Why Are You Doing This?

10389347_10204279855344805_7043587173546324623_nWhen I first started doing stand up in Sacramento, I was always asked, “Why are you doing this?”

“Because it’s so much fun,” I’d answer.

And it was the most fun I had ever had, but I’m sure it didn’t look like it. I was painfully out of place in the young, mostly male, environment. Here I was, a minivan-driving forty-something mom from the suburbs, with horrible stage fright, and five minutes of material. But I remember the exact moment when I realized that I would be getting on a stage every chance I got from then on. I finished my first set with my best joke and a guy in the front row laughed so hard, he put his head down and slapped the table. That simple act sealed my fate. The adrenaline rush is real and addictive. I’ve been chasing that high ever since.

I’ve always been a huge fan of stand up comedy. From the times my dad would play Bill Cosby albums on Sunday morning as we were getting ready for church, to seeing Steve Martin, Rodney Dangerfield, and Eddie Murphy when their tours brought them through Minnesota, stand up was my favorite form of entertainment. But I never thought of it as something I could or would do. However, I loved writing and the only way to find out if something is really funny is to tell it to someone else. So that’s how I found myself on stage that first time, and then night after night as I continued to work on my stage fright and material at open mics all over Sacramento. The other comedians didn’t remember my name, so they would bring me to the stage as “the soccer mom” and the name stuck.

Sacramento has a very diverse comedy community and it is generally very welcoming to new comedians. Had it not been for several people who encouraged the “soccer mom” to keep doing stand up, I may not have kept at it, and I would have missed out on some amazing experiences, from meeting and hanging out with my comedy idols, to performing all over the U.S., in Japan and Canada, in festivals, and on TV. I truly love the Sacramento comedy community and the crazy mix of people in it. Come out to see live comedy in Sacramento, maybe give it a try yourself, you never know what will happen. Funny or not, it’s always a unique experience.

And now, nine years later, when I’m asked why I’m doing this, my answer is still the same: “because it’s so much fun.”