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From High School Drop Out to High School Teacher to Stand Up Comedian: Recovery Comic Susan Freeman
Recovery Comedians, Comics Anonymous, Recovery Comedy, Recovery Comic, Clean and Sober Comedy
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Comic for Recovery Susan Freeman

Susan has parlayed her ten years as a high school teacher into a promising comedy career. (Ironically, the former teacher was a high school dropout - probably because she didn't "just say no to drugs" until 20 years later.) In the classroom, she delivered facts and nurtured young minds; on stage this comedian turns truths inside out through gentle sarcasm.

Susan's braved weather, traffic, and speed traps throughout the Midwest to bring her edgy, honest comedy to the stage. Don't be fooled by her "PTA Mom" appearance - she can take a sailor down a peg or two. Her philosophy about comedy is simple: "the truth doesn't have to hurt; it's also not G-rated." Paradoxically, what's most refreshing about her approach is that she doesn't use her disregard for the G-rating as a license to be crude. "I'm an adult, people in the audience are adults - we can talk about grown-up stuff without being overly graphic or nasty about it. On the other hand, if you're an adult who freaks out over a little cuss word here or there, I don't know what to tell you - maybe 'get well soon?'”

After a decade of snorting chalk dust in the Pacific Northwest, Susan moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Double-dared to take the stage during Open-Mic Night at a local comedy club, she made some people laugh and has been hooked ever since. Susan was a finalist in last year's Oklahoma's Funniest Person Contest.

An "endorphin dealer" and proud of it, Susan wholeheartedly believes there's no better medicine than laughter. "Life's full of hurdles: sometimes we're stopped by them, which is sad; sometimes we leap over them, which is great; I frequently trip over them - that's just funny."

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid?

Susan Freeman:  A first grade teacher "diplomatically" told my mother that I had "diarrhea of the mouth" because I was constantly talking.  I was inquisitive, outgoing, upbeat, smart.  (Aced my way through elementary school without cracking a book.)

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

Susan Freeman:  Totally out of the blue, just dawned on me one day that I should see if there's an open mic in my area and give it a try.  (I don't think comedy clubs or the concept of an open mic had ever crossed my mind prior to that.)  I had been crippled by public speaking fear for 25 years prior to that.  Not as a teacher in the classroom, for some reason, but even having to make an announcement during a staff meeting (to people I worked with all the time) would give me a heart-throbbing panic attack.  So now I'd been in recovery about 5 years, and trying to weed out all sources of fear.  Figured the worst case scenario?  I wet myself on stage and have a funny story to tell the kids.  But going in for that very first time, I really felt like the stage was my Goliath & I was gonna take that sucker down!  Was totally scared & shaking, but I got some pity laughs and have been hooked ever since.  (That was about 5 years ago.)

Recovery Comedy:  Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it? 

Susan Freeman:  Not deliberately, but I hope people take a message away from my shows:  "there's strength and nobility in not taking yourself too seriously...and comedy does not have to be mean-spirited or cut people down to be fun/funny."

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols?

Susan Freeman:  I like Mike Berbiglia (because he exudes humility to me), Gaffigan (because he's so skilled at massaging a bit until it is virtually exhausted), and Demitri Martin (because he is brilliantly-gifted with multi-tasking.) There are others, but those are the ones that pop up for me right now.

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from?

Susan Freeman:  So far, personal experience(s) with jobs, husband, kids, family, recovery...more & more as a result of road work and situations that happen en route to or during shows.  I tend to steer clear of divisive topics like religion & politics. 

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process? 

Susan Freeman:  My favorite jokes (and probably best ones) have been sorta dropped into my lap or brain or heart -- they've been simple, clear, well-formed pretty much from the onset...very little work, if any, on my part.  I feel like those jokes have been gifts.  However, I do consistently sit down and write (either just brainstorming or trying to flesh out a concept that strikes me as funny but isn't really a bit or joke yet).  Sometimes I get direct fruits from that process, but more often than not I think that just makes my brain fertile soil for the "gift jokes" to get planted in. Also, I frequently toss funnies around with my husband (who sees the world through totally different eyes than I do, and makes me laugh daily).  Now that I think about it, some of my favorite jokes have come from him and/or him respinning something I started.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite?

Susan Freeman:  Fear. When I get sucked into fear, I misstep left & right, my thinking isn't clear, I'm sidespun from my true power source.  No room for fear -- spent 25 years wallowing in it; I don't have time or energy for that anymore.

Recovery Comedy:  Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

Susan Freeman:  Totally supportive.  All rooting for my inevitable fame & fortune (which I've assured them will spill generously over onto them.)  Also, they see how much joy this work brings me and how easily it comes to me.  Seems like I was born to do this -- just a little slow to figure that out.

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process? 

Susan Freeman:  Laughter is the best medicine = a fact. I'm grateful to say I laugh hard every day.  Some days I'm sicker than others, but every day is an opportunity to grow & become less sick than I was the day before.  Progress not perfection.  I need to laugh regularly.  Also, I am soooo not into sit-ups or floor-crunchy exercises.  Most of me is relatively untoned and soft, but my abs are rock hard from all the laughing.  Besides the laughing, though, this career keeps my potentially huge ego and control-freak tendencies in check -- 'cause not every show goes according to my "perfect plan."  Reminds me to let go & let God.  I need that regularly.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy?

Susan Freeman:  Rather not go there -- like to leave those in the past.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

Susan Freeman:  Have had more than one like this, but the shows where the audience & I click right-out-of-the-gate, then ride a fun, effortless ride together for an hour or more -- those experiences are joyful, out-of-body, and timeless...literally awesome.  I live for those shows.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

Susan Freeman:  Seems to change pretty regularly, so I don't think I can answer that one.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Susan Freeman:  The joyful, out-of-body, awesome shows I described above -- but full-time, in packed theaters, for huge money.  (I've got big, philanthropic plans for that money.)  Also, and I'm not sure exactly how yet, I want my big-ticket shows to include some fantastic pyrotechnics.  I will be a blessing to my family (6 brothers & sisters, 20 nieces & nephews, our parents, kids & grandkids) and friends, and bring colleagues along with me on my ride to huge fame.  I will be super generous with all of my support staff -- everyone from the lady who gives me pedicures to the pilot of my private jet -- everyone will have full benefits and huge bonuses.  I will leave a beautiful mark on the world instead of a stain.

To find out more information about Susan Freeman or to book her for your next Recovery Event just click here!

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