Amy Schwartz, 32, said that she never dreamed of being a famous comedian. She began performing with the Dave Chapelle attitude where she would make as much as a teacher and be comfortable without the pressure of big time fame. “I’m not excited about the idea of fame so that’s why I write. I rather be behind the scenes,” she said.
After recently celebrating her one year of marriage and a busy schedule lined up for the rest of the year, finding a balance between family and work can be tough, but she says she has the support to keep going. In a recent interview with me, she speaks about her time being a comedian, and how she manages to separate her personal life from her comedy.
What was it about comedy that grabbed your attention and made you want to pursue it?
I always liked comedy. I grew up watching “SNL”, “MadTV”. When I was in middle school I watched “Comic View”, and “In Living Color”, so I always had an interest in it. It’s funny cause I was a kid with glasses and wasn’t very cool in my school, so I got made fun of a lot (laughing). So comedy, I just really liked it a lot. I was always a fan and a big fan of standup.
I noticed you said in living color and comic view, did you take more towards urban comedy rather than your basic slapstick kind of comedy?
I kinda liked a little bit of everything. So yeah if I was to narrow it down to one style, strangers with candy was a show was one of the reasons I moved to Chicago because all the cast studied at second city here, that was the biggest influence just because I liked the cast.
Do you still have jitters of bombing on stage?
It depends on if I have something I’ve never done before or a giant theater or an audition. yeah, but small shows I’m pretty comfortable. It’s easy to have fun.
How’s married life treating you?
Good. Yeah, he’s really supportive of the comedy. It’s great because he would come out to shows and see me do my thing, so yeah it’s been really good.
Do you test out new jokes on your husband?
Sometimes, you know sometimes I will come up with a joke while having a conversation with him. Some of the jokes I’ve written were just from conversations we’ve had. I always kinda keep a notebook on hand so that way it something comes up I write it down. He actually comes up with ideas for sketches, so yeah.
Do you draw a line as to how far you include your personal life in your jokes?
I usually ask people if they are in a story or joke but they are usually okay with it because I don’t make fun of them. I only go after political public figures who would deserve it.
Schwartz, who’s been doing comedy for five years, said that even though she loves performing in front of crowds, she loves to write shorts and pilots. When she’s not working her day job as a resolutions specialist, she’s performing throughout Chicago including Zanies Comedy Club, Annoyance Theatre, and McKaw Theater. Her next show will be Oct. 11th at the McKaw Theater for the opening of the improv show “Stand and Play” where she and a different guest each week perform stand up with an improv set after each stand-up performance. For more of her upcoming performances visit amynicoschwartz.com.