« The Rachel Hollis Podcast

556: The Funny Thing About Failure | The Journey to Success from Our Favorite Comedians - Bert Kreischer, Iliza Shlesinger, Dane Cook, and Catherine Reitman

2024-02-07 | 🔗

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Love of home. Just like there's you can make yourself accessible. There's no kingmakers anymore. Like just cause you don't have a Netflix special doesn't mean you can't have a YouTube special. Doesn't mean you can't blow up on TikTok. The market dictates. And that is what's so great about standup is. The bad and good thing about it is like you live and die by your jokes. Hi, I'm Rachel. And in this show, we talk about everything. Life and work, health and healing, relationships with others and...
With ourself. These are stories for the seekers. These are conversations for the curious. This is the Rachel Hollis podcast. Hey guys, it's Rach here and welcome to another episode in our Mastermind series. So if you're not already familiar, Mastermind is where we pick a single topic and then we bring in the best of the best interviews. Teachers, creators, writers, musicians, doesn't matter who it is, but in seven years--
Of doing this show. We've had some really good conversations and we bring in the best around this specific topic. Today, we're talking about failure, but we're talking about failure with a bunch of comedians. We thought it would be awesome to approach failure through a more lighthearted perspective. So in today's episode, you're going to From Burt Kreischer, Dane Cook, Eliza Schlesinger, Katherine Reitman, and anyone else we can think of who is talking about their journey to becoming a comedian and what failure looked like along the way. Hopefully this episode makes you laugh. Hopefully it inspires you to keep doing your thing, whatever your thing is, and if you enjoy it, hopefully you'll share it with someone else. In your life. Enjoy today's mastermind episode, the funny thing.
About failure. As many personal stories into this. People will think I'm crazy and indulgent and all of the above and selfish, which I am, but fuck it, I'm just gonna go for it. And it worked out. - Do you feel like the success happened for that? Was that something that factored in? That was like, I gave it everything I had. It's, you know, Eminem, you've got one shot. You gave it all to season one and then it ended up being so fantastic that people are like, give us more. Um, first of all, not my first time being compared to Eminem. Lots of mom spaghetti, you know what I mean? But no, we sort of like, we sort of see... And I opened the room and I'm like, Fuck, I got nothing. I burned everything on season one, guys. -How funny. -And then the irony was, the longer you--
Are a mother, the more you know, yet stories will keep bubbling up. Your kids just get increasingly strange teachers and friends with new parents and work continues to get... Complicated with your responsibilities as a mother's because there's more piano recitals and more, you know, it all it's Rich world. So you can go on for a very long time. That being said, I didn't want to overstay my welcome. And at the beginning of season Six when we were in the room. I was like, what do you think guys? And I was like, one more, two more. And we just sort of shaped it to the end of seven. I love that because I think we all know those shows that were like, probably We should have wrapped that sooner. And it's nice when it's actually thought out. Because If you love a show and then all of a sudden it's suddenly not there and you're like, wait, you didn't wrap up anything we need.
To know because you were kind of putting it off forever. Well, in their defense, a lot of the times they're just canceled, right? You're just like, Oh! They had no choice, right? Yeah, exactly. A character goes upstairs with a plan, we never see them again. Right. Lost when they were right. And they were like, Oh, we had no, we didn't know. We didn't know it was an hatch. Like we didn't know why we put that. We just were like building the place. As we were flying. Does that make you angry? Yeah, no I enjoyed it. It was entertaining. Still had a great time. Right, I mean there are a lot of hanging chads and that that I sort of wish we had wrapped up but it's okay. It's been 20 years we can, I'll move on someday. Yeah, right. How did you get to the very first like you're greenlit, you have a show, you're doing this thing in what at the time you thought and maybe executives thought was a niche category. There's so few working moms in the world, I'm sure no one Relate to this. Yeah, I mean, it was kind of crazy making, right? We had got pregnant, had a child.
Never thought I was going to be a mom. My husband basically convinced me. He was like, I promise I'll have your back. You can do this. I was a largely out of work actress at the time. And we decided to have a kid and thank God 'cause Jackson, both of my kids. Are the best. You're in Canada. Yeah. You get greenlit for 13 episodes. Yes. Had You ever done anything at that scope before? Do you ever let okay, so what was that process like? I was pregnant two days pregnant a week. No big deal. Terrifying. I mean, I ran a writer's room for the first time, and I always liken it to like my baby. And my show grew up at the exact same pace like they were on parallel paths I white knuckled it through that first kid right just like trying to do everything and trying to control everything And then by season two you have this toddler who kind of knows who she is. Yeah. And she's walking and telling you when it's funny and when it's not funny.
