Dying of Laughter

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Losing Your Dad to Heart Disease with Comedian Liz Glazer (Boston Comedy Festival, Winner 2020)

by Chelsea London Lloyd
September 9th 2021
Liz began her career as most standup comedians do: as a tenured law professor. Liz won first place in the Boston Comedy Festival and Ladies of Laughter Competition, has been featured in a full article... More
I've been extremely grateful for my sobriety throughout this whole pandemic and losing my dad for sure, just like remaining connected to this moment. So I used to think that like by taking drugs, I was elevating the moment. That was a lie that I told myself and I do realize that my mom has stage four cancer in her bones and in her breast. My dad's disease was 15 years. He died of a L. S. I made a podcast about death. You like the thing to do and if you're sad by all of this, well you're gonna die too happy day, happy day of Thurs happy thirds of day to the we're back at the dying of laughter podcast. I'm your host, Chelsea London Lloyd. You can also call me Chelsea, who else? You can also just not call me because it now sounds like a radio show and we're going to stop going down that cheesy route immediately, if not sooner updates for the week.

Just got back from Portland visiting a baby, not the baby's parents who I am friends with, but really just the baby. He was adorable. He uttered anti cheeky and I was like that is sickeningly cute. He's like anti cici I was like, oh my gosh, is that me? You're speaking to me real talk. Portland is stunning. I recommend the aspen trail hike in forest Park. It's barely a hike. It's basically breezing through stunning trees and if you don't like trees you now will because that's what Portland does to you, it's the place that makes you observe trace whether or not you felt like it. I was having some dreams in Portland about grief camp. Some of you may have heard me mention I volunteered at a grief camp a few weeks ago for a full week. My girls were 14, they have since started high school, they started high school the day after grief camp, lots of things at once and I was having dreams about doing grief camp with trees.

I don't know guys something about the trees is really hitting me and by that I mean I literally was doing grief circles with different kinds of trees in my dreams. No I was not on any substances, could not tell you as to why this occurred but it needed to be shared fun when to share. I became verified on facebook last weekend while in Portland and I was feeling all types of ways about it and yet very few types of ways about it. At the same time I received this notification. Your account is pending review based on recent search history and I thought that's really cool if that's true will I ever hear from them again. And then they were like if you want to proceed click here and tell us if you would like your account to be verified after our search history that's something you can do. And I was like okay and I wrote a page essay about why I thought I should be verified and then when I went to submit it it was like you have one sentence, it was like, tell us why you should be verified in one sentence and I literally said because I got a notification about it and I have a podcast that I care about, blah blah blah linked it and then I sent it in a few hours later saw the checkmark kind of cheesy to share, but definitely a milestone in artist careers to have a verification of sorts.

No, this does not mean I am verified on twitter or instagram, no, I do not really know why it all works separately, but somehow some way I became verified on facebook and I'm, I'm really, I'm grateful, I'm excited. So head on over to Chelsea London Lloyd on facebook for more blog posts and podcast updates over there. Okay, yo ho ho! Today's episode is so funny, we have Liz, Glaser people, oh my goodness, she is a huge comedian, so lucky to have had her, I know she's very busy, so this was an awesome time and I just listened back to it because I actually listened back to all my episodes twice before I released them. Can you even believe fun fact about me that you didn't need to know, it's probably the least funny I've ever been in an interview. I don't know why that happened, I just like, I don't know if I was just like, like excited to have her, I was just in a vibe, I don't know, but Liz is funny so come for me, stay for Liz and then come for Liz and safer Liz and then follow Liz because hashtag Liz. Today we are discussing the loss of lizzie's father to heart disease in 2020.

So talking about recent loss and what that has been like throughout the pandemic, Liz began her career as most and the comedians do as a tenure law professor, That's right, lawyer turned comedian over here. We love that. Maybe my sister, but listen to this episode hashtag hello girl, do you listen to my podcast? I do not know but I'm going to send this to you Jai Courtney, I'm going to send you this episode, Kourtney just graduated from Columbia law school this year. You who go girl, no, seriously go girl? My dad went to Harvard law school laws, I feel like it sounds do she? But I'm like, no it doesn't. I didn't go there. Good for them. Hashtag killing it. Hashtag YOLO Lol. I guess I'm the one that puts the law in law. Actually listened to an interesting podcast about someone who graduated from Harvard feeling bad when she has to talk about her experiences at Harvard and I thought no girl don't feel bad, you fucking crushed it. So I'm gonna take it, I'm going to try and channel that energy. Um Yeah, so it was cool to hear about Liz, experience transitioning from law to comedy.

She won first place in the boston comedy festival in 2020 and won first place at the ladies of laughter competition in 2021 2 huge festivals. So Liz is on fire. She was recently featured in a full article in the Wall Street Journal, which will be linked in the show notes and she's open for people like Maria bamford, she's been on shows like A B. CS for life and Cbs's Bull. Her material draws from her own life as a lesbian, a rabbi's wife and a former lawyer come for all three so much to be known now is the part of the intro where I'm just saying vague euphemisms as to which do not connect the dots are just in a field like there's no connection or straight line. My dots are in the field, My daughter in a field. The web series by Chelsea. London, Lloyd premieres next week at Sundance. You heard it here first folks as always feel free to DM me your grief stories or other stories surrounding death dying and diagnosis is my instagram is at Chelsea, who else like who else but Chelsea or you can hit me at dying of laughter podcast and I will respond to either one have a good week, everybody you deserve it, you're here, you showed up, you are alive, you are doing it face bump yourself for being alive, boom just slam your fist together and give it a bump because you're alive and you're here and I'll just say it one more time because comedy comes in threes, you're alive, you're alive, you're alive now, maybe with six times seven, not sure onto the interview Liz, you're gonna love her, thank you so much Liz for being here.

