Columbus Comedian Spotlight: Carolyn Pierre-Louis
Carolyn Pierre-Louis always has a bit of a knowing smile on her face, like she has insight into the greater mysteries of life, and all the answers there are both true and slightly ridiculous. She carries this knowing-ness onto the improv comedy stage for results that are snappy, smart and hilarious.
You can catch her most weekends at The Nest Theater, where improvisers from the city put on shows for every type of audience. Here's more about Carolyn!
Name: Carolyn Pierre-Louis
Years in the game: 3.5
Regular gigs: ComedySportz Columbus, Crave the Harold Team, Musical Improv Presents, Andy's Mints and CLUTCH ('Cause Ladies Understand The Comedy Hustle)
How did you get started in comedy?
I didn't begin wanting to do comedy but I feel blessed that comedy found me. I was approaching 40, an introvert, and wanted to get out of my comfort zone so I took Jeff Gage's Level 1 improv class at the Funny Bone.
Do you have any particularly memorable experiences from your first few months in comedy?
My first improv class formed a group and was invited to play with Hashtag Comedy. They were very encouraging to me and I gained confidence to want to do and learn more...enter The Nest Theatre who nurtured me.
What do you think is your worst failure/most embarrassing moment in comedy?
I have more moments of embarrassment to count but that's part of being vulnerable and when it passes I exhale and get ready for more embarrassment.
What moment are you most proud of?
There was one particular time a racial comment offended me and I was able to respond with humor that turned into a "teachable" moment for the offender and audience. Humor can actually bring people together!
Who inspires you?
Seeing prominent Black female comedians like Leslie Jones, Traci Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, Lunell, Loni Love...etc...and many more who are diverse in their comedy inspire me to be more comfortable in my own voice as a funny Black woman.
Do you have a favorite venue or show?
ComedySportz at The Nest Theatre.
What do you think defines Columbus comedy?
There's opportunity here to hone your skill.
What do you think Columbus comedy does best?
Creates an inclusive community.
Where could Columbus comedy improve?
Diversity is always going to be a factor. I would love to see more POC coming to shows, taking classes, creating groups and performing. It's not always easy being the only POC in a room.
What's the best comedy advice you've ever heard?
Be yourself. Share what you find funny because odds are someone else finds it funny too.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in comedy?
Take a class. See shows. Talk to improvisers. Push through the discomfort.