September 4, 2013

Chicago Hearts Cameron Esposito

Cameron Esposito performing in Chicago
There’s always a lot of talk in the comedy world about jealousy and bitterness. I don’t know how it was before social media, but it seems like every other day in one or another comedy group on Facebook someone to start posting subtle (or not-so-subtle) jabs at other comics, wondering why *they’re* not the most famous, why *they’re* not getting booked. So I think it’s important to acknowledge when the opposite happens. I want to talk about something amazing I was lucky enough to be a part of last night.

Anyone who’s read my blog knows how big a fan I am of Cameron Esposito, a Chicago comic who moved to LA a year ago. She’s especially dear to those of us who like to read about sex and gender and comedy, because she’s written some of the sharpest commentary on that intersection of topics I’ve ever read.

Last night, Cameron (can I call her Cameron, even though we’ve never met in person? - I’m going to) had her network television debut on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Cameron’s an alum of Chicago Underground Comedy, one of the city’s longest-running showcases, so its producers arranged for a viewing party after the show. I decided to head over and stick around for Cameron’s appearance.

And she KILLED. KILLED, you guys. And it was AMAZING. But not surprising, because she’s an incredible comic with a Midwestern charm who impressed and delighted Craig Ferguson and Jay Leno (the other guest, did I mention?) just like we all knew she would.

Kris McDermott
What I specifically want to remember about that night was the room full of comics with tears in their eyes sitting in the bar at the Beat Kitchen at 12:17 on a Tuesday night, screaming and hollering and laughing and high-fiving each other. A room full of comics saying to each other in low, emotional whispers: “Cameron’s the reason I do this.” Sharing stories about their first time up at Cole’s open mic when she was a co-host, about how she encouraged people to tell their stories when they felt like no one cared. Not one person said something bitter or angry- it was all just genuine happiness for someone who deserves recognition so much.

As someone new to the comedy scene, I felt so lucky that I was even able to be a peripheral part of this. And it was such a tonic to me, to feel that kind of support and love for someone who has helped build the community I’m now benefiting from. Someone who, very recently, acknowledged that the move to LA has been difficult and isolating and leaves her wondering what she’s doing. I’m not sure that she’ll ever know the kind of impact that she’s had on this city. Well done, Cameron. You are rather loved here.

Here’s part of her set, by the way. WHERE THEY INVITE HER UP TO SIT WITH THEM BECAUSE WHY NOT.


By: Kris McDermott - Kris is a comic and writer based in Chicago. She has performed at showcases like Stand-Up at Studio Be, The Gogo Show, Double Shot Showcase and Performance Anxiety Chicago. Follow her on Twitter, @krismcdermott or visit her website and blog at krismcdermott.com

(Editors Note: Kris reached out and asked COC to re-post this article from her site where it was originally published)