Then all of a sudden she's graduating, you know, seven seasons later and I have to step back and go People have turned it into their own story. They've connected with it in a way That's much more meaningful than anything I could have ever done. That's cool. And that's really cool and you have to Also, like, accept that she's going to go and move on. Yeah. And I have to move on. Yeah. How does that feel? Like, really good. Yeah. Right now it feels really good. Just moments of, you know, Oh man, I hope I still get to talk about it. Mmm, yeah, of course, forever. Right, you have so there's so much content out there. Absolutely. And then there's moments where I'm like, it's still like right now Things and it's so fun to break new worlds and find new characters that aren't the same I've been dealing with for seven years. - Is there some trepidation in that of like, oh, what if it doesn't work again? - Of course, of course. The lessons I learned, the great news about not having one season getting canceled and starting again is I learned so much.
In the last seven years about a how much I don't know until I get to post and that's where we edit the show together and also that As long as it's authentic and means something to me, it's probably going to mean something to someone else. That's cool. So tell me about that, what you don't know until you get to posts. Are you finding things in the end? Editing process that you're like, Ooh, we should have done that differently. Oh, yeah. Like all the time. Or a set up of-- - Both, I mean, whether we, usually it's, did we write something that... Made so much sense in the room and then you get to the floor, meaning you get to shooting it with the actors and the crew and usually that's the first step where you go okay well that. It made a lot of sense in our imagination, but now we're playing it out. The set actually looks like this. Your costume is bold. We've got a tweak. And then you get to edit where you're like, it made so much sense when we had, you know,
Conceived of it and now it doesn't play for whatever reason. And how do you manage that? Like do you edit it out? Do you do reshoots? I'm not sure how TV works. I've done both. Sometimes you shoot something and then the Harvey Weinstein issue comes up in real life and you've got a character that... Problematic and you have to reshoot an ending where he has to learn a proper lesson. That's happened to us. Just moments where you're like, Oh God, we didn't get the right coverage. And we've done everything from just... Lose the whole scene to recutting it in a way where it makes sense. It makes sense. So those rewrites in real time, like when the world's happening around us, you know, something like me too. And you're like, Okay, we have to flip this and make a different decision. Feel exciting and like empowering in that moment? Or does that feel like, oh God, if we rush something like this, are we going to do it in the wrong way? Or like, how's it going to feel?
Of the rush anymore just because everything is rush always concerned that my god i hope we're executing this properly let's give Of that I guess only because I can see until it's live on Netflix or wherever your streamer is like it there's so much time to respond. Meaning we can do a lot with very little. So that's always given me a lot of... My husband and I use that just in our day-to-day life of like, Right, we got to slow down to hurry up. Let's slow down. Let's take a breath. Three breaths. I bet you we have some clarity on what to do. From production life. So moving on to your next projects, do you feel like you have the same Energy and intention because this this one kind of like not magically occurred but like it almost sounds like maybe you weren't Denied by everybody and then you have the scary godmother, right? So do you have the same sort of like, I guess it's reverse magic where
No one had ever seen any proof of concept with me that I was worth investing in. So all I knew was no. And so the yes- Was this your first big- Oh yeah. I'd acted in a few things, but- I've never created anything. That's really fucking cool. That's really cool. I won the lottery. Well, you worked how many decades? To get to a place where you won the lottery. - My husband always says that you may have won the lottery in season one, but by season seven, you work for the lottery? - Yeah, exactly, you are the lottery. - You are the lottery. - But that, I mean, I feel, okay, forgive me if I'm wrong, Did you feel any, as you're going through this process, you're a working actress, you're trying to find your, Moment, right? And maybe you're looking at other people that you grew up with, other people that you know, friends of yours, because you grow up in this town, I feel like you probably know people in the industry. Are you seeing other people have success and thinking
Like where's my moment? Do you ever have that? No. Okay, that's fantastic. So I definitely, I mean I was in Santa Barbara at 15 on. Which is a very actual like it's a beautiful small town that absolutely has industry people in it but most of the people I grew up with I Mean, it's not that they're not successful They absolutely are, but they're not a-- I was more in like comedian circles. circles. And we were... We're all just busting ass trying to get an inch here. We were just excited to get a pilot. And so the trajectory-- Most of us was, Alright, well audition, we probably won't get the pilot. But if we do, it probably won't get picked up for series. If that happens, that's not going to get a second season. So I was so far back on this trajectory. Was you have 13 episodes and then it's greenlit and then it goes on for seven years. Yeah. Like I'm still like, what the fuck? Yeah. How did that happen? But to answer your
Initial question which was are you nervous about that? Are you because of the magic that happened with working moms? What's so wild to me now is the amount of people, thanks to work and mom success, who are going, Hey, you wanna do this here, or you wanna do that there? - Cool. - And I'm like, What? Where were you eight years ago? And now I'm like, okay, now I have to be really smart. Because if I am lucky enough for this to go for more than five years, I know what I know the time it takes I know that it takes me away from my children One of them who clearly has a neuropsychiatric disorder. I know what it takes. So I'm trying to be really Smart about the yeses. During the winter, having something hot in the morning really makes a big difference in my day. Quaker has been a...