I so appreciate your time and getting to hear your story. You're such a funny community. I can't wait for people if they don't know you already to learn more about your comedy and thank you for sharing about your grief story today as well. I really appreciate it. Sure. Happy to thank you for having me on Chelsea chorus. Well, we're here honoring your dad today and if you don't mind sharing with listeners a little bit more about where you grew up, who you grew up with and walk us through the timeline of your father's dirty on earth. Yeah, I grew up in New Jersey and I grew up with my brother and my mom and my dad and my dad, he was from Latvia, came here in the seventies first one to Israel and then went to new york from Latvia and this was like when it was still part of the soviet union, although he was from riga and my understanding is that like though politically they were part of the soviet Union, there was a sense that they were separate even before that was official, but I wasn't there, so I don't know, but that's the vibe I got like from him and then my dad died of heart disease which was something that he had for like a while and he died like during the pandemic but not like of the pandemic.

Although you know I guess arguably it could have been that like he was supposed to have a surgery that may or may not have saved him for a few more years. It's obviously like we don't, no one can know those things exactly. But anyway it was like it was like a necessary surgery that then became elective because of the pandemic and so he didn't get it and then and then on May 8th of 2020 he unfortunately died. So that's the basic facts as this is a recent loss and as people have lost people last year for various reasons I think they'll be able to definitely relate to your story. Can you talk a little bit more about what has it been like going through grief during a pandemic on top of everything else? Yeah, I loved him here. Yeah. I mean I don't know, I always feel like you know my mother is like really? I think I I see her grief a lot and my brother also I feel like I see his grief a lot and I I really miss my dad and I love my dad I think like naturally you know everybody has like their role and of course like this is just my perception of things like, so I don't know, but I feel like my instinct from the very beginning of grieving was just like, is everybody else okay?

And so, you know, I can speak to my experience of my grief and it was during a pandemic, but I don't know, I don't, you know, like grief is one of those things like falling in love, that seems extremely unique and then also is very like universal also, and so it's hard to know, like just I say this all because the pandemic is such a big thing and and grief is a big thing, but then my experience of grief surrounding my father's death is such a me thing, even if it tracks to other people's experiences, so I used to be a lawyer and so I'm I tend to qualify a lot, it's just like, listen, I don't know if what I'm going to tell you is like, everybody's experience, but I have felt the whole time including now, like my experience is really about the people around me, his experience, I don't like cry now at the thought or site or memory of my dad, I did when that was, it was fresh and you know, when I first I was living in Los Angeles at the time, I was actually about to move back a week later and so, you know, my dad's death, even though it had a huge impact on many things in my life, it actually only had an impact of a week's time in terms of when I was going to move and so during the trip, like driving, I was crying a lot like throughout, you know, and obviously like when I spoke at the funeral, maybe not obviously, but when I spoke at his funeral there was crying, but like I get the sense that like, you know, my brother can cry more now about it.

My mom certainly and I, I don't really like have the tears anymore right now. You know, maybe maybe they will. I don't know, I guess sometimes they're there. But in terms of the pandemic, I mean, you know, the funeral was on zoom are Shiva's were on zoom and there were definitely like hang out that happened like very distanced and far away in the back yard and stuff like that. But otherwise it was very pandemic. E in that sense. Thanks for sharing that. The zoom funeral situation. I mean, it's so interesting. Right? It's like, well that's beautiful that something could happen as opposed to if we didn't have zoom at all? And you know, it's of course not the same. And can you share what was the zoom funeral? Like, how did, how did that work so early on in the pandemic where people able to get on? Was it just the same? Yeah. How'd it go? I think it was, it was late enough that people did like know how to do zoom and arguably I think that it, not that it was like better.

It just was. But my dad's sister who lives in Israel was able to speak because it was zoom and I guess, you know, who knows what might have happened in the absence, but like I feel like there was more of like a presence of my dad's family from far away and other people to from far away because of zoom. That's that's a cool little positive part of it, right? Just to make things positive. I love your joke. I don't know if you, if you feel like doing it or we could put in a clip, but I love your joke when you're like, is it some like how do we know? We don't know. Yeah, I mean, you know, I'm happy to do it. It's basically I still, I haven't gotten an answer which is that we've assumed that it's zoom but we do not know that it's not zoom because like what if it's like one of the books that you read over summer vacation and you're reading it and you think you're saying all the words right? It's not until the first day of school that you realize you were wrong all summer, like you have to pretend you get to school, you're like, oh yeah, I knew her name was in Hermione, right?

They definitely did not serve or zeros what she cratchit it a blanket, that's what it said. Like, you know, I got my HVAC sign okay. The pandemic at least here does seem to be over quarantines done. I say zoom, you know, schools back. This is me telling you, you were saying I'm wrong all summer. I'm cracking up. That's so hilarious. It's so true. And I love thank you. I love that you've done it. I mean that's set on zoom so many times and now you can do it in person hopefully as that all is coming. Yes, yes, I have. Okay. So in regards to your grief last year, you mentioned that your experience kind of had to do with other people and I think sometimes as artists, comedians, you know, we can take on energy of others. I'm wondering, what do you feel like your role was in your family? How did your grief differentiate from other family members? Because sometimes people listening might feel, you know, isolated if their experience is not the same as others. So we'd love to hear a little bit about that. You know, it's it's always tough because it's like, how do you know what your role is? Like, I don't, I'm not pretending to know, I just, I just know, you know, like I like to talk on the phone a lot, so does my mom, but my mom, I think has been like really sad and so maybe like I try to buoy the energy, but it's not like, I mean, you know, I don't like saying that really because I mean it's fine, you know, for this, but it's just like as I'm answering your question, like it's so hard to know what I'm like, you know what I mean?

