Written by: Joseph Santiago
We sat down to interview one of our favorite comedians Kate Wolff at the New York Comedy Club in the East Village to discuss all things stand up comedy.
1. What other jobs did Kate Wolff do before starting stand up comedy?
I was an Art Teacher for about 6 years when I started stand up comedy. I continued to teach and do stand up for another two years. I eventually had to quit teaching in order to dedicate more time and energy to comedy. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
2. How did you know you wanted to be a comedian?
After my first open mic, I just felt this rush of creative energy, and I knew then I had found my passion. I couldn’t stop thinking about comedy, and what I wanted to try out on stage. I knew I had found my calling.
3. If you weren’t doing comedy, what would you be doing?
I also got into the spiritual healing world as I continued my journey with comedy. I recently graduated from a four-year NonDual Kabbalistic Healing program, so I am a certified healer. I also read tarot cards, paint, and dance. So, I’d probably still be exploring those worlds even if comedy wasn’t in the mix. But thank God/Goddess it is!
4. Where are some of your favorite places to perform?
My two home clubs in NYC are New York Comedy Club and Stand Up NY. They have had my back from the beginning, and the rooms are just incredible.
5. Who are some of your favorite up-and-comers in the comedy world?
Probably the people I’ve come up with, so Emma Willmann, Robyn Schall, Calise Hawkins, Leah Bonnema, Nathan Macintosh, Aminah Imani, and many more!
6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
To just focus on my craft, and get funny. We all fall into the comparison wound, but I try my best to just focus on myself, and get more and more authentic on stage. It’s all about finding your unique voice!
7. When did you feel like you were a pro comedian?
Probably about a couple of years in when I got paid to do my first headlining gig, and then shortly after that when I got my first stand up TV credit on NickMom’s Night Out.
8. How often do you perform comedy per week?
I only perform comedy between 2-3 nights a week, because I am also a single mom, so I try to dedicate half my week to just my son, and other activities outside of the comedy world. I think it’s what helped keep me sane.
9. What are your favorite comedy clubs that you perform?
There are so many but here goes: New York Comedy Club, Stand Up NY, Atlantic City Comedy Club, Gotham Comedy Club, Dino’s Backstage, Valley Forge Casino, Philly Comedy Club, Stress Factory, Fairfield Comedy Club, and Hartford Funny Bone
10. How do you deal with hecklers?
I shut them down immediately. One of my gifts is being able to truly feel into a person’s soul, so if someone rudely tries to throw me off my game, I’m usually pretty good at tearing their emotional guts out.
11. What advice would you give your younger self?
To keep going, and that it gets better. That dreams really can come true, you just have to keep believing in yourself and to NEVER EVER let other people’s opinions of you stop you from being who you truly are.
12. How would you describe your brand of comedy?
I would say I’m edgy, but with heart. I try to combine my positive energy with my spiritual beliefs and experience of being a mother, teacher, and overall badass bitch. I also try to be as honest and authentic as possible.
13. What do you talk about in your act?
I talk about being a mother, the divine feminine, spirituality, the hypocrisy in our society, sex, aliens, teaching stories, etc.
14. How did you develop your style of stand up? Who were your influences growing up; both from the world of comedy and elsewhere?
I just kind of let it unfold and developed organically. Growing up I loved Sarah Silverman, George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, Martin Short, Steve Martin, Kathy Griffin, Joan Rivers, and Ellen Degeneres.
15. I love to interview comedians, Can I ask what happens when you are in front of a crowd, and no one laughs?
I just go with it. I’ve learned that if you panic, the audience immediately smells blood in the water. So, I just roll with it and play with the silence. If it’s a super obvious “bomb” I call it out. If not, I just keep going. Kind of like life!
16. What made Kate Wolff decide to be a comedian? Were she born funny?
I was actually born funny! I was always performing and trying to make my friends and family laugh basically right out of the womb. But it wasn’t until I got divorced in my late twenties that I even considered comedy. I suddenly had a lot more time on my hands and was trying to figure out what my soul needed to feel fulfilled. I first tried volunteering with an incredible organization called Charity: Water, and then even started a jewelry business. But it wasn’t until many of my friends started saying that I need to get into stand up comedy that it clicked. And after my first open mic, I was hooked; I knew I had found my calling. And then a couple of years after that, I had my huge spiritual awakening, and then they both interwove with each other organically. I love combining my humor with my spiritual beliefs on stage. Which is why I now have a spiritual comedy variety show “Comedy Seance” at New York Comedy Club’s 4th Street location with two of my close friends Rockstar Shaman Alyson Charles, and Dancer Healer Jess Grippo. Kate Wolff podcast “Invasion of Privacy” also combines the edgy humor with my spiritual beliefs.
17. When can people see it?
The next Comedy Seance is April 7th at 6 pm, promo “Seance” for $10 tickets. At New York Comedy Club’s 4th Street location. And my podcast “Invasion of Privacy” is available on iTunes and SoundCloud
18. Is there anything else that you wish to promote?
I’ll be at Atlantic City Comedy Club at the Tropicana April 19th and 20th (7 & 9 pm shows both nights) promo KATE for 20% off and promote my 11:11 my Comedy Album