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Everything's something to look forward. Yeah, everything is a thing where you're like, ooh like having One of those every two weeks and for me they happen daily. I get them daily. But I've set up my life so that's it. What are those things like I'm having doing with friends? I'm doing a reveal for the Bucks jerk, New Jersey in June 5th, and then I'm gonna go play golf Dad the day before that. And then Morgan Whalen's coming to the SoFi Center. Oh, cool. Yeah. And like, so like, I love, well, and then there's... There's the obvious one. My movie comes out Memorial Day weekend. I planned the, or I helped plan for the most part, the red carpet event. But um...
I'm going to do Drink Champs, there's a podcast I really look forward to doing for a long time next Monday. Like things where I go, this is a good thing. - So you're still like enjoying this. - Oh, enjoying what? - The success, the career, the-- - It's weird because, you know, so we came from, and I don't know the right way to say this, but we came from this underground roots of the entertainment business. So like Hollywood overlooked a lot of us, and we started doing podcasts. And then-- - I fucking, yes, I love this topic. I'm so excited to talk about it because comedians really nailed direct to consumer. Like you fucking figured out how to--
Bypass every studio every brand everybody who said we are the gatekeepers and you need us to access and y'all were like fuck you We can go direct. So sorry to know and so and so we a lot of us I'll say Rogan included who's one of my closest friends We're like fuck everyone. I'm doing my own thing. Tommy did that Zugara Rogan, Ari Joey, Duncan, Marin to an extent, but Marin has gone and done, had a really amazing acting career recently. But like a lot of us just did this like, we're gonna do our stuff and then fuck everyone else. And then-- - And just out of curiosity, did you guys know what you were doing? - No. - Or you were just like, let's get microphones and talk and see what happens? - I mean, respectfully, and I know that--
Everything can take another context Snowflakes coming down the screen on his first few podcasts Like I mean it was like it was And we really didn't know what we were doing because we were talking absolutely reckless. Whatever would shock us and make us laugh was the thing we saw. Right. What we didn't even think this is 2000 Nine ten. Oh wow Maybe twelve. I'm not really certain with times. I'm bad with numbers, but I remember The payoff was immediate. You got these this fan base of like Diehard fans who loved being a fly on the wall with these comedians getting high as shit. I mean you would do a podcast and you wouldn't even remember what you said. Like legit. And you'd I mean you get phone calls from people going like bro what the fuck and you're like what do you mean?
Talk shit about me last night. I'm like, did I? I didn't-- - Were you doing it live? - Oh, we were doing them live. They were streaming live. They were streaming live and there was no edit. Once you said it, you said it. - Oh my gosh. - And it went out everywhere. - Oh wow. - And so, but the payoff was like, people were coming to our shows. And we were getting a fan base and we were having a fucking blast. I mean it was... There's no way, I mean, I'm doing Rogan in a couple weeks to promote the movie. - Cool. - And there's a part of me that I wished, there was a part of me that if he said, Hey man, can we just do it in LA at my old house, in my old office, that bedroom I converted into an office? 'Cause that was the like. It's still a blast doing it like the last time I did it I think we did like five hours, but like it's still a blast doing it, but those
Early days were like, it was like the special thing. - Yeah. - And we all started doing that. And then we all started getting success in different sort of ways. Like, you know, you'd watch, I think Tommy was the first one to really start doing theaters in like a big capacity. I was still on Travel Channel, so I wasn't doing, I was like straddling the fence. Like I couldn't smoke weed on camera on Joe's podcast. They would turn the camera, 'cause one time a network-- He's like, Yo man, you're fucking doing drugs on camera. And I was like, It's weed. And he's like, It doesn't matter. He's like, We're owned by, they were owned by Scripps, which was pretty much a faith-based company. And he's like, You cannot be smoking weed on camera. So when I would smoke weed, they'd turn the camera away from me and I'd smoke weed.
And then, so it was, and I was a little bit careful of what I was saying at times, like only like, but you never know. So we had a fucking blast. And then we all started getting success in certain ways. I was still a travel channel, I got fired from travel channels. - Well so, I love this story and I've heard you talk about it with Joe, and I would love to understand it more. So did you not have a plan to be a standup comedian? Like how did you end up hosting a travel show? - Okay, so I, when I got into the business in, when I was 26, I don't know what year that was, I started doing standup, I started doing standup at 26. - Here in LA? - In New York. - Okay. - Place called the Boston Comedy Club. And I, in doing it, I got discovered very quickly by Will Smith, like six months into doing standup. I know, yeah. - What? - I know, I know. - This is crazy, I've never heard that. - I've had the craziest, I have the craziest,
Luck, the craziest luck. And so I get discovered by Will Smith six months in. We sign the development deal, we sell it to Fox, I move out here for seven months living in the Universal Sheraton. Deal goes away. Kind of go, Ah, we'll figure out what we're doing. I moved back to New York. I do a tour in Scotland and in the middle of Scotland with a guy named Patrice O'Neal and Rich Voss.
