14-Year-Old Comedian Performs At Women In Comedy Festival06:59
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Maeve Press. (Courtesy)
Maeve Press. (Courtesy)

Maeve Press (@MaevePress) went to summer stand-up comic camp when she was 11 years old — it didn't go so well. Just three years later, she was performing at a women's comedy festival.

Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with the young comedian about stand-up comedy, writing jokes and her inspirations.

Interview Highlights

On how she got into comedy

"I've always loved comedy. I've always loved trying to turn sad moments into happy moments. But a little bit ago, I did the Kids 'N Comedy camp at Gotham, in [New York City]. And I did the show afterwards. We got to write our own stuff, and it was awesome. Then I decided to sign up again, and we did the same thing, but the show didn't go as well as I wanted. ... I was a little bit more nervous, I wasn't timing correctly. So to redeem myself I immediately went and signed up for some open mics, and I've kind of been loving it ever since."

On audiences at her open mics, and how she writes her jokes

"I have luckily been able to avoid too much horrible stuff, to me. But I've definitely heard some very disgusting things."

"I read a lot of the newspapers to kind of make sure I'm up to date."

"Usually I just figure out a question I have, write it down, and then kind of answer it, and then those are my jokes, in a way."

"I've always loved trying to turn sad moments into happy moments."

Maeve Press

On what her classmates think of her comedy

"They're very supportive of it. I go to a wonderful school where there's actually a lot of other kids that do... they don't do comedy, but they do other things. They're musicians and artists and actors. They definitely, they do constantly ask me to say jokes, and that's always interesting."

On a joke she would tell her friends

"I have a lot of fears. I'm actually really scared of mannequins. Because I'm not the biggest fan of realistic, lifelike representations of human beings frozen in time and lacking in the soul. And I'm not talking about Mike Pence."

On other comedians who have influenced her

"I love Joan Rivers. I think she was incredible. I'm a huge fan of Tig Notaro. I love her stage presence and her comedy. I love Louis C.K. and George Carlin and Richard Pryor. They make you laugh, but they also, you look at the world through a different perspective."

On whether she wants to have a career in comedy

"Maybe. When I was a lot younger, like 4, I wanted to be a doctor. I thought that'd be awesome, because I like the idea of saving people's lives. And kind of strangely, in a way, comedians and doctors are similar. Because doctors save people's lives with medicine, and comedians kind of save people's lives with laughter."

On support from other women in comedy

"It's very, very supportive. After just meeting them, I kind of felt like I was part of a family, and it was really nice."

"I feel honored to be able to do [stand-up comedy] at such a young age now."

This segment aired on May 5, 2017.

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