And it's like, oh I say I buoy the energy. I'm just imagining like people in my family like really you think you do that, you know, so I don't know. Um but yeah, I mean, I think again, just trying to make sure that everyone is accounted for and to the best of my ability that they're laughing and happy and that is a really good point. Like who you know, who are we to say what our role isn't necessarily someone else's experience. But it is interesting that you share that about the energy since this is the dying of laughter podcast. I wonder is there a comedic or bizarre or unique experience that comes to mind regarding your grief story? Was there anything funny or just so bizarre? You had to laugh about every this episode is brought to you by Verizon. The experts have spoken Verizon has been named America's most reliable network by root metrics proving there's only one best network best and most reliable based on rankings from the root metrics US route score report dated first half 2021.

Your results may vary. Yeah, totally. I mean this isn't like a bit yet, I've said it on kind of in longer sets on certain shows, but it's it's not, it's not like tight enough for short sets yet but like when my mom, so my mom had the job of like finding the tombstone, I mean that's that's quite a job and she did a great job with it and you know all this stuff and so she's talking to the person who sells the tombstones who happens to be her rabbis mom, Barbara and um so anyway, so you know Barbara and she are on the phone and there was like a lot of anxiety that my mom had, I think I think it's fair to say that regarding like getting it right because it's like literally etched in. So I mean it's like the thing that we allay people's fears with like oh it's fine, it's not like this is, it's etched in stone so you got to get it right.

So anyway, so there was a lot of back and forth between my mom and Barbara about the tombstone and anyway and it's like a lot of stuff I never thought about and so anyway, so right, when the transactions like nearly done, barber asked my mom like okay, so you're done, are you happy with it Toby which is my mom and my mom is like such a consummate jewish mother in the sense that she's shopping always thinking about shopping, I mean it's like she shops like she works at Bloomingdale's kind of thing. So Barbara is like is it all is it all does it look okay Toby my mom is like, well actually, you know, it's a little expensive if I'm being honest. Which of course is so my mom and then Barbara who's also, I'm guessing a jewish man. I mean literally she is but she's like, well I based it off of your parents, tombstones says to my mom and they were jumbo tombstones. I didn't know that there was such a thing. My mother didn't know. So my mother says to me, she's like Elizabeth and I do go by Liz but it's like she paid for every letter, you know when vowels are expensive.

So she was like Elizabeth, we have to go to the cemetery and measure the tombstones. And so we go to the cemetery with her tape measure first, we get the width, then the depth we're about to leave. I'm like, I think we're going to get the height too. And I'm just like going around measuring this whole like little coffee clutch of graves and their attendant tombstone so we can take the data back to Barbara. And anyway and then I asked my mother, I'm like, can I video this because I just thought it was the most hilarious thing. She's like, oh Elizabeth, that's tacky. And I'm like and it's not tacky to be tape measure? Like, you know, to save a dollar. But anyway, I guess she did save a lot of money and you really, I mean if if anybody takes anything from this podcast, it's just like there are price differences in tombstones and they Upsell you, it's like the movies so don't get the jumbo unless you really want to eat the whole tombstone. Oh my gosh, okay.

I'm obsessed because that's just like such a fitting story for this show and and funny but not funny and I think that's what I'm excited for you to do that on stage because I think thank you. Just love it. Yeah, I haven't I haven't done that one on stage. I've done it on some but I have not done it on live stages yet. That's a fun goal. Yeah, that'll be that'll be great. Especially, you know with everything that has happened last year, people will be able to relate to that and you know, you're an example of someone that can discuss recent grief in a way that we're still holding space and rooting for you. I'm sure you've seen, I've seen I mean I talk about my dad on stage and yet you know, it's been 10 years. So there's ways to do it that you're not like a young person. I'm worried and I'm sure you've seen some comics working stuff out on stage like so last week crazy, right? Car crash my mom out and you're just, I feel for them, but you know, it's not funny because you're like a little three days ago we can't laugh because we know that it's so recent, you know.

Yeah, I mean you know there is that then there's also take no tomorrow's live, you know, I mean there's there's definitely examples and I think everyone is different. I talk I mean I do have some stuff on stage I talk about with my dad, which is like it's actually my closer recently, which is like, you know, I have a minute left, I'm gonna bring the room all the way down. You know the other thing that happened this year and this is after I talked about getting married, which I also did on zoom and talk about, you know trying to have a baby and stuff like that, which is true to. And the other thing I say is, you know, the other thing is my dad died and then usually somebody is like, oh and I'm like I'm so I know it's so hard. I'm so sorry. I know you really miss my dad, but it's okay to laugh because you know during this is true during my dad's life, he used to say to me, he's like you should talk more about me and your material. So it's okay to laugh. It was literally his dying wish. But anyway, I've been taught, I've been thinking about my dad a lot because we are trying to have a baby and you know, we're doing IVF and so if we do have a baby, we will have a baby who's assigned sex at birth is female, it was cheaper, you know it's like 60 cents on the dollar.

