WORKIN IT: Comedienne
An occasional look at the San Diego workforce…
Name: Lauren O'Brien
Lauren O’Brien is an aspiring actress for television and commercials, and has spent more than her share of time waiting tables. She was born in Memphis and lived in New Jersey before moving to San Diego. Two years ago on a whim, she got up on stage during open mic night at Lestat’s coffee shop in Normal Heights and told some original jokes. That’s when her stand-up comic career began. “I was so nervous beforehand that I thought I was gonna throw up.” She did not. Instead, she says she cried when she got back to her seat in the audience. Recently, O’Brien joined the morning cast of the Mikey Show on FM 94.9.
As a blonde comedienne, O’Brien has written her own blonde joke. “How many blondes does it take to screw in a light bulb? Three,” she says. “One to hold the ladder, one to screw in the bulb and the other to ask if our ass looks fat."
The oldest joke known to man, according to the BBC, dates back to 1900 B.C. Most academics agree that it concerns a Pharaoh and his wife’s alleged flatulence.
“If I know that my brother is going to be in the audience, then I’ll stay away from the taboo sex topics,” says O’Brien. “I don't think I'd allow my mother to actually come to my show. I have too much material about her.”
How to Become a Good Stand-up Comic: “Perform on amateur night at as many comedy clubs as you can find near you,” says e-how. “It's live and the feedback is instant. The audience will applaud, or throw things.”
“I actually do have stage fright, which is part of the reason I became a performer,” says O’Brien. “My worst fear about doing standup is that I will forget everything, have to own up to forgetting everything, and will not come up with anything witty enough to get me off stage, and I'll have to melt away.”
Try to think of stage fright in a positive way, offers the Great Speaking Center, an online resource for would-be toastmasters. “It heightens your energy, adds a sparkle to your eye, and color to your cheeks. With all those good side effects you will actually look healthier and more physically attractive.”
The upside of doing comedy is that it has taught O’Brien to get to the point more quickly. “I’m learning what Shakespeare said, that brevity is the soul of wit. Most women are pretty long-winded. You ask us a question, and you get way more information than you wanted.”
Laugh, and lose weight. Science estimates that laughing one hundred times is the equivalent of a 10-minute workout on a rowing machine.