Liz Miele is cool for so many reasons. First, and most notably, she’s hilarious. She’s also to a fault nice, a magnetic, natural beauty, thoughtful beyond measure and a genuinely good person. She’s the type of person you want leading your squad, she’s the Taylor Swift to my Haim Sisters. I’m proud of her tenaciousness, her willingness to work, if necessary, from paycheck to paycheck if it ensures that she’s able to pursue the career that she loves. I’m excited to watch her continued success, and laugh with her along the way. Rock on sister, you’re a star.
Liz Miele grew up in central New Jersey, the second oldest of five children to two highly-ambitious parents. Her household was strict, no TV allowed and a lot of responsibility placed on the oldest children to do their homework, help with housework, and care for their younger siblings.
At age 14, she started writing. Pushed by her friends to pursue this newfound interest in comedy, she started spending every second of her free time crafting jokes and passing them out to her classmates, having them star and underline the ones they thought were good enough to hold onto.
Realizing how serious she was about comedy, Liz’s dad sat her down and gave her some sage advice—if you really want to pursue this as a career, you should seek out the masters of comedy and find out the path they took to achieve success.
A few days later, George sent her a signed headshot that read “Go Do It”, and she did. She was 16 at the time, and signed up for what’s known as a “bringer show” at the Comedy Cellar in New York City. A bringer show is when a comedian brings paying guests in exchange for stage time.
The show at the Comedy Cellar created a domino effect. Liz started performing at open mics and “barking” for stage time, which means she handed out fliers for a show in exchange for stage time, nearly every weekend. Once a weekend turned into twice a weekend… then four times a week…until she eventually found herself doing her homework at the bar of the club in between sets. Finally, she moved into the city for good, this time as a student as the prestigious Eugene Lang College at The New School.
Liz says that every comic has a moment where one gig ends up putting them on the map. At age 22, Liz was booked on “Live at Gotham”, a show on Comedy Central. This was a network that she had watched her entire life, and now she was the one being featured. After that, more and more gigs started pouring in. She did shows on the road and booked a commercial, all the while doing “every shitty day job you can imagine” in between.
Between a web series, a stand-up tour, a viral joke, podcasts, her own personal album and her usual shows at clubs, Liz hasn’t struggled finding work since. She says she finally feels OKAY, knowing that her hard work and incredible talent as a comedienne have worked together in a very serendipitous way.
What’s the hardest thing about pursuing a career as a stand-up comic?
I would imagine you’ve had some really bizarre moments onstage.
For someone looking to become a stand-up comic, what sort of advice would you give them?
If you were to have the opportunity to go down this career path all over again, would you?
What's the best advice you've ever received?
To learn more about Liz, and book her for future shows, visit LizMiele.com.
To watch her (NSFW) joke that went viral, click here!
Up next week on DRIVEN for Women, Meet Shannon Escoto, she's the girl you need to impress if you think your child is destined to become a star!
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