Anyway, so we yeah, I don't know if you know this, but like jews name, I'm jewish um and so is my wife jews name babies after recently deceased relatives, you know, so my dad's name was leon, so we will be calling our daughter daddy, this is my baby daddy, my baby daddy, she's actually more of a papa. So anyway and then it goes on with a little like Russian stuff but for Latvia and I should say. But anyway, so I I do I do that which has been you know fun recently. Oh my gosh, I love that, I love everything that just happened, I think this is so great, I'm so excited, thank you. And my brother, my brother wrote that joke, it came from a conversation I was having with my brother about like naming a baby and he and he thought of daddy and then I was like, oh actually she's more of a papa. So that's where the joke goes next. But but I love that it's like a nice fitting thing that for a joke about my dad that my brother had such a hand in it, he's very funny to oh I love that.

Yeah, that's that's a nice like full circle moment and I'm jewish too, so I'm also laughing, not that you can oh thank you. Yeah and my mom got to see that live on stage at the beginning of june good. That was fun. My goodness love it, jewish humor and, and you know, you're just such a skilled writer. Those are of course jokes that can work to anyone who's not, but sometimes when you actually are the thing, it's just you just really, it felt like my aunt is like jewish aunt Barbara, you know all the things and in terms of burial. Yeah, it is no joke about those prices and oh my gosh, you have to laugh. My mom was like, you know, I don't know if your dad would have been up for like a $10,000 burial. So you know what, I'm going to give you the role of figuring that out. So my poor dad is still somewhere in the garage because my mom is like, you know what, I don't know what he would like, I'm overwhelmed Chelsea. You could do that. So you have to laugh one day.

That will be the time. It is expensive. But I'm also like mom, he want, he didn't want to be in the garage. Like there's a few things we can rule out and it would be the garage. So was he cremated. Yes. So, and as you know, you know the jewish tradition, it's extremely, you know, you, you are the tradition is not to be cremated. Yeah, no, I was just asking because I'm like, what are we talking about in the garage? You're like how disturbed um, are should be right now. Just just a question like, yeah, no fair question. And I mean he was extremely jewish and that's not the tradition, but because he had a less and was paralyzed for over a decade, his point of view was, you know, his body after that long of not living in it. He felt like I don't have a connection to my body anymore. And so that's what he wanted. Which you know, is so personal. But it is interesting that jewish people will be like, he was cremated. Oh my God. And you're like, yeah, well, I mean it's also like I understand that and in terms of like jewish traditions related to bodies, I have a joke actually that I've been working on as well related to circumcision which is basically that I, that I'm like, I don't know, I don't want to have to choose whether to circumcise a son if I should have a son, which makes me sound like such a men's rights activist.

And honestly, I think I would be a great men's rights activist because I am a woman who loves women. I have no skin in the game. And yet I am arguing for more skin in the game. And so we were going to have a daughter, please God. And we will circumcise her. So that's a joke, which I know you get what I'm saying for the radio, But yeah, in terms of like jewish traditions related to bodies, I never really thought so much about cremation, but I can appreciate that if that is the deceased wish, then it's an interesting issue because it's like, what's the rationale behind the tradition? Right. Right. And also traditions change. And when you're looking at the world of like when a tradition was created versus now, you know, there's a lot you could go into there with things across the board like why are things happening this way? Oh, because in 18 48 I mean, you know, we're in a different world, right, filtering all of that.

And yet traditions are still important to honor its confusing. Like where do you draw the line? We will figure it out or we won't. What advice might you have for someone who has lost their dad in the past year and who is holding onto some kind of resentment or emotion about if Covid hadn't happened, this would be different. What might you say to that person? You know, I think in terms of regret generally, which it sounds to me like that is the ballpark in which your question resides. I try really hard not to have it and it's not a perfect system, but like I was really different. I don't know, nine years ago from what I am now and it's like, it only gets this good for me personally. And so I'm not saying like, oh, anybody like whatever. I mean, I'm just me. But um, I did used to really live in the past and I feel like other things I let go of, we're kind of like competitiveness and jealousy and again, it's not perfect.

Like I really lived in it like a lot and I was very obsessed with it. Yeah. Because you know, I used to like, I had a joke. One of the first jokes I ever wrote was that my type of woman I'm gay is um, a straight girl looking for a reason to break up with her boyfriend and that was a joke that derived from total truth. And that's, you know, it was, I think like comedy and, and writing for me has been away because I've committed to just trying really hard to be the most honest that I can, which is harder than I ever thought it would be. But like through I guess like a years long system of doing things, not all at once, but like over time. You know, I write my morning pages every day, which I actually use. This is not the letter of Julia Cameron from the artist ways law. She says, you have to write in longhand, I happen to enjoy a search function. Okay. I enjoy documenting my life so long as I can find it later.

And so I appreciate electronic, but I, but I do, I mean I have to say that there that is a departure from the artist's way. I read the artist's way, I guess first of all, I don't know that that's like a system of not regretting stuff, but I think you could do worse. You know what I mean? Have you done it ever? I have done the artist way. Yes, so good. And I'm even like, I'm so not perfect in all kinds of ways and like I didn't do all the exercises. I, you know, whatever I've listened to the audiobook more times than I can count because the thing I like to do, I'm like no better version of myself than on week five of an audible. That is like, it says it's going to change my life forever. That's like my best self. And so I read it a while ago and I've reread it, but I've done the morning pages consistently using 750 words dot com, which is an amazing website. I don't know if you know it. Um, it's terrific. But it basically just catalogs your words, tells you when you've hit 7 50 gives you cool data looks fun.

