#TBT: Best of the Burgh!

Happy #TBT, y’all! Now that I live in Seattle — did you know I moved to Seattle? I finally get the Seattle references on Grey’s Anatomy, which has been a beautiful life change — I’ve been thinking a lot about Pittsburgh, particularly my last few weeks there. This year, I was lucky enough to be nominated for Best Comedian in Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2019 Best of the Burgh! Thank you SO much to everyone who nominated and voted for me! I was so excited to be included. The incredible Bill Crawford won — he’s a comedian and a radio personality and he’s great, you should check out his comedy and his radio show! In addition to the nomination, I was featured in an article called “The 5 Funniest People in Pittsburgh (You Haven’t Heard Of)” Check out the article!

It was such an honor to be included in this list of hilarious people I know and respect from the Pittsburgh comedy scene. Big thanks to Sean Collier for the nod!

Little did I know, this article made me OFFICIALLY invited to the Best of the Burgh party in late July! It was so exciting. (Thanks to Sarah for the party reminder!) One of my best mates, Katie Barbaro, was in Pittsburgh visiting and staying with me at the time and I was super excited she wanted to be my plus 1 to the party. Katie is a brilliant comedian (and person) who started in LA and moved to NYC to pursue her comedy dreams. Then she gave up everything she owned to travel the world for a year. She’s the coolest. (As I write this, she’s here with me in Seattle! Is this excitement what Sleepless in Seattle is about?!)

Katie and I were ready to boogie down and celebrate! It was held at the Rivers Casino on Pittsburgh’s North Shore and it was Swanky with a capital S, but not the kind of party with dancing. So we boogied down the best way we knew how: by enjoying all of the free samples and mingling with funny people. We made our way to the second floor (after noting all of the Game of Thrones casino games which should have had punnier names, i.e. Castle Blackjack, Jo Sno Po(ker), a bad pun is better than no pun at all!) and were given commemorative shirts and SO many free things! I’m talking food, beverages, and all kinds of swag! We found Sarah, Emily, Jesse, and Beth immediately and had fun sampling Colombe Draft Lattes with their sample team. (Coffee at night? More like WILDEST OF THE BURGH.) And our caffeinated group really enjoyed the heck out of the photo booth and all of its props.

We saw a bunch of pals from Arcade Comedy Theater and a few from The Pittsburgh Improv. It was a hoot. Here are some adorable photos from an overall adorable night.

“And a ‘Breakfast Club’ one. Just me? You guys weren’t smiling, right?”

“And a ‘Breakfast Club’ one. Just me? You guys weren’t smiling, right?”

3 of the 5! Have you heard of us now?

3 of the 5! Have you heard of us now?

In between Hank’s Frozen Custard and Hello Bistro AKA right where I belong.

In between Hank’s Frozen Custard and Hello Bistro AKA right where I belong.

Katie Barbaro: Sisterhood of the Traveling Romper.

Katie Barbaro: Sisterhood of the Traveling Romper.

Aaaaand one for my wee mum (where I accidentally point at Hello Bistro).

Aaaaand one for my wee mum (where I accidentally point at Hello Bistro).

Screenshot or it didn’t happen.

Screenshot or it didn’t happen.

I sent Sarah a screenshot of her interview and my photo from that same interview and we had a good laugh.

I sent Sarah a screenshot of her interview and my photo from that same interview and we had a good laugh.

Repping that Pittsburgh swag in Seattle.

Repping that Pittsburgh swag in Seattle.

#TBT Cameron Esposito: Person of Consequence

Happy October 3rd, y’all! Not only is it my nephew’s birthday (HBD, buddy!!) and Mean Girls’ Day, it’s also what my friends and family lovingly refer to as my Camiversary.

Last year on this date, I had the great honour of opening for Cameron Esposito at the Rex Theater in Pittsburgh, PA. Cameron is not just an incredible comic, writer, and queer icon; she is also one of the kindest people I have ever met. She used her last special, “Rape Jokes,” to raise over $75 k for RAINN — the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization. In addition to hosting her podcast “Queery” and writing poignant, insightful articles for the New York Times, she has also guest starred on “Brooklyn 99,” written and co-starred in her own television show “Take My Wife,” and written a book that comes out in March 2020 called “Save Yourself” (which is available for pre-order here (If you’re not hyperlink savvy, I’ve spelled it out for you: https://www.grandcentralpublishing.com/titles/cameron-esposito/save-yourself/9781455591435/)

In a nutshell, she is busy killing the game. On her “Person of Consequence” Tour last year, she did the world yet another kindness by hand-picking local comics to feature for her in each city. Get you a real life comic hero who gives back more than Bruce Wayne. I could not believe my own life when I got the email that I had been selected to open for her. I waited a few weeks to make sure they didn’t recall it and send a “This has been a hilarious mix up” email, and then promptly told everyone I’ve ever met. Because Cameron Esposito is one of the best comics out there, so many of my Pittsburgh pals already had their tickets to see her and the show sold out the very lovely Rex Theater in Pittsburgh’s South Side.

