I met Austin comedian Maggie Maye a few years ago at the Women in Comedy festival in Boston. Since then I've seen her everywhere, San Francisco, New York, Portland, and in my heart. She's super funny, loveable and a very strong comedian.
Maggie will be performing at the All Jane No Dick Comedy Festival in Portland October 17-20 and was kind enough to let me interview her.
What do you love about stand up?
What I love about standup is that my job is to make people laugh. Laughter is the best thing in the world and I get to bring that to people. I get paid for doing what I used to get in trouble for in school, trying to make people giggle.
It seems like you produce a couple shows/ mics. What do you enjoy about producing and hosting?
I love running a show. I get to set the tone. As the host, I get to try new things and expand my comedy horizons, like my Maggie-oke segment at my open mic "Schtick." Basically, I've been a cheerleader for most of my life and old habits die hard. I've been told that my shows are like really funny pep rallies.
What are your dreams and goals in comedy?
I want what every comedian wants -- to be paid in something other than beer and chicken wings. So, pizza and ginger ale? I just want to make a good living doing all the things I wanted to do when I was a wide eyed four-year-old (minus being a cleaning lady. I don't want to do that anymore).
Do you think comedy makes the world a better place? (How/ why?)
Comedy is power over fear. We all know people who make light of a bad situation through jokes. It's a defense mechanism that allows us to spit in the face of the things that scare us. It helps some people deal with things. Also, people are generally more likely to listen to what you have to say if they think it's going to make them laugh. For the most part, people at a comedy show want to be affected. You can share your thoughts/perspectives/opinions in a method that is accessible to people and that they're more likely to retain. How many people do you know who can recite entire comedy albums word for word, versus people you know who listen to a State of the Union address to get every bullet point right? Everyone loves to laugh and the world could always use more laughter.
Do you have any advice for young comics?
The best advice I've ever heard was from Conan O'Brien in his Tonight Show farewell speech. "If you work hard and are kind, amazing things will happen." Comedy is the best job in the world, but it's still a job. It requires work. If you're not willing to work hard, don't expect a lot. Don't lie to yourself that you're working hard if you're only working on your craft once a week. If this was a job you had to punch in for and only showed up once a week, you'd be fired. I'm not saying you have to do comedy stuff from 9-5, but It puts things into perspective if you really consider this a career. Write a lot and perform a lot. That's the advice I keep hearing from people who have achieved in comedy what I hope to achieve. Also, be kind. That's good advice in life in general. Everything in life is harder when you're unpleasant.
Maggie will be performing at the All Jane No Dick Comedy Festival in Portland, Oregon October 17-20.