You know, the guy who made it like works or worked for twitter and so it's all these like really cool analytics that are fun colors and stuff like here are your most frequently used words, that kind of thing. Anyway, So I think, I mean Julia Cameron says this that if you, if you write your words for an extended period of time, a spiritual awakening will happen, you don't even have to like try and so I believe her and I think that that did happen for me because I feel like my flow in terms of like what goes through my head to what comes out of my mouth way better. I was a lawyer before, you know what I mean? And I say that not to just brag because my mother wants me to, although that's a nice thing to, but it's also because as you know, I'm sure there are many lawyers who are very free and stuff like that, but like a lawyer is a professional worrier, it's like, oh you have anxiety, you want a job for it, you know, like that's that's being a lawyer and so you know the thing is that, I don't know, even though there are many lawyers who then become comedians, I was a law professor, I don't know, I haven't met a law professor who gave up a 10 year job to be a comedian yet would love to just haven't yet.

But either way, the personality I think is the same, which is like this kind of cautious and again, generalizing, cautious way about you and I think like for me doing the artist's way doing comedy sticking with it, I mean I was very unfunny for a very long time and arguably still, you know what I mean, I'm not for everyone, but I'm just saying that like doing all that stuff I think and having a creative outlet. I also meditate. I do transcendental meditation, you know whatever if it works for jerry Seinfeld and Ellen, I can be there for it. Remember I went to like the intro session of TM and it was like in L. A. And like they asked to go around the room, everybody's like oh how did you hear about TM? And in my mind I'm like what are you kidding? It's like famous people meditation. Like everybody's heard of it because of that. Like oh I didn't hear about it even though Oprah's going on, that's how I heard about it. And everybody's like um my friend didn't know whatever and then I say this thing and everybody hates me.

So that's the story of my life but I do Tm and uh I think that has helped in terms of a bunch of different things, but maybe also in terms of like like well you know what here? Yeah this is maybe away and like so Tm is a mantra based meditation as maybe, you know, and I think one of the things that that it helps is like when you have kind of a a stream of thoughts that are really bringing you down into a rabbit hole if you're likely to be that kind of person, which I totally am. I think tm help specifically because it sort of re I don't know what the verb is, your brain to the mantra for the 20 minutes and I think it kind of trained my brain for like yeah I could dip into this complete spiral or not that I'm doing the mantra and I'm not in the meditation class fish alone but like I mean they would hate that they really are like you should never do the mantra unless it's the meditation. That's why I say that it's like a total tm joke and a jew joke, like an intersection of a Venn diagram that literally doesn't even exist.

So anyway, that's like my comedy just like try to find a niche that's so niche. It's literally non existent anyway yeah yeah exactly exactly. So I don't know, somewhere in any of those things is an answer. I think maybe that was like such a great, I was like so long for that, right? I was like yeah keep going, keep going, what's next, what's next into all of that? Cool well that's helpful to know and and that's really interesting. Hey, I'm, you have one fan that's in the niche of the niche Okay, so maybe there's something there like into it doesn't need its own twitter account available will follow, can you talk about, I don't know if you've talked about this a bunch but I mean I think it's so interesting for anyone listening Yeah my dad was a lawyer and was super funny and so it can exist and my younger sister who just graduated law school muzzle to muzzle so can you share about your journey from being a lawyer to a comedian, I feel like that could be a dream for a lot of people and switching careers in general, I would love to hear about that sure, I mean the other thing too, yes, of course I'll share there also is, and I say this not for you but like for anyone listening, but there is a Wall Street Journal article that like I was lucky enough to have written about me this past March, it's just like all about like my story and you know, whatever, my comedy so feel free to check it out, it's behind a paywall but if you want, I can send you the screenshots, I'd love to link that in the show notes to oh yeah, yeah, please feel free, I was gonna say vodka shot because you said you're in the niche and so we did a hospital and we'll throw in above akasha so uh yeah, I mean I, I was a lawyer, I think I like, I went to law school, you know, one because my dad was like, you have to have a profession, it was like, you know, really drilled into me and you know, I was like a writer and the creative and so it's like I'm not gonna go to medical school, I faint from everything, you know, I'm not gonna go to business school because like why?

And so I went to law school, you know, that's what you do if you have if you're a good writer and you have anxiety and also anxious parents who are Children of holocaust survivors who believe that the nazis are going to come directly to our house if I don't graduate from law school, which as I think honestly what they really must have thought. But anyway, I mean, hopefully, you know, God, I mean, that's a major hospital. But anyway, a hospital Leela will throw into. So now we're like, nobody, nobody is listening to any of these references. But anyway, so I went and when and I also went because like when I was in college, I I I went to college, I also got a master's in philosophy and so I like, you know took all these philosophy classes and there was this one professor, her name was Heidi heard and you know, she's still still going very impressive woman. She I think is the dean now at the University of Illinois, lost College of Law. I don't know, I could get that wrong, whatever she like work depend, she's very impressive and she was just like had such a command of the room and I was like, I just want to be her.

