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Teresa Lo

What comedy most inspires you?

I like observational standup, fun TV shows, tweets, sketches, etc. I'm inspired by anything that makes me laugh, is memorable, or gives me some kind of strong reaction.

Which comedian most inspires you?

I'm inspired by Dave Chappelle and how he tackles social issues. He's very fearless, and he doesn't apologize because he believes in what he says.

Which comedian scares the shit out of you because you know you'll never be that good?

When I first saw this question I just saw "what comedian scared the shit out of you" and I was going to answer the predator ones.

Why and how did you get into comedy?

I've always loved movies and TV shows, and when I was in college, my first big break was getting to be an intern for The Late Show with David Letterman. After that I went to film school and pursued writing only; but about two years ago, I finally tried standup. I took a class at Flappers University in Burbank, California, and I've been working on my craft ever since.

What drives you to do what you do?

I'm most driven by wanting to form connections with people. I spend a lot of time writing alone, and I wanted to do standup so that I could be social. This is a dark thing to say, but I recently had an aunt who died who lived somewhat of a spinster life. She and my other aunt lived together for years. They didn't have children, romantic partners, or friends. They just isolated with each other; and when my aunt died, the other was really lonely.  Seeing all that cemented in me the importance of having a community and something to do.

Describe your perfect Tuesday.

My perfect Tuesday starts with me exercising in the morning at my gym, and after I get back, I shower and get ready for the day. I write for a few hours, watch some TV, and grab an early dinner with a friend. It's a very boring day, but I like routines, low stress, and good food.

Describe your worst experience on a coach.

I had to look up "coach." It's a bus? When I was a kid, I went on a tour around New England in the United States, but the bus was run by a Chinese tourist company. There was a grumpy old man who used to yell at me in Mandarin, and the toilet was broken but someone still took a poop in the bus' restroom, which stayed on the bus for days.

Best sofa you've ever slept on?

I like to visit my sister in New York City, so I guess hers.

Best piece of advice a comedian ever gave you?

Don't do bringer shows. My first year doing comedy, all these bringer producers invited me to do sets on their shows, but I'd only get to do 5 minutes if I brought 10 people who had to buy $20 tickets and abide by the two drink minimum. I really wanted to do these shows because I wanted to perform on the stages of some big clubs, but a friend warned me that I should be focusing on my skills as a performer, not marketing and stressing about getting my friends to go to a show in which I wasn't even getting paid. At the time, it pained me to turn down certain bringer spots, but looking back, I am so glad I did.

Worst piece of advice a critic ever gave you?

Someone made fun of me for taking comedy classes, but I've taken classes with writing, acting, filmmaking etc. Why not take a standup class? I've enjoyed taking standup classes, getting feedback, and meeting people. This snobbery that comics are too good for comedy education confuses me.

Tell us a joke.

American student loan companies saddle 18-year-olds with 6-figure debts, and after the kids graduate, they end up being offered jobs for minimum wage.

What's the furthest you've travelled for the least amount of money/open spot?

I travelled across the United States to do festivals, and even though I get booked for those shows, I'm paying to go. I still think it's worth it, but hopefully, one day they'll pay me.

On a scale of 1-10 , how hungry are you right now?

10. I could always go for some carbs.

How has lockdown been for you?

Lockdown has been an emotional roller coaster. I got more writing work, I got back together with my cheating ex and weeks later dumped that cheating ex, I gained 15 pounds, and I had to cancel numerous live performances. I definitely did a lot, while also doing very little.

Have you been more or less productive?

I wanted to write a new book, but that never happened. I ended up writing a ton of standup material, though, and I got more paid writing gigs. So some goals were met and others not so much.

Anything else you'd like to say?

Thanks for having me! Besides standup, I'm also an author & journalist, and my work can be found here:

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