I was nervously waiting in the green room when Cameron arrived. She was instantly warm and friendly. She astutely noticed that Pittsburgh is perhaps a hidden but ridiculously beautiful gem. It really is. (www.visitpittsburgh.com) Cameron brought me up to the stage with a Voice-of-God mic and I got to do 20 minutes of material before bringing her up (honoured!) and running to the back of the venue to watch her masterfully work out an hour. During the show, a member of the audience had a medical emergency and Cameron stopped everything to make sure that person got the medical attention they needed. Like a pilot deftly making an unexpected yet smooth landing, she made sure the rest of the audience remained seated, respectful, and quiet while a doctor and a nurse in the audience did their thing. Once she was sure everything was okay, she maintained the respectful silence of what just happened before expertly getting the audience back to a place of laughter. It was such a learning experience.

After the show, she went to the lobby and took countless photos with the audience. Later, from the green room, she texted me to come up and say goodbye (NBD! — just kidding, I died) and asked me if I was free to feature for her again the following night at The Comedy Zone in Harrisburg, PA. Yet again, dead again. It was my first ever road show! Eek! I was buzzing with excitement the whole drive to Harrisburg. At the hotel, Cameron asked me if I wanted to ride over to the venue with her because she’s straight up the sweetest. Being an earth-loving, Cameron Esposito fan, that was one carpool I could not resist. We had hilarious adventures at The Comedy Zone and, once again, I learned so much from Cameron. When they asked her who was in charge, she confidently said “I am.” #whoruntheworldgirls

She was gracious, kind, and professional when speaking with the staff while making sure we got everything we needed. She refused to let me go on stage with a wireless mic (thanks again!) and once again watched me do my set. As someone who had been doing comedy for 2+ years at the time, there was no greater education than seeing a professional, nationally touring comedian work out an hour for two nights in a row. The whole experience was like being an in episode of Oprah’s Masterclass. Once again, she stayed to meet every fan and take countless pictures. She’s a proper legend. After her legions of adoring fans had left, we went out for a bite and she gave me tons of incredibly priceless stand up advice and told me not to be afraid to be in touch. The next morning, I woke to a frenzy of texted screenshots on my phone, as the one and only Cameron Esposito had tweeted an adorable picture of us with a very kind caption. Such a generous and sweet thing to do. I’m telling you, she’s the best. Don’t forget to pre-order her book.

Say Yesposito to the Esposito.

Say Yesposito to the Esposito.

Shout out to the hilarious and lovely photographer!

Shout out to the hilarious and lovely photographer!

Arcade Hootenanny!

I had the great honour of being the Monologist at Arcade Comedy Theater’s April Hootenanny! Each month, one person is chosen (this time it was me!) to tell stories about their life (based on audience suggestions) and then some of the best improvisers in Pittsburgh do scenes based on those stories. After a few scenes, the monologist hops back up to tell more stories and the magic continues.

I had so much fun telling stories I had never told publicly that have never made it in to my stand up. Arcade Comedy Theater is where I started taking improv classes in May of 2016. I was on house improv teams at the Arcade for 2 years before I left to focus more on stand up. It was such a special gift to be asked by the Arcade to be the monologist. I’ve watched this show a million times and was so thrilled to get to tell some stories and share the stage with some of my faves. Thanks for having me, Arcade!

If you’re interested, you can watch the entire show right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IARvSh62RI&feature=youtu.be

Always point up so people don’t wonder if your shoes match your outfit. #lifehack

Always point up so people don’t wonder if your shoes match your outfit. #lifehack

Blog to the Future

Welcome to my very first blog! I’m calling this post “Blog to the Future” because I’ve been meaning to post about these INCREDIBLE stickers of mine for a while! I had them made by the lovely and talented Anna C. Reilly. It was such a dream to work with Anna! I am in no way a visual artist and she was able to hear my vision and make it a reality! She really captured my essence! You can check out her artwork at annacreilly.com or on Instagram! Thanks again, Anna!

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