And so I was her research assistant and I was like, okay, I'll get a PhD in philosophy and she's like, don't because you'll starve and why don't you go to law school and try and be a law professor, because like, then you don't have to wait for someone to literally die good for a grief podcast in order to get a job as a philosophy professor. I was like, okay, and then I get to law school and I'm like, wow, it's gonna be really hard to get a teaching job, which is true because like a teaching job for for a law professor is like, you have to like go to Yale from kindergarten through law school and publish every year in these amazing publications, whatever. It's very hard. And I did fine in law school was like media, but then I happened to get this sort of like backdoor way into getting a teaching job and then I had it and after I was on, you know, the 10 year track and what was it four years into teaching, I took an improv class for fun and then seven years into teaching, I had just gotten tenure and was like, you know that improv class was really fun, maybe I want to reconnect with the teacher.

And so then I meet the teacher and I had a big crush on her also, and she was like, have you ever thought of doing stand up? And it came out of nowhere. So I was like, no. And she's like, well would you consider doing stand up on my show? And honestly, I mean, she could have been like, would you consider jumping off a bridge that I'll also be at? And I would show up to the bridge, you know what I mean? And so anyway, so I did it and I loved it and then about a year and a half later I left to do it only. And so, you know, it's a very it's like, it's a unique story obviously, and there are details that I left out, but you know, you can find them, somebody can find them other places if you have questions, obviously I'm happy to answer them, but it's a long story, I get it, but it's also like, you know, I would say if someone is like really, like I have a joke, which is like, you know, it's a typical route to be a stand up comedian. It's my route. Like everybody knows if you want to be a stand up comedian, you go to law school for three years, then you practice for two years, then you teach for nine years, then give it all up and do stand up comedy.

They're like, Liz, why did you go to law school? Like, I'm setting up a joke, I'm gonna tell in approximately 14 years, I'm a planner. So, I mean it's a joke obviously because it's ridiculous, but that was what happened. And so now, you know, if I talked to someone, I used to like, my parents used to set me up, I don't know if you, your parents ever did this with you of like, oh, this person is like wants to do a thing that you've done, could you call them, you know, do you know what I'm saying? Right? Like someone from sure or whatever. And so I would get those from for law school people, kids who were going to law school all the time and now I get them for kids who are going into stand up comedy and I tell them the same thing, take the L sat, you know, because it's the same route, right? That's amazing. Hey, and and congrats on having the article written about you too. Thanks. That's a big deal. Yeah, it was, it was like, I mean I didn't pay this woman a thing to say, all these nice things about the Wall Street Journal. But I mean, you know, she could have, shouldn't have to be so nice. It's like the nicest thing. I'm like, who is this about?

You know, but the story is mine. But the the sort of flourish is this wonderful writer who was incredibly kind to me and I love with your story to it's cool that, you know, you did an improv class and I love that it didn't right away. You know, one class, everything changed, but it just reminds me of the importance of continuing to put yourself out there in unique ways throughout your life. Whoever is listening, it's like shaking it up if you normally swim run, if you like to walk hike if you read books watch, I don't know, it's like if you listen to pop, listen to jazz, like do things differently because that one class lead to something else years later, not even improv, but then like the relationship with her and her one off comment and then it like did all of this. It's amazing. The other thing. Yeah, just exactly on what you're saying is like I remember one of the reasons that I took that class. I mean, you know, I was not like a class clown or anything like that. Like I was always like funny, you know, but not like I was, I was very committed to like doing a good job at things.

So I wasn't like messing around during times that we weren't supposed to, that wasn't my story, I had much funnier friends, you know, my brother is hilarious like, so it wasn't that, but I, I was always very like goal oriented and I wanted to do something that was not connected to a goal was the main thing. And the irony of course is that then that thing that's not goal connected or oriented becomes connected to everything that I'm doing in my life. But I mean that's another thing which is like sort of a whole other topic, but like because I started at a place of like not wanting this to be my goal whenever now I'm in a situation that I'm like, oh, this feels like I'm really going after a goal. I tend to like at least, I don't know, it's not like I don't go for it because I definitely do, but it's also like, I try to remember like, you know, it's not all about that, like just as an example, like I, this year I was fortunate if I won two comedy competitions, I won the boston comedy festival and then I won the ladies of laughter competition when both of them are like kind of a big deal in terms of things to win, so it's great, but first of all for ladies of laughter, I didn't apply before, but so this is my first time or whatever, but boston, I had been rejected a year ago for boston right?

Like a year prior to winning the whole thing. And then the other thing is I was in the Seattle International Comedy competition also in 2019 and also I say, because that was the year that I was rejected from boston and it's like I did, I did like, well on certain nights, but I was like, only in the first round, I don't know if you know Seattle, it's like a month long competition, you do not, I don't know all the details, but yeah, for people listening to sharing some of that, it's like a whole to do and it's an incredible competition. I mean just like, I feel like I became so much better at comedy from like doing it and whatever, even though I got knocked out the first round, which is like you get five shows but you could get 15 if you go two rounds, two and three. But anyway, I remember like the nights that I did because I, I placed and then also I didn't place depending on the night. And I remember, I was like, well it's nice to place and it's nice to win, but I don't want to identify too heavily with winning or losing because it's not about that.

And you know, after that competition, I was like, like I remember I was talking to a friend of mine who actually like did place when he had done it years prior and I, and you know, he's like, your attitude is just so great and I was like, well, I'm so glad that I am so amazing at losing, but like, I'd also like to win and and then I did and but even even like, right after I feel fortunate that I have like built up, I don't know a code of belief in myself, like what I believe in myself, but like a code of beliefs about the world to where even when winning, I'm just like, all right, it's great and it's important to celebrate, but it's like, it's not, it's just, you know, you had a good night and and you know what I mean, and you trained hard and whatever and I really like to keep that mindset because of how I started, because I started after somewhat of an apex in my other career, I had just gotten 10 year, I had just won a teaching award and I I had I had an article in the Georgetown Law Journal and then they spontaneously made a symposium about the article and so it was like all these things and and it was, you know, not that it was all perfect in terms of my experience teaching and whatever, you know, in terms of, but I mean, I left on very good terms and I left because I loved comedy, that was why I left and I didn't leave in order to be in like another like rat race, you know, even self imposed, right?