In the middle of Scotland, I get another offer to do a TV show and another development deal. I'd done a showcase that done went well. So I get a TV show and so I start hosting. This is really inside baseball, but like when it comes to talent in this business you get you have different muscles. Hosting is a definite muscle. Being able to read promper, talk to camera, interview someone, move, move, move, copy forward and be like great. That's awesome. Let's take a look at the next thing. So you have cheesecake and what beer did you pair that with? Like that muscle is a muscle. Okay, and so I learned that muscle very young and so adversely I could, I don't know if that's the right word, adversely I could get jobs and pay the bills by hosting bullshit pilots.
So like I did a pilot, The World's Best Dancing Dog. - No! - Where we searched the world for the best dancing dog. It was the worst pilot. I remember going to the first dinner with the team, director, producer, writer, everyone. It was for Animal Planet and they're like, I go. They go, You want a beer? This has happened a number of times. And I go, No, no, I don't want a beer. I'm gonna be focused. I wanna really hit this out of the park. And the guy goes, Do you though? I said, What? And he goes, Do you wanna hit it out of the park? Or wouldn't it be nice if you just took the money for this pilot and this never went anywhere? I went, What do you mean? He goes, Do you wanna spend the next eight years of your life looking for a dancing dog? We'll all do a good job, but let's not hit it out of the park. And I went-- Good point. I will have-- Good point. He goes, let's have a good time. We're all getting a paycheck. Let's make the product and make sure--
Doesn't go anywhere. And I was like, fuck, are you serious? And so, so I did that for like, I did that for, I did maybe 25 pilots. I did a sitcom pilot all that went away and then I started making pilots Some turn in TV shows like the show hurt Bert that I did and but most in some did some Fresh paid video games these shows that no one saw but they paid good money You make 130 grand for like 10 episodes and you're like, it's great Five grand was my was my feed and it was ten grand and some pilots were awesome never went anywhere some pilots were absolutely horrible and you just We're like, and then I get, but I'm doing stand up the whole time. - Okay. - And then I get an offer. What I was really good at was being absolutely terrified and hosting, but being scared and hurt. So like if you could fuck me up somehow, then it was like gold.
By a bull viral clip. I was an MMA fighter, I got choked out by a Gracie. Like everything. Every time I got hurt, I was a professional football player. So then Travel Channel comes to me and they're like, Yo, we want a guy to ride roller coasters for a living. I go, Yeah, I'm not that guy. And they're like, No, we think you'd be great. And so I end up doing it and they see that I'm afraid of heights and I'm afraid of roller coasters. And so I'm like a child, I'm a big fat child on these roller coasters and like, this is great. We do Birth to Conquer, do like two seasons. It airs right after Man vs. Food, that's our lead in. I mean we have huge numbers and then, you know, and then.
The whole time I'm doing stand-up, and that right then is when I meet Rogan. I think that's 2012. I'm probably 36 years old. I'm guessing. I'm bad with numbers. And so I do Travel Channel for like seven years, and then one night I come into the comedy store, and Bill Burr and Rogan are in the green room. And I'm like, Hey guys. And it's awkward. It's almost like they were talking about me. And I was like, Hey guys. And they're like, Hey, what's up? I was like, What are you guys? And then they just were like, Your TV show sucks. I go, What? And they're like, It's not you. You're not that guy. You should not be hosting shows. You should be focusing on your podcast and stand-up. Now, I've been doing stand-up, and I've been doing podcasts, but I've been...
Owning the men because I'm getting good money at Travel Channel. Right. And at this point are you married with kids? Married with kids. Two kids. I wish I knew years would be important in this, but I'm really bad at like figuring out when this was. I can actually tell you, it was 2017. Okay. It was 2017 because I had an outstanding offer from this great guy named Gary Garfin, Clover Showtime to shoot a special at Showtime. It's an outstanding offer. One of the coolest things that ever happened in my career, coolest things, a real short story, just to celebrate a man who's passed. Garfinkel. I'll get emotional telling this but it was really cool. So I go to Montreal to run my hour for all the network execs. It's really stressful. Small comedy club. I sell it out because Rogan's starting to build...
