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How I became a stand-up comedian in 19 days

Carla performs at Carolines
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz Carla performs at Carolines

I am a funny person. (I am also a really, really humble person.) But I have never watched stand-up and thought, I could do that. And I have definitely never thought, I want to do that. Stand-up comedy has always seemed like one of the most difficult, potentially ego-annihilating things you could do, and I like my ego just the way it is (fragile, but intact). Thing is, when your editor-in-chief tells you to do stand-up comedy for a story, you don’t have much of a choice. Sure, I probably could have gotten out of it, but here’s something about me: The only thing that outweighs my terror of trying something new is my fear that someone else will do it instead.

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Which is how I found myself onstage at Carolines on Broadway doing six minutes of material just 19 days later. Under the mentorship of the stupendously talented, nurturing and generally kick-ass comic Bonnie McFarlane, I crafted a set about a recent breakup and performed it in front of about 100 people who will someday be able to say they saw the Greatest Comic on the Planet™during her first gig. (Just kidding, I'm not—but some of these NYC comedians qualify.) It was scary, exhilarating, weird and some of the funnest five minutes I’ve had in ages (minus that one time with your mom). There’s even video below! Try to get past how many times I nervously touch my hair and just enjoy the hilarity that is my depressing love life. You’re welcome.

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