Tig Notaro On Her Terrible Year In &#039I&#039m Just A Particular person&#039

I'm Just A Person

In 2012, Tig Notaro walked onto the stage at LA’s Largo Theater and said this: “Good evening hello, I have cancer, how are you? Hi, how are you? Is everyone obtaining a excellent time? I have cancer. How are you?”

Notaro was in the middle of 1 of the worst years of her life, dealing with critical illness, a breakup and the death of her mother.

And it should not have been funny, except that evening, it was. Tragically, heartbreakingly funny. It was the beginning of a riff that hasn’t stopped. And Notaro — as you can inform — did not die. She’s in remission, lately married and the author of a new memoir, I am Just A Particular person.

“Of course I was scared,” she tells NPR’s Kelly McEvers, “but it genuinely did attain a breaking point, and right just before I went on stage was — I don’t prepare as well considerably just before my shows, typically just before, when I’m showering is really when I’m pondering things via, and that is when I came up with that line … I believed it was the funniest line.”

Interview Highlights

On producing individuals laugh about what they worry

That show … I wasn’t trying to truly do something for the audience. I consider it was far more for myself, and I genuinely feel like, hunting back now, that I was probably asking for assist on some level. You know? I truly was astounded by how many folks had been touched and lifted by the efficiency. That was such a relief following placing that vulnerable set out there.

On her mother’s comfort with discomfort

She was extremely shocking. 1 of the examples I always use to give men and women an thought of who she was — she had been in a actually poor car accident years ago and broke every bone in her body, and was in a coma. And they had used these long, thin screws to straighten out her toes. And following she had the screws removed, she asked the physician if she could have them, and she used them for olives, to place in martinis. And so when she would have parties, folks would say, “Oh, Susie, this is so cool, what made you believe to use these screws?” And she stated, “Oh yeah, these had been in my toes following the accident.” … I’m a mellow version. She was extremely wild and funny.

On receiving married in her Mississippi hometown

We got married on the beach, and it was truly so touching to be walking via the neighborhood to my cousin’s house where the reception was, and having locals run out and cheer us on, saying, “This is so fantastic!” … All the regional establishments prepared food, and they were so beneficial, and there are just so numerous artistic, beautiful, talented, open-minded loving men and women that I hate the believed of them receiving grouped in to the others.

On whether or not happiness is the enemy of art

No, I consider it really is silly. Folks really like to make comedians out to be miserable, dark, twisted individuals. And I feel a lot of individuals struggle with depression and mental illness, and have troubles and difficulties with their family. The mailman has it, your neighbor has it, it’s just that comedians have a microphone. For me, I never connect with getting this dark particular person. I certainly have had dark moments, but I don’t want to be the anything comedian — whatever you want to call me, it really is your organization. But it really is not a selection I produced up in my head.

Arts &amp Life : NPR