And I'm in the green room, I'm nervous, and Gary Garfinkel comes up with a glass of scotch. And he sits it down and he says, Congratulations. I said, What do you mean? He goes, What a great fucking night. And I said, Yeah. And he goes, You nervous? I said, Yeah. And he goes, Well, don't be. I said, Really? And he goes, Yeah, I'll buy your hour right now. He said, So know that I bought it, and go out there and kill it and make a bidding war. Oh my God. That's a great fucking guy. - Oh wow. - So I cry on every fucking goddamn podcast. Why the fuck do I cry so much? I think it's 'cause I'm getting old. So-- - No, it's 'cause you're feeling it. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. He was a great guy, he passed. And so, and so they tell me, you shouldn't be doing this show. You should focus on your podcast, focus on your stand up. I shoot the Showtime for Special. No one fucking watches it. No one watches it. 'Cause I take my shirt off. There's a one note that this very sweet lady at Showtime
If you keep your shirt on, you don't give them reason to change the channel. And I was like, what do you mean? She goes, if you take your shirt off, you're actually giving them a reason to go, I don't want to see that. And she goes, it's a real decision, it's a choice. And I went, yeah, but I haven't performed my shirt on in like eight years. I don't know what it, I'm uncomfortable with a shirt on. She's like, Can we do one with your shirt on and one with your shirt off and I was like no cuz you'll use one with my Shirt on absolutely. And so so I did it with my shirt off. No one watched it was the lowest rated special Showtime had ever aired. I misread my contract. I posted all the clips from my special including the machine story. I posted All of them on my Facebook. It's the lowest. People have heard me say this before.
But I'll reiterate it because I think our concentric circles of our fans is probably very small. Yes. It's the lowest point of my life. My wife is redoing our house. I've been let go from Travel Channel. I let Travel Channel call and they said, You know, we're not going to renew your contract. We don't have a space for you on this network. You say you want to be Anthony Bourdain. You are no Anthony Bourdain We're moving on I was supposed to do a funny or die tour. That was a big thing. It was called oddball I got pulled off for no reason at all. Like just they were like, yeah, we'll save money take him off and Which was crushing because I'd cancelled my entire all my tour dates for the fall For that my best friend Tom Sager is fat shaming me It's going viral, right? - As a joke or it's actually hurting your feelings? - It's a joke, it's a joke, it's a joke, but it started, he was fatter than me at the time.
So it was ironically funny. But it was a joke, but it starts going viral. And I mean, everything is falling apart in my life. I had one club date at Helium, and the manager on the ride back from radio, as I'm looking at a convenience store, and a guy in basketball shorts, a wife beat her. And a cigarette with slides and socks on, smoke a cigarette. And I'm looking at him going, How nice is his life? Going like, He, you know, I bet he doesn't go to sleep worrying about work, he just wakes up going, I'll have a cigarette. Guy isn't worried about health, he isn't worried about anything. When your comedy unites people in some way and sometimes I get that story and then they finally decide okay you know what we're upgrading our life and we're Expanding our enterprise. I think that people, for whatever reason, they reach out and it always starts, we love your standup, we either had a date at your--
Or we almost broke up after your show or But then it's like a real heartfelt like we only felt it was right to You if you have an opinion on the name People are bananas. Oh people are- They're crazy. I'm glad that we can just own that at this point and be like, there was a time in history I think that we thought we were all like regal right and everybody was Was supposed to be at some level of some seniority or royalty and no it's like we're all pretty dumb. Yeah Yeah, we all know some smart shit Share with other dumb people. And if you get the right crew of imbeciles, and like we all are, you might get a squad of smart people. Because we all are smart enough in our domain. Yes To know okay. We won't fully fall apart because Mike knows how to build And Laurie's an accountant right it's like but people will ask me and then I will sit and I'll be like okay
Ask questions I'll be like you know you're gonna have it were you from it where did you conceive the child we're like and I just get like Backstory and next thing, you know, I'm like Farah and have you gotten confirmation? Oh, yeah, they fully named their for sure I've been I'm so I'm like the old bull. So now not only do I get the confirmation I get the like You know, she graduated from fifth grade. Today she asked me how she got her name. - No way. - Yeah, it's been a kick. That's one of the, that, and I think one of the wildest days of my life, beautiful day, was I was doing something with Children's Hospital. I was in Children's Hospital as a kid, so that means a lot to me to continue to...
