Would you ever guess, based on the title of this blog post, that I’m currently reading Mindy Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)? I know it’s an older title but I buy most of my books from Half Price Books. Usually, I wander in, stay for a few hours and then leave with an armful of those that I intended to read a long time ago but never got around to. This is one of them. The title alone makes me wonder if Mindy Kailing and I are actually the same people as that’s certainly been a concern of mine, multiple times.
During day one of Level 4 improv, I had to do a one-man show. At first, the idea of it terrified me but as soon as I was told I was going first, I didn’t have time to be afraid anymore and knew exactly what I’d do. Something I knew well, obviously. My one-woman show would simply be me sitting at home, alone, on a Friday night. I’d be on my couch, drinking wine, being ridiculously insecure about everything, from liking things on Facebook to whether or not anyone would ever care to read my essays to whether or not my friends are all actually hanging out without me. The good news is that I don’t have to worry about that last one much anymore (I’ll get to the “why” shortly). The others, though, we’ve still got a long way to go.
Growing up, I had a hard time finding a group(s) of women who were really and truly supportive. I mean, I had friends, but I usually had one best friend and then just got along well with everyone else. I was in choir, I was drill team captain (yeah I was! I had to brag a little…), I was in multiple academic clubs but even still, it always felt like, while the other ladies involved were my friends, we were all secretly trying to get ahead of the others. Or, maybe I just couldn’t relate to any of them. Maybe some of that was by choice, however. College was a similar story as I typically hung out with the boys and had a couple of close girlfriends to talk about said boys with.
I didn’t exactly expect that to change in recent years but it most certainly has. I’ve mentioned it before but I’ve never met a more supportive group of people overall than those I’ve met at Dallas Comedy House (DCH). That goes double for the women that I’ve met at DCH.
I’ve heard it said in general, and I’ve heard it said to me personally by Kaitlin Marone, a standup I interviewed prior to the Dallas Comedy Festival this year, that female comics need to stick together, and it’s so true. Women are funny and while some who don’t know any better might disagree, we are. Just while writing this piece and Googling for other essays of the sort for inspiration, (not that I need it, you ladies inspire me enough, but I also got distracted and needed to read something to get back on track) if you type, “why female comics…” you’ll get three autofills that are similar to, “why female comics aren’t funny.” Needless to say, it’s beyond important that we support each other’s work and support each other personally.
It’s difficult to explain but to have a group of women around you, no matter how large or how small, who are there to constantly lift you up, laugh with you, laugh at you, watch trash TV with you (shout out to #RHODCH!), support you and tell you that you’re OK, and be 100 percent honest and sincere about it, it’s a big deal. It’s something that your soul needs.
I’ve always looked up to those people who, though they genuinely inspire me and make me want to be better, they were untouchable—public figures, musicians, celebrities, etc. I still look up to those people, but now I have those fellow strong women around me and I can’t even begin to express how much I’ve learned from them, and not to mention, the genuine friends I’ve made. Friends who are there to empower you, to inspire you, that’s what I’ve found at DCH. Don’t get me wrong, Beyonce is amazing but having powerful, funny, and smart women around, in person, yeah, you, we, do run the world, in my opinion. (Sorry. I had to.)
Megan Radke is currently a Level 4 student at DCH. She is a copywriter and social media manager by day and an essayist and mediocre musician by night. She is a constant consumer of books, music, film, and all things comedy. She is also great at racking up copious amounts of credit card debt with spur-of-the-moment travel.