Karen Bergreen

Stand-up is a marathon. When you bomb, you need to get back on stage A.S.A.P. 

Karen Bergreen is a comic, dictatorial mother of two, and New York Times and O Magazine recommended author. Check out her advice to fellow comedians and comediennes below!


What inspired you to go into comedy? 

The question might almost be better stated why didn't I go into comedy earlier. I had always been obsessed with making people laugh, but it never occurred to me that that profession was a possibility.

 Photo: Dan Dion 

 Photo: Dan Dion 

I had graduated from Harvard; I was nerdy. The entertainment lifestyle was daunting. People were out late and everyone smoked.  I thought I could "perform" a little as a lawyer. I wanted to be Susan Dey from LA Law, although she wasn't funny. I wanted to look like Susan Dey, have her fun career but be funny. So I went to law school, which was not a very funny place. After five years of practice, I couldn't take it anymore. I met thousands of lawyers and none of them had the career I wanted. I was doing a lot of improv for fun on nights and weekends, and then I started doing open mics.

One day, I just dove in, and I haven't looked back.

 

What made you write a novel? Better yet? What made your write a second? 

I'm a big reader. And, after my kids were born, I had to cut down on a lot of my comedy projects. I went into a mild depression over that. I needed to fill a significant creative void. And so I started writing Following Polly, which is really a coming of age story of a woman way past her coming of age. I was going through the same thing: reinventing myself. In my second book, Perfect Is Overrated, I tackled a similar issue: there, a woman, has to find her footing after having a baby. By the way, both of these books are funny, although you wouldn't necessarily know that from the way I described them. 

 
 

 

I know that you have been coaching and teaching for ten years. What's your advice to aspiring comedians?  

First, know that stand-up is a marathon. When you bomb, you need to get back on stage ASAP. Bombing is normal normal normal. Also, talk about what you think is funny--not what you think an audience will think is funny. They want to see your personality, even if you are a horrible person.

 
 

 

What do you love and hate about the digital age we live in? 

I love catching up with people on Facebook. That's about it. Oh and I like HBO to go --or whatever that app is. Otherwise, I'm a luddite. I wish we could handwrite everything. 

 

What’s your favorite place in NYC? 

My friend Meg's house. 

 

Why did you choose to “get creative” with us? 

A dear friend said you wouldn't rip me off and that you are user friendly. And she was right!!

 

How would you describe the process/experience? 

I would say smooth. I still need to take a klonapin everytime I update my site, but that's because of my computerphobia. 

 

What responses or results have you received from your new website?  

Everyone loves it, and I've gotten a few bookings. 

 

Now that KarenBergreen.com has launched… what are you currently working on? 

Another novel is in the works. After that, I will try to do more YouTubes and then I'm going to open a bakery.