You know, ingratiate myself and help that community. And I'm roaming the halls one day, I think we're doing like a Christmas type thing. And, and they, they said, Oh, this woman down the hall, could you meet her son ago in this little cute toe head kid is sitting, he's smiling. And she said, this is We named him after you. Oh wow. And thankfully he was dealing with something that he was Be okay yeah but i'd never met uh named after you yeah and my mom fought to name me dane against Me to be named Dane. My dad didn't call me by my own name till I was like 18 because That my mom wanted to meet me. - What did he want you to be called? - Angus McIsaac. - That's not true. - With a hyphen. First name. If my dad had his way, I was Angus McIsaac. It was a mentor and a friend he lost Oh, I was gonna be a.m. Angus MacIsaac and my mom literally
The day of giving birth switched it up and said I'm gonna name him Dane and that's because not the Thornbirds some people go there's a Dane character in the book she just like great Danes. Do you have moments where you're like I am fucking Crushing it. We're selling out. We're doing the thing. We're doing it. And then someone will be like, But we found this article that says you're ugly. Well, it's the exact moment. Yeah, but that's the pendulum swing. And sometimes the pendulum goes swings like that. And sometimes it's a nice year of a swing. But I kind of always prerequisite know like, I can have a joyous moment, but then grounding myself and realizing, you know, there's something else that could come along. So even if it's a few seconds, revel in it, but you know, figure out how to fortify it. For me, it's like, okay, when everything's going along, and we're in flow, and it's working, and then something sort of comes out of left field, I always feel like, wait, this is a lesson. Because it's trying to
To punch me in the face. Yeah. And then I have days where I'm like, life is just left field. The whole thing we've signed up for is a left field and we're meant to be, it's, this is a change. Challenge, Universal Game Show, we're on it. And the key to winning is going more hits more hits. I have to. I have to. Right, exactly. Because the alternative is looking at every Single person around you and realizing, man, everybody is broken in some way. Everybody's fractured. Everybody is trauma. Based, everybody is capsized, but the ones that own it and stand up straight and say, Happen to me instead of trying to facade it or however. That to me is like the lesson of okay, me too. I have that same experience. And the way to the way I for me the way to journey forward.
Is to share all those experiences, good or bad, in real time, as quickly as I can therapy it out with people that do want to listen, 'cause of course not everybody wants to have a robust, introspective conversation, -but I do. I do. -Yeah. So I have surround myself with the people that in real time, we allow each other to revel in moments, even if it's obnoxious and a little over the top. When we break down we don't wait to say is everything okay? We just go right to each other and say I'm not okay today. Right, and we know how to like start those things in a row. But well sometimes when those moments happen what I actually Go to is I'm so I'm looking at someone else going. Wow. Someone's throwing you a life preserver and you're making a Really interesting choice about how and then I go, What am I doing this? Is that why the universe is giving me this moment? Is there something else that I can do? Is there something else that I can do?
Some area of my life that there's an opportunity that I'm looking at in the wrong... Like I will approach it from every angle, which is maybe I'm making up the reality, Reality, it's like, I'm learning, I'm evolving, I'm growing. And it maybe me helping wouldn't have done anything at all. But I just am like, Damn, imagine being desperate, and still not accepting help. The other side of that is a person or individuals that, for whatever their narrative, they need to crash and burn. You're on the ride that they are nose diving in. We could do this. Don't you love people that, there's those people once in a while that come along and go.
This whole fucking conversation is just, it's all coincidence. You don't know. And you're finding ways to, and they're kind of, they kind of alleviate you and take the burden off of, because I am, I love talking shop, human shop, comedy. I love delving in and being like, because I believe it's a greater mystery. And so I do go like, okay, like maybe the whole key is when you finally pass on some day, somebody's there going, you learned 80. Send to the playbook. You're good. Right? You can eat anything now. You don't just get the left side of the heaven buffet. It's the whole room. No, I remember when you didn't care. I remember when you sort of disassociated. And then when things came back online, you were like, Oh, we love her. And I'm like, No, I remember. Well, I forgive those people. And I -- I -- I --
I've called people on them, you know forgiveness is by the way, that's also like it's such a blanket like I forgive you It's not like that. It's like hey There are things I love about you, but I don't respect that and I hope that changes And I still don't want you like out of my life, but that thing you did, you know, I recognize it Sometimes just by saying that to somebody they'll come around may take a minute And it may take 10 years. I've had, I had somebody like literally 10 years after a moment in my life come to me and say, I want to apologize for this thing that I. You don't even know I did this to you 10 years ago, but I recognize that you knew that there was nefarious people around you. You and I was one of them. I just want to say instantly I was like I respect that. It doesn't make the relationship perfect.
