on stage. And I was like, oh my god, I gotta get out of here pretty relaxed. I shouldn't be here, that and plus, I'm a New Yorker. So we just naturally talk fast. But then as I started getting comfortable, because the other piece of it is you get nervous when people aren't laughing when you first start. But as you start doing it, and to your point about the professor with her story, and you watch people lean in, you're like, it's okay that they're not laughing that every 10 seconds. They're listening to what I have to say. And that's the beauty when you see a Nate Bugatti or Dave Chappelle. Chappelle is masterful at that. storytelling. And to me, that's what I love the most about comedy is the ability to tell stories. And so, you know, I get to give you a glimpse of my life in this set to stories. And I love that.

Also you bring up Dave Chappelle. So what strikes me about Dave Chappelle who is, you know, you know, if you think about the brilliant comedians, social commentators have for generations, it might be Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle,

bass rock, even Chris Rock,

you know, Johnny Carson, Gary Sandlin, Jerry Seinfeld, some of these girls. But but but one thing that strikes me about Dave Chappelle is that he he seems to have changed when he went away and came back. He has much more social commentary and has a different it seems like he has, what do you think that's my observation? He seems like he has a different message. Can Can you change over time? How does that work? What does that look like when you know? And when you're responding to different things that happen in the world and you want to be able to say those things and maintain your authenticity and still be funny?

I? Yes, I respect anyone. who uses their platform to speak out about injustice and things that are just not right. And I think after a while when you see things happen for a number of years, you have no choice, but to kind of speak on it. And so to watch his comedy, I remember when he first started, and you know, watching him and it was more slapstick than anything, and to see what he's become. I think he's one of the most brilliant minds in comedy. And I think he makes no apologies for who he is. And no apologies for what he says. And I respect that tremendously. I also think he has gotten to a place from a stature standpoint, where it's not about the money, it's not about the fame is just this is how I feel. And this is what I'm going to say. And he finds a way to make it funny. And I think honestly, at this point, if you buy a ticket for a Dave Chappelle Show, or you watch a special, you know, what you're gonna get, you know, that you're not gonna go in there and laugh every 10 seconds, and that's okay. So again, you know, this has become his brand. And that's the thing about comedy, too. No one says it has to be the same thing all the time. So you can evolve, as I said, what I found five years in is that, you know, I became a different comedian. And when I first started, I was when I first started talking really fast. As I go went on, I became taught, I started talking about being a woman of a certain age, and let me come to me being okay, if they're not laughing, because I know they're listening, and that sort of thing. So I think it's more than okay to evolve into change and be different. And sometimes this is, life makes you that way, you know, you think about someone who's gone through something, you can't be the same, you know, if you, you start out maybe more on the silly side of things, but you have a life altering experience, say like a cancer diagnosis or something, it changes you and I think, how could it not?

So, so how do we let me ask you this? I sort of have always said, or have always thought, you know, nothing is really off limits in terms of, let's try to laugh about the situation, you know. And then doing what I do. Sometimes, there's just nothing funny about, yeah, child dying, you know, there's no, there's no, there's no redeeming comedic value in, in that it's just, it's just sad and heartbreaking. So how do you find ways to laugh through those types of situations

is really tricky. I mean, you have to, for sure, pick your moments and to know, things that you should say, Well, I didn't forget, I did a show with a couple of comedians. And it was right after Kobe Bryant died. And you know, everyone's just devastated. And it was just so tragic. What happened, and wanted to convenience thought it would be wise to make a Kobe Bryant joke about how he died. And the other comedian that just looks at each other, like, Is he serious? Like, I just thought that was the dumbest thing to do. And it wasn't even a funny joke, you know? And so I just couldn't think of what went in his head to make him think that that will be okay. Me personally, I don't find jokes about blasphemy funny. So when I see that I just I cringe a little bit. But, you know, as a creator, as a creative, I am not one to kind of chastise people about what they choose to do. It just would not be for me. Like I said, I don't think you find a way to make sickness and illness funny. I actually was a little put off, honestly, with COVID jokes. Because we people died. You know, people died about this. And so I didn't really find that stuff. Funny. It wasn't my cup of tea. So for me, I think what works also, is that I'm not controversial. I don't do hot button things. I don't talk politics. If I talk religion, it's, you know, it's more lighthearted. For instance, like, you know, as Christians were taught to, you know, you pray for people, and then sometimes I forget, and I feel, you know, that kind of things, but it's never anything. That's very hot button. So I don't have those types of issues. I remember I was working with a comedian once. And he did some really strong political jokes, which was very tricky. And he got into a back and forth with an audience member and that's like, this is not going to end well. Me personally, I can't walk that stuff back so I don't even touch it. You know?

Well, so So what kinds of things? So if you're going through your life, and you're going through your day with your pharmacists or lady in traffic or whatever, what are the kinds of things that you observe that you see? And how do you how do you come up with your material?

It really, again, it's like different things that happened to me. And I'll just start thinking, oh my gosh, that's funny. And I'll just start writing things down. And honestly, it literally is just life things. The thing that we're told a joke about the pharmacist is, like, one day, I was getting a check it out and get my prescription. And I said, I'm on a first name basis with him that goes so much that we're on a frequent basis. And so when I'm checking out, and in addition to get my prescriptions, I have a KitKat duo. And he says, you notice that he good for you. And so we're looking at here, Ernest, I feel like you're judging me wants to just go back there and put my diabetes medication. So you know, it's got so little stuff like that. So when it happened, and it really did happen. And so when it happened, I just thought, I gotta write this out. It was really funny. So just things like that. I just, I just write them down. So it literally is life observations that happened to

me. Well, that's, that is funny. I'll be laughing about that all day. So yeah, I'll tell the ducks three. And that's

why. So when I first did that, I want to joke about you. And because it was funny, I said, it's one of my good ones. And so, and just stuff like that. And then like another kind of funny thing that happened is I needed a ladder out of Walmart, I had to change my smoke detector battery. And I was going to Walmart to get a ladder, but the ladder was like $150, but I see a step stool, a two step step stool, and it was only like $28 but also on the step stool, it says wait capacity, 200 pounds. So I want to say I look at this stuff. So it looks carcass. So we think that's like a hard 200 or

so just overestimate. Exactly.

So you know, and but I'll tell you an interesting thing about that joke, and that again, to really happen. And so I sort of had to write that up. So when I first wrote that joke, the way I would tell it is you know, it's a hard 200. And I said turns out it wasn't a hard 200 Right. Did I said you know what? I'm going to flip that. I'm going to say what happens if it was hard to manage. So then I went to another club and I said let me reverse and as it turns out, it was hard to go back to Walmart, get a construction great ladder, some ibuprofen that just got me another and it worked better. When I told it that the ladder gave out on me. I mean, the steps who gave out on me. And so that too is how you kind of work materials. Okay, works better if I tell it this way, not that way. But yeah, day life, everyday life and I tell I tell my family and friends all the time. You get that everything is open to material. So you say something to me, you could be in a routine.

Thank you for joining us, and we'll see you next time.

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