Mom Comedy, Stand up

You guys, last week a dream of mine came true! I got to preform stand up for my best girlfriends at a dream location in downtown Chicago. Drumbar invited me to host a comedy happy hour for a group of moms who needed a night out! For me comedy has been instrumental in my motherhood journey. You know the saying, sometimes you need to laugh to keep from crying.  I wrote a post here about how comedy has influenced my life and it’s had such an impact on me that I just love to share the gift of laughter with people. It’s no secret that being a mother can be difficult and isolating at times so I love any chance to get a group of mamas together. You’ve never seen a woman so full of hope than a mom about to escape her nightly duties and go out with her  girlfriends. I know I am biased because these ladies are my friends but they really are such an incredible group!

As fun as it was to stand-up and talk , by far the best part of the night was seeing my girlfriend’s face’s light up with laughter. I really tried to pause and take in all the love that was coming my way from my friends. I left with so much gratitude for my support system and also gratitude for the gifts that I have to share.

It was the perfect Chicago summer night so after the show we enjoyed cocktails on Drumbar’s amazing rooftop.

After the show we had dinner at Ronero. It was hard to get the crew to leave Drumbar but the promise of yummy food will overpower any Mom’s desire for more cocktails. We hightailed it over and it was time to chow down. You guys this restaurant did not mess around. They served us 8 courses of over the top yummy food. If I had pants on, they definitely would have been unbuttoned, Thanksgiving Day style.

The food was absolutely amazing. Any place that serves me drinks in a Swan ( Flamingo?) is already a winner in my book. We really had the most amazing meal and it was the perfect way to spend a night away from the family. What mom doesn’t love to be treated like a princess from time to time?

It was such a fun night and we are in talks with Drumbar to make it a monthly thing so stay tuned. This entire experience was so positive and it really made me see how much as moms we need each other for levity and connection. I feel called to share with you guys that if there is something you are waiting on to share whether it be on a small scale like with you’re family or even within your community, don’t wait! I think we tend to wait for the perfect timing, more education or for us to ” feel ready.”  You will never feel ready enough, create a community that supports you and your talents. Your dreams (and everyone else waiting to receive your gifts) will thank you!

Oops, I did it again. I got away to NYC with one of my favorite people, Ceta from Clark and Stone.

This time we chose mid-week to make it easier on our families.  I left Tuesday afternoon and was back by Friday with time to make it to the carnival at my kid’s school.

Being away all week then snapping back to the reality of 100 kids screaming in a gymnasium is not exactly a perfect re-entry, but what are you doing to do? I loved being home with my family for the weekend but also getting in some much needed gal and alone time. I’m totally in to the mid week mom-cations!

Here are a few reasons a mid-week mom vacation is quickly becoming my favorite thing to do:

1. It’s easier on the parent in charge. As long as the kids are in school, everyone can stick to their basic routine. With everything going on as usual no one will even notice you are gone. ha. ha. ha

2. You get to spend the weekend with the kids.
  When I know they are in school anyway, I feel less guilty about missing out on their free -time. Plus week days can be super hectic so it feels like I am getting an actual vacation. It’s comforting for me to know that they are busy and doing their regular activities. I can predict their routine and know when to call and check in. A mama always has her kids on her mind and it’s nice to know they are being taken care of at school.

3. It’s easier to make appointments during the week.
We spent one day at the showroom of Mignnon Gavigan. I’m officially obsessed with her and her jewelry. I was trying to play it cool but she’s so cool I almost bought BFF necklaces and gifted one side of a broken heart to her. Her earrings are so fun and LIGHT and I’m a huge fan.

4. Hot Restaurants are are easier to nail down. Hello Le Coucou- Since Ceta and I have been stalking this place for months you can imagine my excitement when we finally landed a reservation!  The experience exceeded my expectations. I mean when does that ever happen? This was seriously one of the best meals I have ever enjoyed.

5. Tickets to shows are less expensive and easy to come by! One night Ceta and I checked out the Comedy Cellar. Not only were all the comics truly hilarious but Aziz Ansari made a guest appearance. Comedy Cellar is famous for having professional comics stop in unexpectedly and try out their new material.

Well, mamas, there you have it. All the reasons you need to take a mid-week vacation. Feel free to print this off and read it to your husband. And if you need someone to go with you, you know where to find me!

P.S. I linked my favorite NY looks below in case you want to shop my looks!

Andrea Levoff Chicago Mom Blogger, About Andrea LevoffAm I in mid life? I guess there’s no real way of knowing but when a friend sent me Brené Brown’s essay, “ on mid-life unravelings”  the other day, I knew I was definitely experiencing an unraveling. And last time I checked I wasn’t a teenager.

Though lately it does feel like I’m 36 going on 16.

Who knew I still had so much to learn in relationships, in parenting, as well, just about every area of my life?  The ways of being and patterns I thought I had mastered have reared their familiar heads once again.

