DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW; Thu., 7:30 p.m., sold out
You were a dance major at the University of Illinois before dropping out as a junior to move to L.A. and pursue comedy. Looking back, what gave you the confidence to do that?
I was really unhappy at my school. A lot of people were in sororities and a lot of people drank all the time, and I wasn’t into either of those things, so I really did not feel like I fit in. At that point, I had only tried stand-up a handful of times, but I knew it was what I wanted to do and I knew that I wanted to not be at my school. I look back over the last 10 years and I think moving to a city where you don’t know anyone, you don’t know anything, is the best thing you can do to help yourself grow and to really find who you are.
The jokes in your stand-up and in “Alone Together” tend to be rather personal. What is it about that type of humor that appeals to you?
I really just talk honestly and openly about myself and how I feel and what it’s like being a 30-year-old woman in the world right now, living in Los Angeles. I’m not really political in my comedy, and I’m not looking to have the best joke about Trump or the best joke about whatever else is in the news. I’m really just trying to be open and honest about who I am.
What itch does stand-up scratch that your other creative outlets don’t?
With making “Alone Together” or filming “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” it’s a team effort and a group process, which is so wonderful. But it’s nice to also have stand-up, where you get to talk about whatever you want to talk about. And of course there’s the instant gratification of stand-up. Yesterday I wrote a joke, and I went and did a set that night and I tried the joke out. I found out instantly what worked and what didn’t, and that’s such a great feeling.
With a decade under your belt, your stand-up style must’ve changed over the years.
I used to do a lot more shorter jokes, like one-liners. Now I find myself really picking a topic and diving into it and having a lot more to say. I have a new bit where I tell the crowd a story about something that happened to me recently, and I ask them: Was I wrong or was I right in what I did? I feel like people will leave and really have a strong sense of who I am — stronger than I could’ve said a few years ago.
With “Alone Together” over and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” in its final season, what’s next for you?
I definitely want to keep working on my stand-up, and hopefully have a stand-up special sometime soon. If I could continue to work in comedy — whether it’s TV, stand-up — I will be happy. And of course being in a musical would be an amazing fantasy, but I don’t know how to make that happen. So I’ll just sit by my window and wait for something.