When I was younger, I would try to make all of my family and friends laugh by doing impersonations and/or spout off silly comments and observations. I had a few (and I mean few) individuals make comments about how I should be a comedian. And I actually thought about going into that world. I figured that if I made a few people giggle at my dumb jokes-I could easily have an amazing experience. As time went on, I determined that I should just stick to I know, and be a writer.
For comedian Jackie Kashian, the past couple of years have been anything but relaxing. Recently, Kashian has bumped being on the road and performing at comedy clubs from 25 weeks to 35 weeks a year. Luckily for Kashian, though, a typical week will consist of being on the road for 3 to 4 days, and the rest of the week being home. The days being at home are particularly a nice welcoming to normalcy in part due to Kashian recently getting married. “I’m a beacon of hope for everyone who ever to get married and never thought that they would,” Kashian playfully said to me during our phone conversation.
Growing up in the state of Wisconsin, around the Milwaukee area to be exact, Kashian grew up with five siblings and a father that was a salesman. Kashian mentioned that during her childhood, her father never had anything related to comedy in the house. “We would always listen to motivational speakers…I learned more about pitching and closing the deal than comedy.” It wasn’t till she was a little older and attending college in Madison, Wisconsin when she discovered the world of stand-up comedy. Kashian attended a show one night at the local comedy club, and loved it. She kept going to the club to watch the other comedians to the point that the manager approached her one night. “The manager came over and said to me ‘Open Mic. Sunday.’” Kashian said. So, Kashian without any hesitation went to the club to do a set at the open mic. “It was like heroin…the first time I did it, I’m sure I was terrible, but I just going back.” For eight months, Kashian would go to the comedy club and perform every night. “I was the only woman, so I got lots and lots of stage time,” Kashian added.
Kashian wanted to leave college and continue to pursue comedy after the eight month stint at the local club, but her sister pressured her to finish. After she graduated college, Kashian packed up her belongings and moved up to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The decision to move to Minneapolis was in part a start over. “Whenever you move to another city in stand-up comedy, you have to reinvent the wheel a little bit,” Kashian says. The change of scenery gave Kashian a better audience to perform to, and it allowed new eyeballs to see and ears to hear her set. Kashian lived in Minneapolis for about six to seven years, and then relocated to her current residence in Los Angeles.
According to Kashian’s website (www.jackiekashian.com), she describes herself by saying “comedy is like listening to a really racy episode of All Things Considered”. Her material comprises a multitude of past and present experiences of her family life by telling stories about her siblings and her father when she was growing and today. Kashian’s views on relationships are very unique, fascinating, and extremely out of the ordinary in her work. The reason is because she has had one relationship in her entire life-the one she is currently in with her now husband, having just gotten married near the age of 40. “I just never wanted to date,” Kashian explains. “My husband always says that it’s great that I never really had a boyfriend because he doesn’t really have any expectations to meet, and the bar is low. I just tell him that the bar is not low, my expectations of him are to be a decent human being.” Her presence on the stage, along with the delivery of her jokes, is light-hearted and fun. Kashian is very sarcastic, but also very pleasurable to be around.
Kashian’s resume includes a half hour special on Comedy Central, being a semi-finalist on the NBC television contest Last Comic Standing, and recently being featured on Conan on TBS. Her second comedy album, It Is Never Going To Be Bread was one of the top ten comedy albums of the year on Amazon. Kashian also hosts a weekly cult favorite podcast called “The Dork Forest” where she creates a safe space for people to admit that thing they dork out about more than anyone. Kashian recently has released her newest stand up special This Will Make An Excellent Horcrux and it is available on the website www.allthingsrecords.com for $5.
I wonder what it would be like to be up on stage and perform rehearsed material to the gathering of patrons at comedy clubs. I wonder if my jokes would have the on-lookers rolling on the floor, laughing uncontrollably. Individuals would be reaching out to their napkins and/or tissue to wipe off the tears that are rolling down from their eyes. Others would lean onto the person sitting next to them, smiling and chuckling. My material would be your typical observational humor, chronicling the misadventures of my life and what I have experienced. Throughout my set, I would share the high jinxs and shenanigans of my youth and early adulthood. I also feel like maybe it wouldn’t fare well and I should just leave it up to folks who have been putting in their time.
Case in point-the wonderful Jackie Kashian.