Right? Hey, thanks for your transparency there. And I think that's an incredible perspective and it's like, it's this interesting juxtaposition of I I resonate with what you're saying, like it's not about just this rat race, but you do need to celebrate. So it's kind of just having that middle of, I don't know if middle of the road is the right analogy, but it's like keeping everything in perspective, I think like yeah, well it's kind of, it's like keeping connected, you know, where it's like, there have definitely been moments you remember getting into college was one of these where I was just like, oh my God, I can't believe I did it, you know, and then I just sort of leave my body and I was like, you know, not that there was anything specifically wrong with that moment, but I just like for whatever reason chose it, but I can think, I mean later in my life like I, you know, I'm sober now but I wasn't always and like I remember when I placed my first article, you know when you're, when you're law professor or any kind of professor like publishing is a big deal and publishing and like fancy journals is really important.

And the first article I ever wrote I placed was lucky enough to place in the Northwestern law review which is like really good larvae or whatever. And I remember like I just got so drunk and I'm sure high, I don't even remember but just like put all the substances into my body because like existing with that moment was I think honestly too hard you know, and I would do that routinely until I stopped and now, you know, I've stopped for, I guess it's like over three years or whatever, but like, which isn't a ton of time, but it's exactly as much time as it is. And I think that too is a way of, I don't know, I mean in terms of grief also to bring it back. Like I've been extremely grateful for my sobriety throughout this whole pandemic and losing my dad for sure just like remaining connected to this moment. So I used to think that like by taking drugs, I was elevating the moment.

That was a lie that I told myself and I do realize that that's so helpful to hear and congratulations on your sobriety. That's a big deal. I'm wondering, have you read the book the Power of Now by any chance? You know, I've read parts of it, but I feel like you're like in the recent past, more than a few people have recommended. So I'm going to read it again. Hey, that's one of those things of it's one of Oprah's favorites, right? So it's like, how do you got it, Oprah? Um Yeah, I love Oprah, right? I mean, I know everyone loves Oprah, but I really love Oprah. Yeah, yeah. She's um I mean her rex you can't really go wrong. Like that's Oprah, there was a guests on the show who was her advertising style director for O magazine and she friends with Oprah and so me talking to her, I was like, I'm one step closer to Oprah now you are to Liz because you talked to me who talked to her and you were on the same podcast we're getting there. I mean, how impressive that you've made the transition from your successful teaching and law life to a successful comedy life. I think a lot of people thank you what aspired to do that.

And I just took this um course are writing part of the new york times essay class. So we're all writing essays to submit to publications and there's um there was a lot of lawyers in the class who are writing this totally different, you know, this is like comedic style writing and blog writing, but there was a lot of lawyers and I think it relates to what you're saying about being published. It makes sense, right? Yeah. And there are a lot of lawyers who like are really into their jobs too, but there's just a lot of lawyers. So I think that like when you cast a wide net, you know, you're going to get creative people who are scared, right? And I say that because I was one not, not that that has to be everybody's situation, right? What would you say to aspiring comedians in these times? You know, let's say when you're saying like, I'm getting the call from someone from shul, like if someone is curious on how to get started in comedy or go to the next level. I know that's a whole other hour of advice, but yeah, sure. I mean, I, you know, my way of getting into it was like totally weird and so I can say what I did, which I say on the phone, which is that I did these two shows that this improv instructor said, oh you want to do them.

And then I wrote an hour, one woman show and I performed. It may be like three months later. And so I, I was like, that's just how I roll. But then it's like, you can't skip levels in really? I think what you're trying to do for your life purpose. I believe that and you know, I mean not to say that some people start out at whatever, whatever, I don't know, but I really, for me, I was just like, I think I was trying to skip levels and it just is impossible and arguably maybe I didn't because it's just like I went through the levels that I did because it's not like this one hour show, it was called the one woman Wedding where I married myself. It was an exorcism was really more what it is. I watched it somewhat recently. I mean that was painful. It's just, it was so much and I think a more traditional route would have been a lot less painful, which is like go to some open mics, write some jokes, say what they are, see how they work, watch yourself like, you know, go back and look at Gary Goldman's tips from whatever year that was 2019 or 18 and you know, like look at those like there's a lot of advice running around and I think like the most important thing that I found is just not quitting even if it means like, you know what the only thing I can do tonight is go on stage and my sweatpants okay, well sweatpants, it is or you know, I can do this step but I don't know that I can watch my stuff or I don't know that I can write anything before I got on stage.

Okay. Just keep, keep going. And also like be okay with sucking humbling right to even to even have a show where it's like even like the shows were like you do your best stuff and you know that your stuff is good and that but the audience was weird that I mean even that's humbling, you're like, okay, well that's the best stuff. So you but it's all very humbling I think right, right, Right. And and honestly, I mean I didn't always watch back my performances, but I do now and it's super revelatory. And so if there is a way for anyone starting out to push through the I hate watching myself. I hate how I sound. I hate how I looked, you know, all of it or I just don't feel like it if there's a way that you can do the opposite of that, I would say that will help you so much in getting better. I love that. I love that. It's so true. And then even like the voice memos, you know recording if if they absolutely really won't let you do a video where you can't like voice is so much better than nothing.

