Keeping It Real with Sarah Cooper

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“Comedians build up the tension so that you can release it.” — Hannah Gadsby

After leaving her promising career in the tech industry, first at Yahoo then Google, Sarah Cooper realized she needed something more. Sarah wrote 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings while at Google and when it went viral, it gave her the confidence to leave the corporate world and break into comedy.

She quickly realized that comedy would act as her guide for finding her own personal mission. Today, we are surrounded by nuances that are hidden beneath the oftentimes suffocating world of “politically correct.” Sarah wanted to stay true to herself on stage and online, so instead of hiding behind these rules, she saw it as her mission to dig up the nuances and present them in a humorous, tasteful way.

In today’s episode, Chad and Sarah discuss why she left Google, where she finds inspiration for her comedy and writing, and how she got her start in stand up comedy. She also shares how she developed her voice and found her niche audience.

Quotes by Sarah:

6:46 – “When we are not judging each other, we can just be present in the moment and build a better connection. I’ve always loved humor. It breaks the tension in every situation.”

9:24 – “I’ve had an increased appreciation for vulnerability. Comedians get on stage and build a relationship with an audience by making fun of themselves or by sharing something personal. It’s part of the act, but it’s also a huge part of building relationships with anybody.”

21:30 – “I really enjoyed being myself and it took me a few more years to admit it to myself, that I was much more interested in being myself than being a character.”

25:48 – [On leaving Google for comedy] “Part of the reason that I left was I wanted to say whatever I wanted.”

40:21 – “All of my ideas usually come when I’m doing something else, taking the dogs for a walk or doing the dishes. So start observing yourself and start observing other people and collecting those ideas and those stories.”


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Episode 281