What Comedy taught me about facing my fears

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.




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