Stand-up comedy is an art that has always fascinated me. While many people are funny, only a select few can channel their perceptions of the world, mix it with their style of humor, and deliver it in a performance that makes for excellent, insightful entertainment. Lisa Corrao is a hilarious stand-up comic based out of Florida. I saw her perform her material on TV, and she was quickly added to my list of favorite comedians.
Travis Blair: Speaking in front of groups is a fear for many. Why does performing comedy in front of an audience appeal to you?
Lisa Corrao: I have no fear of speaking to a crowd, yet face to face I’m uncomfortable. I think I’m brain damaged.
Travis: How do you decide what material to use in a set?
Lisa: I like my sets to flow with a bit of a theme or a storyline. I will sometimes pick jokes based on the crowd too. Like if it’s an older crowd I might do jokes about being a mom. If it’s a younger crowd, I won’t mention that I ever made a life. If there’s someone I’m trying to impress in the audience, I do my favorite, most clever bits. So I guess now you know that if I’m doing fart jokes, I might think you guys are dumb.
Travis: Comedians have so many styles and as such, engage the audience in different ways. What is one of your favorite styles of humor for stand-up, either by you or another comedian?
Lisa: I really love story telling the most. I think it’s very difficult to pull off, but when you do, it’s very satisfying. I just have a few stories myself, but I hope to develop more as time goes by! It’s just a matter of punching up my long-windedness with punchlines.
Travis: Do you feel a need to always be “on” when others inquire about your line of work?
Lisa: Never. Not that I’m not silly amongst my friends, but in general I try to save it for the stage. If somebody asks me to tell a joke to their face, I actually find it condescending. There’s no other art form where you would ask the artist to perform in front of you like its a cheap trick…”hey Picasso, why don’t you paint one of your little pictures.”
Travis: What do you think of when you consider the adage, “laughter is the best medicine” and stand-up comedy?
Lisa: Comedians have this advanced sense of humor that would make us seem like jerks to normal people. It’s really this mechanism that helps us deal with difficult things–that is, the ability to find the humor in everything. So, they say comics have a dark sense of humor because of it. Really, it’s an amazing way to cope! It’s the opposite of how stress can hurt you physically. Laughter can douse those flames. Our material that you guys end up hearing is a toned down version of what’s actually going on in our brains because most people don’t want or need us to go too far to make them laugh. If everyone could really let themselves go and laugh at the same stuff comedians laugh at, we could cure cancer. I did the studies myself.