Crixeo: Emma Willmann Interview


"You'll Never Make It" & More Motivation from Comedian Emma Willmann

It’s no secret that the life of a standup comedian is tough. First, there’s the audience: a bunch of eyeballs staring up at you from cabaret seating, arms crossed, daring you to make them laugh. Then there’s the pressure. You’ve got to write fresh material that will kill, every time — and competition is fierce. Finally, there’s the lifestyle of late nights, bad food, constant travel and budding relationships that can slip through your fingers like sand. And even if you do become a success, the problems only increase. What’s next after the best joke you’ve ever written? How can you hit the gym when you already need to be in a million places at once? Why should you have to choose between a relationship and writing new material, the very lifeblood of your existence? What do people even find funny these days anyway? The struggle is very, very real. And not everyone can, or will, “make it.”

So why do it at all? Often a turn to comedy is an unexpected transition, and it’s not exactly the job parents are pushing their children toward. In many cases it may be the very last resort. It’s the feeling of “If I don’t love doing this, then I don’t know what I’ll do.” Yet at the same time that empty stage and open mic dare you to be yourself, to share your point of view and say what you came here to say. And sometimes you’re good enough to make that your career. At least that seems to be the case with Maine native and rising comedian Emma Willmann.

You may have read about her in the Boston GlobeElle Magazine or even TimeOut New York which named her one of the “Top 10 funniest women in NYC,” or perhaps you’ve heard her on Sirius XM Channel 99, where she hosts The Check Spot for Raw Dog Comedy. She toured with Louis C.K. and cohosts the weekly podcast Inside the Closet with Matteo Lane. But most likely you’ve caught her set on The Late Show with Stephen ColbertCrazy Ex-Girlfriends or Crashing (in a role chosen for her by Judd Apatow himself). Emma’s style of comedy? High-energy, quick-witted and upbeat without the side order of political commentary. She recommends her style to people looking to tune out for a minute. “Don’t watch me if you’re trying to think,” she insists.