But I'd rather have people like that around me than somebody who it's seemingly like just All you know all great, right? So yeah, it's like that that idea of of I know who was there for me when I came up for air People who didn't even need to be there people Who had their own things going on, good and bad, did not need to take that time for me. So, a lot of love, endless infinite amounts of love for those people who helped me in really scary, scary times. You know, really lost in my own thoughts. But the people that, you know, neglected me. Maybe they just weren't ready. Maybe they didn't know how. There's a lot of reasons it's not always just they're bad. They sucked. It's easy to be like, You fucking b--
You blew me on. It's like, but why? I do want to understand why, even if I don't like it more than just going, you know, like there are people in my life that I have sat with in the last couple of years. Knee to knee and said like I want to own some things but I also want to give you an opportunity to like and let's just let's not pass each other in the night. And look at each other that way anymore? What would happen if we just... it's not a podcast... Only you and I need to know the result of this. So let's just fucking throw it out on the table. It's been like magnificent because it's... Shifts the energy and next thing you know you're like sometimes you're even creating with people that you're like I never thought I could I would and then other people it's just nice to be able to see them and go oh we see each other differently because we allowed each other to especially as men to like really be vulnerable vulnerable
You know that it's yeah, the testosterone lowers a little bit as you get older And that's why I like some people will go like why do those people keep doing? Donuts in the middle of the fucking street and then they Hit like 10 people and you're like, yeah, but when you're like 25 and you're driving a sports car and you have a thing called testosterone, like you're bonkers. - Yes. - So as that starts to settle, hopefully. The first thing that a lot of fellas especially will do is go like, let's sweep your side of the street. It's very powerful, very manly to take ownership over things that you've done that might have, uh, you know, put people in a bad spot and then you'd be surprised at where that takes those relationships.
20th floor? Is that really? Come on. No, no, I'm genuinely curious. I'm more mean career wise. Lots of people are funny, they tell jokes, but how do you actually start making money doing this specific thing? That's a good question. I do believe the passion goes first like that you have to love making people laugh, whatever your chosen art form is. You Doing the money follows and as cheesy as that sounds when I got into stand-up I had no concept of any way to monetize anything you do a show you get paid for it in many cases when you started you didn't even get paid for it and I do think it's become stand-up and comedy is just so hot right now and there's so many ways to make it whether it's on the internet or touring there's all different ways of ticketing stuff
So I just started doing it with no concept and no real goal other than to do a good job at each show. And within that you can, you know, there's different, you know, merch or platinum ticketing, touring, not touring, monetizing your content, you know. So there's infinite ways within the realm of being funny. And was that the case when you started? Because what year was that? I started stand-up probably. 2005 ish I can never quite remember and by started I mean you know you're doing a bar show which you're Actually spending money on because you know, you're getting a drink before and you're bringing your friends and they're paying and, and then. Years in I became a professional comedian touring but people you know you would
Your spots around LA nobody was really paying and if they did it was like $10 and that was in LA New York they paid and I know that in London they paid because I remember I went to London and did a spot and they gave me some pounds and I was like this is I'm a king and then Really recently in LA, for local spots, they've been paying a lot more and clubs are paying more 'cause there's such a premium on it. But yeah, when I started, you're making $3,000 a weekend and they're hoping to get as many Many shows out of you as possible. 'Cause when you first start, the club is making their money off of the tickets, but really it's food and alcohol. And that's what I always tell young comics. I'm like, go to, you wanna start, go to any club and be like. Like what's your worst night? Let me run a show there. Because they just want to sell drinks. And your goal should not – it should not be when you first start it's not about the money. It should be about getting a solid act and then charging for it. Don't charge people to hear you.
Get something solid then. How do you get from you have an idea for a joke to it's a solid like you're ready to take it out and you feel like people can pay dollars for this? Well for me I'm like there is a degree of talent if you're a real comic where what you're gonna say is gonna be funny it may not be the most perfect joke so I'm always working out stuff and I'm always peppering it in. pepping it in. I go up almost... Every night. Not every comic works that way. When I'm on the road I don't go up at home Up for anyone listening that means like go do a set locally. Okay. Whether it be at an alt show or a club just run like a 15 minute set. Seven nights a week? Almost every night. I try to take off Sundays. I try to take off Mondays. Got it. I try. So yeah, it's about running it over and over and each night you
Up with something new and then hopefully remember it the next night and just going over and over and it keeps changing each time. Do you look forward to it every time you have to go up? No. Okay. Okay. - No, but from doing it enough, I know, like your mental health, your salvation, your energy, your key to your stress lies on the other side of that. Set. So whatever you're going through that day, there, I mean, I cancel set sometimes. Sometimes you have an obligation or you just don't feel well. If you're having a bad day, chances are, if I'm having a bad day, chances are it's gonna feel better on the other side of that set and you can, it's like a stress release. But no, I don't. I mean, there are nights like drag, especially if it sets at like 930, like drag yourself off the couch.
I've been chewing gum lately. That's like my way to get into it. And you go and you start to get energized and then I get so energized that I come home and I'm like I just need to like sit here and drink a La Croix and scroll on my phone for an hour until I get one. Right, to come down. Yeah. Absolutely. I usually eat a lot right after, even if it's 15 minutes. Do you not eat beforehand? Like is it like you're it's you're going to do a performance. So you thoughtful about like I can't have food until afterward. No. Okay. I just, I dig how people like, what is the. That allows someone to perform at their best, whether it's a Canadian or an athlete? - I think what allows me to perform at my best is the energy from the audience. You're gonna get the best set out of me if it's a great crowd, and a lot of times, especially if it's not your audience, like if you're just doing a local set, the challenge that I try to rise to every day.
