LAFF performer interview #1: Rose Surnow

For the next few weeks, LAFF Staffer Mo will be asking three probing, deliberately uncomfortable questions to some of our LAFF performers. The first to submit to this battery of tests is Rose Surnow, a stand-up living in New York City. Here is what Rose has to say for herself:

LAFF: Why did you get into stand-up comedy in the first place?

I never imagined I would be doing stand-up.  It’s not something I dreamed about as a kid or planned at all, I really fell into it in a round-about way.  After college, I was sort of lost, floating around and I randomly took an improv class at UCB.  I totally loved it and I started doing tons of improv and sketch comedy and making weird sketch videos.  I did that for like 4  years and then one night I saw a really cool stand-up show in Brooklyn and I was totally amazed.  All the comics on the show were super sharp and witty and talented and I was like, “Fuck, I wanna do that.”  So I kept going to see really good stand-up for a couple months and then I just started going to open mics and that’s how it happened.  I just became obsessed with it.  I think when you find stand-up you either get obsessed or you don’t do it.  You can’t really half-ass it.

LAFF: What secrets do you have for other women in comedy?

I don’t have any secrets, but as far as advice, I would say the best thing you can do is be supportive of other female comics.  There is a tendency to be competitive since there are still relatively few of us and people feel like they are competing for precious spots.  But it’s so much more fun and helpful to be friendly.  If you know a female stand-up who is doing really well and gaining success there is no need to feel threatened by it.  Another smart, funny woman getting attention is good for everybody.

LAFF: What is the most unfunny thing you’ve ever done?

I used to play guitar and sing.  In college, I would sit on the grass and sing Joni Mitchell and Van Morrison songs, I was a total hippy.  I took music really seriously. But looking back on it, it’s kind of hilarious, I mean I was such a music-dork, like the type of nerd who just brings a guitar around all the time just in case a sporadic jam might got down.  The horror!

Rose Surnow performs at 8pm on Thursday, May 5!


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