Comedian Jen Kirkman Q&A

Consciousness Magazine – Q&A with stand-up Comedian Jen Kirkman

This Saturday, April 23rd, join The New York Times best-selling author and stand-up comedian Jen Kirkman in Chicago for a special book release show Jen Kirkman: “I know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself” She will be performing at Thalia Hall (1227 W 18th St.). Doors open at 7:00pm; ages 17 and over.

Unlike a typical stand-up show - this is a night of funny, personal, and cringe-worthy stories told by Jen - aka “dispatches from a life under construction”.  Tales of an awkward kid, teen, young and now….the technically an adult Jen.  Stories that aren’t in the book. Then a reading from the book and a Q&A after!  Ask anything! Except don’t ask what the meaning of life is - Jen knows but she’s not gonna tell you.  You figure it out. **books will be for sale at the show** And after every show Jen will sign books.

Here is what Jen Kirkman has to share with the readers:

Q: Jen, as an amazing comedian, you are also a New York Times Bestselling author. What is the energy like for you whenever you come to Chicago to perform?  What can audiences expect from your upcoming performance in town at Thalia Hall on April 23rd?
A: Hello! Thank you. The energy in Chicago is always, always electric, but polite electric because after all they are good mannered Midwesterners. They are loud when they should be.  Even though I was just in Chicago this past September, the audience can expect an all NEW kind of show.  I used to do one woman shows a lot in Los Angeles years ago and also storytelling shows, funny shows but not traditional comedy club stand-up.  I never thought of taking this stuff on the road until this book tour gave me the perfect opportunity to tour with something a little different. They can expect a show full of stories (that aren’t in my book) that are about times in my life when I thought I knew what I was doing, but was going about things in stupid ways --- mostly because I was young.  There are stories of a failed talent show (complete with me dancing to a Beach Boys song), tales of fearing nuclear war (yes, it’s funny), taking a fear of flying course, thinking I was James Dean when I moved to NYC, and where I’m at now. 

Q: You have a recently released book titled “I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself”. What was your inspiration to writing it?
A: The first inspiration is that after publishing my first book a few years ago (“I Can Barely Take Care of Myself”), I knew that okay, I can really be an author.  I’ve always wanted to be an author, and I dedicated my first book to a teacher I once had who told me that I wasn’t a good writer.  I hope to keep writing a new book every few years -- the way that I keep coming out with new stand-up every few years.  The inspiration for the stories in this book sort of happened while I was writing.  I started to notice that the stories had a theme.  I took a risk, I wanted things to go a certain way and when they didn’t I had to be in acceptance about it, and laugh.

Q: Do you have a particular message that you mainly want to get out to your fans and readers?
A: The message is the message that I like getting, which is that you may be the only one you know with your particular problem, but you are not alone --- millions of people feel the same way you do.  Also, without being an irresponsible idiot there is a way to take life less seriously, while taking giant risks, pursuing what you love, losing sometimes and having to move on. And what I mean by less seriously isn’t some dumb “live, laugh, love” pillow, but don’t beat yourself up if your desired results aren’t achieved.  I’m not going to say everything happens for a reason, but if we don’t find the meaning in things not going our might as well just never get out of bed because you’ll be miserable. 

Q: Is there anything that you would like for the readers to take away once they read this amazing book?
A: That by the time they’ve read it, I’ve already gone through so many changes since I wrote those words, just like they will and we are all in this weird life experience together...even if we don’t know one another personally. 

Q: “I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself” is known to be hilarious and emotionally profound. In your book, would the fans and readers learn to know more about you and some personal aspects of your life?
A: This book is entirely about my personal life, so if they don’t learn something about me --- they weren’t paying attention. They’ll even learn about some bizarre changes my nether regions went through right before I turned 40. 

Q: What are some of the goals that you look to achieve and accomplish with your new project?
A: As with any new project, I’m always working on them while promoting the old project.  All I want to achieve with anything is happiness and to get paid doing it.

Q: As a successful stand-up comedian, I know it took a lot of hard work for you to get to where you are in your career. Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for up and coming comedians?
A: The advice is that there is no advice! There are no shortcuts. Just get on stage all of the time and accept that you aren’t going to be funny right away. Even if your jokes are funny and you get laughs, accept that you have to be on stage SO MANY TIMES FOR YEARS before it “looks” normal.  Don’t be impatient. Be willing to do comedy for no pay for the rest of your life. It has to be a passion project. And don’t send your YouTube links of your stand-up out to famous stand-ups. They can’t help you. Don’t push your life. Let it unfold. And don’t worry about any of your peers who you’re jealous of --- they may end up going a different way and not being your competition anymore. And don’t worry about trying to work with people in the generations ahead of you - look to your left and right - your peers will be the working comics of the next generation. Get to know them. Don’t worry about impressing the old people. We are on our way out. 

For more information about Jen Kirkman visit 




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