I’ve always been of the growth mindset, self improvement is my second favorite thing to tacos. So it’s not out of my comfort zone to go in instead of out. Talking about personal growth, reading about personal growth, coaching other people in personal growth, totally my comfort zone.

What’s not so much in my comfort zone is to express my learning OUTWARDLY and to share openly about what I’m going through. The irony is, as I get older I’m more aware of the gifts I have to give and the areas in my life that I may be holding back. Sometimes I feel less likely to express them. I think about my kids, who have little awareness of the part they play in the world, but absolutely have no issue showing up in a BIG way.

Andrea Levoff Chicago Mom Blogger, About Andrea Levoff

I think that’s why I loved reading Brene’s article and what rang so true to me was the sense of urgency she mentioned as you get older. That whisper that use to gently nudge us to be something more becomes more of a loud talker, or sometimes a scream.

At 16 it’s feather tickling our smooth, voluptuous cheeks to be more expressed, to be more of ourselves.  At 36 it feels more like a Botox injection. Or a kick in the shin from one of my children. Other times it’s a realization. Time is running out. Life is precious. How is it that you want to show up in this world?

And like a toddler throwing a tantrum, the more we ignore those yearnings, the louder they get, until we can’t ignore them any longer and they have gone defcon 10 in the beauty isle at Whole Foods.

It helps to acknowledge them. I see you, I hear you, what you have to say is valid.

I think the scariest thing about mid-life unravelings is that we have worked so hard to get where we are, even if what we have worked hard to get isn’t working anymore.

Whether it be a bad job, marriage or way of being. We’ve worked hard to make it work.

The scary part comes in when we assume that whatever is coming won’t be as good as what we had. Or worse, what if there’s nothing else coming?

The thing about things falling apart is that when they are over there’s still something there. Nothing ever completely deteriorates, although as things come apart sometimes they feel that way.

The key for me is to remind myself that at the end of all unravelings is an opportunity to put things back together, perhaps in a better or more aligned way. Or maybe it’s an opportunity to say that’s not working anymore. Let me try this way instead. Almost always as the dust settles we finally remember the truth, maybe for the first time. Either way it’s a sigh of relief.

“Oh yes, that’s who I am, I fahhwwwking forgot for a minute.”

I can’t say I’m always happy for the lessons. but I can say I’m always happy to be on the path. Without the path there is just pain. And when we are on our path, underneath the pain is always purpose. I am reminded that as we forgive ourselves and others that’s where the light comes in. That’s where God makes himself known.

Andrea Levoff Chicago Mom Blogger, About Andrea Levoff

So, here I am. Maybe mid-life… and  I’ve begun to do that surrender thing once again. More dancing, less white knuckling.

36 going on 16, 16 going on 36, life going on life.


Andrea Levoff, Second city, comedy, funny

One of the things I get asked the most is how I got started in comedy. The truth is, I’ve always been interested in it, and it wasn’t one single event that happened. It’s been a passion of mine since I was a little girl. When we would have family gatherings, I would perform for my family and make everyone laugh. I would do anything for a laugh which was made apparent in 11th grade when my best friend and I went to homecoming dressed as a horse. Yes, you read that right. I was a late bloomer people!

While I can’t pinpoint a single moment, I can narrow it down to one moment in time that reignited the fire, or perhaps made me remember my love for it!

I was having a conversation with a friend and was trying to explain to him what my dream job was. Without thinking he screamed out, “Wait, do you want to do stand up!?” and I immediately started crying.

Full on tears and snot. I was crying because doing stand up was the scariest thing I could ever imagine doing and I knew, at that moment, that I just had to do it.

Andrea Levoff, comedy, stand up, second city

I started taking a stand up comedy class at Second City. I wrote joke after joke after joke. Every week we would bring in new material and every week I would die a new, slow death. The class was all young guys and 1 or 2 women. I was certainly the only mom.

Slowly, I built up the courage to start doing open mic’s around the city. It was mostly guys in their 2o’s making dick jokes. The first time I was on stage, I had a total out of body experience. I don’t even think I spoke. It got easier, but I never did it without any fear.

I loved doing open mic’s, but the timing just didn’t match up with my early morning schedule with the kids.  I started doing videos and creating content on my own time, and it worked much better with my schedule. That’s basically how Dope Ass Mom was born.

I’ve done a lot scarier things since then, but isn’t that the thing about scary things?  They give us confidence to do more scary things until we start to realize that the things that scare us are probably the very things we should be doing.

Comedy helped me change my relationship with fear. In fact, it helped me to truly understand the quote, “fear is excitement without breath.”  Now anytime I feel fear, I take a breath and remember that I have stood up on multiple occasions in front of a room full of people and successfully made them laugh. Comedy was always a passion of mine since I was a kid, and I think that’s what growing up is kind of about: remembering and nurturing the things we always knew we loved about ourselves, but somehow forgot along the way.