This is all to say that I’m more of a writer than a person who stands up and tells stories about myself. Admittedly, part of this is because I have a pretty terrible memory. My dad remembers more details about my life than I do. The stuff I do remember is misty and I’m not sure worth talking about. Like maybe one time a guinea pig peed on my Holly Hobby nightgown right before I was supposed to go to bed but is that worth standing up and telling 200 people about it? Probably not. And so I err on the side of writing made-up things, and forcing actors to say them for me.
I was always a writer, I guess, but then again so is pretty much everybody in the universe. I won some writing award in high school but back then I had no awareness that there was anything a person could actually do with that skill. (I’m still not sure that there is.) I guess I knew I was funny, or something, but again, at the time in Wisconsin, improv comedy didn’t exist, and the theater people were all kinda scary, so I didn’t discover “my people” until I accidentally moved to New York with an unjustifiable bio degree and a job I didn’t necessarily want. I was miserable for two years until one night when I went on a blind date to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, and shortly thereafter I knew why I was in New York and I decided to stay. I started taking improv comedy classes, which led to sketch classes. I met a ton of super talented and funny people, many of whom you now see in movies and on TV. I won’t name them because that’s obnoxious.
Eventually I had a packet of sketches that I figured maybe I should try to do something with. However, I had more than a vague awareness that many, many writers like me were thundering towards The Daily Show/SNL/Conan (then still in NYC) like a herd of buffalo frightened by a crack of thunder. My odds just didn’t look good. Then through a series of coincidences, I got the chance to meet Garrison at a book-signing. At the time I had heard (via my unemployed roommate hearing a radio interview) that he was looking for writers. So the night in question, I had some wine and I gathered up my courage and managed to meet him and get a few sketches into his hands. The one I remember was called “Unnoticeable Makeover” (I think later re-named “Minnesota Makeover” and used for the show) and it was about putting on unscented lotion and clear lip gloss and feeling good about yourself. Then, slowly over the course of 2 ½ years inhaling 9/11 fumes at another miserable day job--this time in Lower Manhattan--and writing sketches when nobody was looking, which was pretty much all the time--I became a regular writer for the show. Eventually I moved here because I was asked, and I said yes.
The Moth stuff—I used to dabble in Moth storytelling in New York, and was a volunteer way back then, too. Eventually I introduced the Moth to Garrison. When The Moth expanded to the Twin Cities, they already knew me and so it was easy to ask me to be the producer instead of someone who is probably far more worthy. So that’s why I’m there. I like doing it, and doing it is why I know all of you. So that’s worth it right there. Okay that’s enough typing for this segment. On to the next one.
Thanks for listening.