If there’s anything Chicago has, it’s funny ladies. Chicago comic Candy Lawrence has graced the stages of Zanies, Mayne Stage, The Laugh Factory, and UP Comedy Club. Most recently, she appeared on Fawzia Mirza’s web series, Kam Kardashian. Our Town spoke with the idiosyncratic comic about The Olive Garden and Ace Ventura. Oh yeah, and comedy.
Our Town Do you remember the first time you made someone laugh?
Candy Lawrence My best friend in 4th grade and I used to call each other up in the evenings to chat while we watched Mr. Ed together. We couldn't figure out how they got him to move his mouth and I told her they just shoved carrots up his butt. That's the truth, right? I'm still not sure.
OT What drew you to comedy?
CL The feeling I get when I can make someone laugh. It's addictive. That and Ace Ventura. No big deal.
OT Who are your influences?
CL Someone compared me to Maria Bamford yesterday. So, there's that. Pete Holmes. Amy Sedaris. Melissa McCarthy.
OT Where do you find inspiration?
CL All you can eat breadsticks and endless salads. Olive Garden and everyday life.
OT How do you develop a bit?
CL I'm not the type of person that can just sit down and write. Usually, it's just something that happens throughout the day or something I say or something someone else says that will spark an idea. And then I'll just take that idea and improvise a whole lot on stage.
OT Best/worst onstage moments?
CL Worst moment- I entered a comedy contest (HORRIBLE IDEA) right when I started doing stand-up. A judge, and I won't name names (Mike from Red Bar Comedy) said to me in front of an audience, "I hated it. I hated you. I hate women comics." Best moments- I set up a fundraiser called Laughs for Lawrence to raise money for my dad who was battling lung cancer. Thanks to my friends who performed and everyone who donated I ended up raising $13,000. And I wrote a speech dedicated to him and then danced across the tables like a regular ol' Liza Minnelli. Highlight of my life.
OT Thoughts on how to handle a heckler?
CL Fortunately, throughout my four years of doing stand-up, I've been blessed with very little heckling minus the occasional chattering. Most of the time the lovely servers/hosts take care of that or I just ignore it all together. Otherwise, I tend to mimic the drunk people and that gets laughs. I feel like getting upset or yelling only fuels their fire.
OT Advise for wannabe comedians?
CL Get out there. Do lots of shows. Say yes. Take risks. Be yourself.
OT What would someone be surprised to know about being a comic?
CL I cry a lot. During a lot of commercials. Comics have feelings too. We're not always "on."
OT What’s next for you?
CL Pad See Ew lunch and traveling to LA to do some shows including Hot Tub with Kurt Braunohler and Put Your Hands Together with Cameron Esposito.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for sites like Pop Matters and
afterellen.com Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," was called “poetic and heartrending” by ALA Booklist. Sarah is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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