But like you're saying the video is even much more helpful than the audio. So all the levels. Well, I started video sort of more recently because I realized that I am much more likely to watch myself than I am to listen because I don't like the sound of voice memos, they're very tinny. And I know that there are other apps that make the voice like better sounding, but I don't know. But anyway, it's, I just, I just video and then it's like, you know, now you can post everywhere, the clips and I've gotten into that game too. But it's mostly, it's like, I try not to let the product dictate the process, you know, meaning I'm not going on stage in order to get a certain clip for my Tiktok, like, God forbid should I ever be led by that? Not to say that it's never crossed my mind, but when it does thankfully, I have the wherewithal to be like, oh God, just have fun.

You know, for sure. It's always that that gets you the clip anyway. Yes, in the moment, but you're just so present to what's actually happening and not trying to plan the outcome is always the best stuff for sure. Just last couple questions here, your writing process. If I was interested when you were saying about the morning pages in the 750 words a day since you have so much material at this point. I wonder what your writing process is like, of course, always adding new things into the mix, but you have any thoughts you could share their for people who are getting into writing or who do right. I think it's interesting to hear about people's processes. Yeah, I mean, I've heard this somewhere else, it's definitely not mine, but like, you know, and I need to remember it all the time and so it's not something that comes naturally to me, but for everything that I'm writing, I feel like the best thing is knowing, like, even though I'm just contradicting myself, like, where no, the final product that you want. And again, I mean, it's not exactly contradictory to the go on stage and have fun because I think it's still true that you, you know, I would I was going to say you should, but I like to avoid that, like, you know, get into a writing session and and it's not that you always have to be so mindful of what the final product is, but I think like, when I'm working on a set for a specific event, I like knowing like, okay, I have this much time, I want to start with this, I want to do this, and, you know, whatever, and that helps me because I I like to take a while to kind of get there.

And of course it involves like going on stage and trying it out and whatever, but it's like, ultimately having that plan is helpful and I think the same thing, you know, for for a law review article or for a script or a pilot or whatever, it's like, no, okay, we're gonna be doing 30 pages, we're going to have act one be about this, like, as long as I can get in my head, like sort of a vision of what the final thing is, it's much easier for me to write. Very helpful. I love that. Such a great point. Morning pages. Not that I don't do morning pages with a plan, right? That's the total opposite. And that's more what you say, like therapeutic, free flowing, like getting your energy as opposed to writing your structured sets. Yeah, and it's not to say it's like, I've definitely written a joke in my morning pages because it's like I'm talking and sometimes when you say things, they end up being funny, which is how comedy exists to begin with, but it's like, I'm not going on there to like write something specific, right?

I love that. And I think as a writer, it's important to have that distinction. You know, they are two different things. And I think as artists, you know, everything comes back to furthering the career, like you're saying, and it's like, no, it's important to have moments of just I'm going for a walk to clear my head not to come up with my next genius logline for my next script and if, if that happens great and it does happen and that's excellent, but sometimes just having the intention of now I'm doing my meditation too. Be a human. Yeah, yeah, totally. Um yeah, I think that's right and also 750 words dot com, I will plug them any chance I get, I happen to be a free member because I supported them from the very beginning, so I'm grandfathered in, which sounds like it's got to be the wrong term. I'm sure that that's as high as that came out of my mouth. I'm like, I haven't read specifically that this is like a bad thing to say, but like, it's got to be so whatever I am old and I was there from when they first started, but I think it's like five bucks or something like that, but it's like, it's so good.

7 50 words dot com. Not my website, my website, if that's what you're gonna ask www dot dear Liz Glaser dot com. You can find everything at Liz Glaser on instagram and tiktok and at Elizabeth Glaser on twitter facebook, I'm Liz glad you could find me, okay, you google my name, L I C G L A Z er you can find me and please feel free to write me, I love that. You're one step ahead, that's exactly what's gonna ask, how did you know I mean? How could you possibly know what a unique question to ask at the end of a podcast, you know what I mean? It's like, I'm reinventing the wheel, right? Exactly, yeah, yeah. I think I'm just very connected to you, Chelsea, that's my theory, were connected. I'm reinventing that. This was so fun. Thank you so much for having me on. Of course, thank you so much. Glaze last question that I asked people, do you have any questions for me? Oh, was this fun? Did you have fun? I did. I love that. I don't think I've been asked. Yeah, I had so much fun and it was great to hear more about your experience with your dad and you know, it's meaningful to me to hear your story.

So, thank you and the same for you. I know it was offline and all that, but I I'm just like thinking about your mom and sending her the best wishes in your family too. And I'm sorry about your dad and thank you for creating this podcast in space. It was really, really enjoyable. Thank you so much. Well, thank you, Liz and my mom will be listening. I'm sure, especially the jewish episodes. I'm another jewish person. I'm I'm like, mom, I think the point is you should actually listen to the episodes that aren't with jewish people like that might be, but she's like the jewish once. You know, you have? Okay, cool, well, thank you so much. You Chelsea? Yeah, yeah. Mhm. Yodo, you only die once.

Losing Your Dad to Heart Disease with Comedian Liz Glazer (Boston Comedy Festival, Winner 2020)
Losing Your Dad to Heart Disease with Comedian Liz Glazer (Boston Comedy Festival, Winner 2020)
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