Time is to dig the audience out of whatever hole someone left them in before and you try to get them on your side and that's I think the difference between professionalism versus someone just telling jokes is like waking that audience up whipping them into shape getting that energy somewhere you want it and then leaving it as a gift for the next comic. Don't have a problem eating before It's not like a nerve thing. Yeah. But I was in Vegas one time and a friend of mine, his name is Ed Huckfeld, and he produced these shows at the Venetian Forever called Lipstick and it was like all female headliner And we became very close and he came into the green room and I had like eaten a bunch of meats and cheeses. I was like, How do I look? I go, Do I look fat? He goes, No, you look full. And he was right! Like, my belly... It was full, like I ate a lot of ham. - We want to see you evolve.
Like if you were still trying to do the same jokes you were doing at 22 or whatever, it'd be like, Eww, what are you doing? And there are comics that like don't evolve and you don't need to have children to evolve. You don't need, it's not about that, but male or female there are people where you're just like, Do we want to hear this from you? Right, we're still doing the same stuff that you once were. Yeah, I really, this was not, it's not so much that it wasn't the goal as much as I didn't have the foresight about this, but when I started, you know, I talked about the things you should be talking about in your 20s. Dating, boys and girls, men and women, drinking, you know, stuff like that. And then I talked about getting married and then I talked about being an elder millennial. So I just clock life as I see it. And, you know, one day it'll be about menopause, you know, but this is a career.
Fully lived. Yeah. And I think leaning into those things. But if your experience is at 50 that you are still you know out there dating 25 year olds, then there are people who relate to that. Yeah. As long as it's wholly authentic to you. Anyone coming up in comedy right now that you're looking at going like, Oh, so rad, like such a cool perspective. All of my friends. Yeah. I just produced 18 comedy specials. I did 1810 minutes so they're bite size. Comedy specials for 18 local LA. Oh, I saw that. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. I'm glad you saw it It's called Eliza's locals and it's on it's on YouTube. I did it with 800 pound gorilla and they produce a lot of Santa specials. I just, going back to our thing about, you know, success and this industry, I was like somewhere between a Netflix hour and producing your own five minute clip on Instagram. There has to be something. So I did that. I just found these 18 comics.
Who have unique perspectives, some of whom are my friends, some of whom are comics that I've just seen working for a very long time. So we have like the guy who opens for me, his name is Hunter Hill, and he is in his 30s, our kids are two weeks apart, and he's a very evolved, gentle man, while still being a guy. I think that's a special perspective. I've got a lot of friends that do stand up. And so it's my friend Jodie Miller is a mom who adopted. She's a little bit older than me and she has her own take that I think is desperately needed and stand up. Somehow along the line we decided along the way it was like oh just any guy in his With a beard that smokes pot represents all of us. And what we're seeing now with all these different voices, like most And there's someone out there that will fully get what you're going through. Yeah. Who did I see the other day?
- And Morgan. - Yes! And I, so my family's Southern, so I got so much of the humor in that, but I've never seen someone her age in a dress and heels and cute little jewelry. It looked like my mom doing stand up, and her audience looked like my mom, and I thought, this is so incredible, 'cause it wouldn't have existed 30 years ago. - I mean, there are women over 40 in the South that are very sassy that have a very funny take, and she's representative of, I'm sure, tons of different kinds of people, but that's a voice, that's a very valid voice. And so we're seeing that across all sorts of spectrums. Gender, queer, whatever. It's not just like there's, you can make yourself accessible. There's no kingmakers anymore. Like just because you don't have a Netflix special doesn't mean you can't have a YouTube special doesn't mean you can't blow up on TikTok. The market dictates and that is what's so great about stand up is
The bad and good thing about it is like it you live and die by your jokes and So how would that be bad? It's bad if your jokes are bad Okay. It's bad if you're not getting ahead. It's like maybe that is at the end of the day, you know, I get comics that complain and they get frustrated, which is fair. Like it is really frustrating. But I always say. There is literally no one who has great jokes and puts in the work that doesn't get ahead. It doesn't happen. I know plenty of comics who have a total failure to launch. They are very funny, but they kinda dick around. They don't really do the work. Sometimes you can be talented and people will champion you, but those two things combined, you will get somewhere. No excuses. And we are past the point of, it's because I'm a girl, it's because I'm this or that. Yes, in some rooms that might work against you.
So go to another room. The Rachel Hollis podcast is produced by me, Rachel Hollis. By Andrew Weller and Jack Noble.
Transcript generated on 2024-02-08.