When comedy offers more than just laughs, it offers first chances and opportunities.

Published in February 2018 | Free Standup NYC

Article by: Charlotte de Anda

We all need help. There, I said it.

 

No matter if you're just starting out, years into your chosen career, or opting out of the corporate life for something new and challenging. I have been the benefactor of a great deal of help throughout the years. Whether it was months after graduating college, the booker who gave me my first club gig in LA, or that special someone who held the door open for me while on crutches. We all need help. And as you're about to read, stand up comedy isn't always about laughs. It's about offering a helping hand, it's about offering a job to someone who will not only make an honest contribution, but help that person on a road to something amazing.

Charlotte de Anda is a Junior Producer at Stand Up NY and here she details her road to overcoming nerves, and learning on her feet and succeeding. 

 

By Charlotte de Anda:
 

Anxiety makes a lot of things difficult; talking on the phone, interior decorating, camping, sleeping, and finding a job. Every job interview I’ve ever had has involved 3 outfit changes, 6 coats of deodorant, and a public transport mishap. This time, it was my third outfit change and underfunded MetroCard that made me late to my first ever interview for a comedy club. When I arrived at Stand Up NY, I’d sweat through two coats of deodorant. The owner, Dani Zoldan, interviewed me at a whisper in a room where a podcast was being recorded remotely. Two more coats gone. At the end of the interview, he offered me the job, another first. Dani then took me around the office, introducing me to everyone. I couldn’t retain a single name I heard because I was still recovering from the shock of landing a job in the interview. I said goodbye and immediately went into the Marshall’s next door to call my parents, who were as confused and thrilled as I was.

 

After winter break, I arrived for my first day. The Special Events Director, Jon Borromeo, informed me I would be a Junior Producer. I was daunted by the responsibility but excited to have a title other than “Intern” or “Desk Girl”. Tasked with finding college comedians who could perform at a caliber worthy of a professional comedy club, I began sending paragraph-long messages over Facebook to people I’d met in passing. After two hours and no replies, I began to worry. Had I overestimated how much college kids like stand up? Did I weird everyone out? That night, the enthusiastic replies poured in, and my confidence was renewed. Of course aspiring comedians wanted an opportunity to perform at a real comedy club. They just couldn’t respond at 2 PM on the first day of classes.

 

Another one of my duties was to design a poster for the event. When asked if I had experience in graphic design, I confidently said yes. How hard is it to make a poster? Then Jon began rattling off all the information that would need to be on it. Anxiety begin to creep up my spine, but I just smiled and wrote it all down. Upon seeing my first attempt, a jumble of fonts on a Pages document that looked like a low budget pop-up ad, Jon showed me a free online design program. After commissioning a logo from a friend, gathering headshots and graphics, and going through several heinous drafts, I managed to create something that looked, in Jon’s words, “pretty good.” I tweaked and adjusted until it was upgraded to “really good.”

 

With every assignment at Stand Up NY, I’ve followed a similar trajectory: anxious self-doubt, hard work, and surprised satisfaction. What I’ve learned over the past few weeks is that a smile and a “yes” followed by aggressive tenacity gets the job done. In my short time here, I’ve gone through enough anxiety rollercoasters to start actually meaning it when I say “I got this.”

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"Every job interview I’ve ever had has involved 3 outfit changes, 6 coats of deodorant..."

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