BWW Interview: Stand-Up Comedy and JULIE MARIE SCHULZ

BWW Interview: Stand-Up Comedy and JULIE MARIE SCHULZ

Julie Marie Schulz loves stand-up comedy. She loves it so much you'll love it, as well.

MCL: What was your earliest memory of stand-up?

JMS: I think it was the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. My family members are mostly night-owls, and some of my fondest memories as a child are lying on my mom's lap every weeknight watching it.

MCL: Who were your earliest influences? Why?

JMS: I always enjoyed the energy and humor of Robin Williams. He had so much spunk, and his material was clean AND hilarious! I also loved watching, and still do, the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. However, I loved & mostly related to Rodney Dangerfield. He admitted he was not the most physically attractive person. But he turned that into something GOOD. That's exactly what I try to do with my comedy and in daily life, too!

MCL: How did you finally get on stage?

JMS: I frequent Rob's Comedy Playhouse so decided to host a fundraiser there when I did a "Bald for Bucks" four years ago. I wrote about twenty minutes of material and the audience loved it. The "real comedians" there told me I was a natural and encouraged me to do it more. I started doing open mics and took several classes for comedy and stage performance.

MCL:What was the first time like?

JMS: A BLAST! I was a LITTLE nervous yes, but not scared. After the first minute up there I felt completely comfortable.

MCL: What is your process to prepare?

JMS: I have to physically write my material over and over, as well as perform it out loud in front of NO ONE. The only way I can ever memorize anything is by writing it down over & over. Each time I rewrite it I can write less & less & rely on memory more & more. Eventually I'm just writing key words. The reciting it out loud to an imaginary audience allows me to hear how it sounds & decide what needs to be added, removed, or tweaked. I also think of additional ad-libs along the way.

MCL: Where does your material come from?

JMS: Real life experiences. I have a physical disability and am in a wheelchair. I have many curves, but not in the places most would want them. I am the youngest of seven kids so was naturally picked on. We may have not had the ideal life, but we all had a sense of humor, which saved many of us. My mother, who had a rough life herself, always taught us, "If you can't laugh at yourself, you have no right to laugh at anyone else. And that would be no fun!" So, my siblings didn't hold back when it came to picking on me, disability or not. But that's only because I inherited, or maybe grew, a thick skin.

(Sometimes in the form of plaster casts!)

Mom always encouraged me to do everything every "normal" kid did, even though I had to do it differently. She also instilled in my siblings & I that we have the choice to either laugh or cry at our situations. In a family like ours I, we, usually ended up laughing.

Audiences at first seem uncomfortable laughing at my jokes about my own disability, but I think I'm pretty good at putting them at ease & bringing them to laughter. This is the ONLY time I use my disability.

My disability is not the only subject of my material though. I also point out the irony & humorous aspects of everyday, normal routine things that everyone can relate to & experience. And for some reason, my ideas for material usually come when I'm driving or TRYING to go to sleep, two occasions when its rather inconvient or difficult to write them down!

MCL: Subject matter you personally stay away from?

JMS: Some disabilities that AREN'T physical. Other than that, nothing is off-limits. If I joke about serious, troubling issues, it DOES NOT mean I don't take them seriously. Laughter IS actually a good medicine. Let's use it!

MCL: What is it about stand-up that keeps you coming back?

JMS: I enjoy making people laugh because humor was always SO important to me & literally got me through this tough life. Also, if I can distract just ONE person from the troublesome side of a bad situation, even if for a brief moment, I feel good. And I think I have done that on a few occasions.

And ok, maybe I do like being the center of attention a little bit ??

MCL: What is the best way to bounce back from a bad night?

JMS: Remove the material that didn't work, forget about that night, but KEEP AT IT!

MCL: Finally ... what's coming up for you in 2018.

JMS: My boyfriend and I are trying to widen the horizons of comedy and spread it to places other than the city. Mooney's Bar & Grill on Broadway at Townline Road has had enough confidence in us to try to make this happen, and we now have a comedy night once a month there called Smack & 'n Cheese, since Mooney's is famous for its delicious & original Mac & Cheese dishes. So far they have been fun and successful ... with great comedians from all over WNY!

I also intend to continue with open mics, in hopes of bigger and better things.

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From This Author Mark C. Lloyd

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