Things are looking up for Natalie Lander. The daughter of a successful comedic actor, at the beginning of a promising young career in comedy and now she is already headlining her first event. The young California native will be the headliner for the Laughing MATters charity show.
We got a chance to speak with Natalie about her comedy career and plans for the future, the trials of being a female comic, and what it feels like being asked to headline her first comedy event.
TLB: What or who was your inspiration to go into comedy?
NL: Well my dad is my inspiration to go into comedy because in my opinion he is still pretty much the funniest person on the planet. He is an actor, he played Squiggy on Lavern and Shirley, so I grew up watching him as an actor and it always made me want to be like my dad. He always taught me the importance of comedic timing and all of that stuff and it was an interesting way to grow up. Even to this day I still run all of my acts by him before I use them.
TLB: What are some of the different challenges you face between being a female comedian and a female actress?
NL: It’s interesting, I feel like since I started doing comedy as a woman, a lot of doors have opened because I am just not just an actress in LA. Like OMG I am such an actress, but all of a sudden because I write my own comedy and perform my own material, I feel like people respect me more. I could be wrong and no one cares actually but in my mind, I really feel once you become the creator of something that you own, people really take note of that. And you become more than just a head shot in a pile.
TLB: What do you think your brand of comedy unique from anyone else‘s out there?
NL: I am fairly new to comedy, so for all I know it’s not unique at all. Mine is obviously music based, but I don’t consider myself a stand up comic. Because when I think of stand up comedy I think of the scariest thing ever, which is kind of funny that here I am doing all of these stand up venues. But for me I am using music to tell my story and its really fun because peoples response to it is great. I write about things that are really relate-able to other people and it’s a slice of life.
TLB: What about stand up was so scary about you?
NL: Well when I get up on stage to sing at a venue people see me and think oh this little girl is going to sing a song and then I happen to be funny and they are like cool she is funny. When you do stand up people are sitting in the audience with there arms folded going “make me laugh”. So there is a bigger pressure to get people to enjoy what you have to do.
I feel what I do is cheating though because I’m a small person and I look really young. So I get up there and people think I am going to be this shy girl and I am singing pretty raunchy songs so the juxtaposition right there people find funny.
TLB: Where do you see yourself as a comedian or a singer or combination of both?
NL: Part of the beauty of it has been that I kind of gotten into it with no expectations. I was just bored and sick of auditions to come along. When you go into an audition you are trying to fit into a part that someone else wants, so I wanted to do something that was for me and my own creative outlet. So going into it the only goal was just to have a good time and perform and show people my creative side.
TLB: You are performing at the Laughing MATters fundraiser on August 18th how did you get involved with that?
I had my video sent in, and I guess they liked what they saw. Especially what I am doing I think is new so there hasn’t been a chance for people to be sick of it already. So we met and I was asked to be involved with this project and of course I am beyond thrilled and excited.