26 Oct

Chicago’s Comic: Laura Hugg

Q: What inspired you to start stand-up comedy?

A: It was a huge fear of mine. But I’m funny and I felt like it was my responsibility to try it. What got me over the fear was experiencing loss in my personal life that was more painful and scary than doing stand-up so I thought, “What could it hurt?”

Q: Describe your first performance.

A: It was a showcase at the tail-end of a stand-up class I’d taken. I was a barista at the time so my jokes were all about that. I had one friend there to see me. My closer was, “Well, thanks a latte!” I think I had fun. I just know my friend still says “thanks a latte!” to me.

Q: Do you have “pre-show” rituals? If so, what are they?

A: No, but I have compulsions. I have a day gig. So, I am always dragging different shoes, an extra shirt, some jewelry in my backpack—my show clothes. Half the time I don’t use it. I used to try to isolate before a show because I get terrible nerves and feel like I hate everyone but I’m more comfortable now thanks to therapy and support groups and practice.

Q: Where in the world is your favorite place to perform stand-up? Why is this your favorite place?

A: I love performing at The Second City Training Center Open Mic. I’ve been a co-host of it for a few years. The stakes are low except we always have an audience of a lot of earnest comedy students. They listen, they stay to watch. All the lights are on, it’s so bare bones but the comics who show up are pretty upbeat. It’s a great workout room. And people don’t get that wasted there.

Q: What shows, podcasts, blogs do you produce or co-produce?

A: In addition to the mic, I’m a co-producer of Stand Up Stand Up on Thursday nights at Little Olive in Wicker Park.

Q: What are three of your favorite things?

A: I love walking the city, so much so I wonder if my switch gets flipped I might become on of those Chicago characters like “The Walking Dude” or that preacher on State street. I love aerobic workouts and clothes.

Q: What is your favorite sammich?

A: Currently, maybe the California burrito at Native Foods. It’s got the fries wrapped in the sandwich.

Q: What’s one thing people assume about you, that is or isn’t true?

A: I have had people think I’m nice. I’m not naturally nice. I can be nice but I work at it. I’m edgy, like tense. Probably because I’m too busy, I’m always thinking, I have a lot of baggage. But I have a good heart, and under the bullshit, I care about people and the world. My close friends know I can be a real, um, jerk.

Q: If you weren’t a comic, what other job would you love to do?

A: Fashion design, recycling and refashioning old, discarded clothes into new clothes.

Q: What are some comedy goals/dreams you have on your To Do List?

A: Tour, set up a tour of shows in bookstores, comic book shops, and bar shows. I see my friends do it but I’m not there in my head yet about myself. I’m really attached to my day job too. I’d like to write on someone else’s show. Be in a writer’s room, contributing. And I’d like my own showcase of some sort, eventually. Not yet on that. Also, I’d long to have some broader material and some longer bits that show more of my world but I don’t see my world exactly, so it’s a work in process.

Q: What quality, trait and/or body part do you really like about yourself?

A: I continue to work at cleaning up the wreckage of my past and strive to be a fully integrated human being. I don’t know why I do but I guess it’s because I have hope. I mine my own hope. I am eternally grateful for that desire to do so.

Q: What’s one thing you wish more people knew about you? [or anything else you’d like mentioned, i.e. your education, personal life or mission statement]

A: I’ve done some directing of sketch comedy. I’m pretty good at it. I’d like to do more.

Q: How will you know you “Made It?”

A: When I realize I’m doing something with faith that I couldn’t do previously because of fear. That applies to comedy and everything else. And also maybe when I can ease the burden of others.


COMING UP

  • Thursdays: 21:00 @ Stand Up Stand Up
    Little Olive Lounge (1540 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
  • Saturdays: 21:00 @ The Second City Open Mic
    Training Center (230 W. North Ave.)
  • 11.9.2018: 19:30 @ International Lady Laughs Comedy Festival
    Madison, WI (418 E. Wilson St.)

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