If you ask anyone who knew Lindsay Boling growing up, they’d likely tell you she was never funny. But, a lot has changed for the former University of Louisville soccer star, who recently moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a comedian. “If you ask anyone I know, they will tell you that I’ve never been funny – ever,” laughed Boling, a graduate of Sacred Heart Academy. “I was pretty serious when I was in college.”
However, with a little practice and a repertoire of jokes delving into such issues as awkward texting scenarios, the “stupidest movie titles ever conceived” and the strange placement of anti-drug ads, Boling has transformed herself from stand-out athlete to rising stand-up comic.
In the last two years, she’s performed at such places as Comedy Caravan and the Louisville Improv, while also touring much of the U.S. Ready to try her hand at the Big Leagues of comedy in New York City, Boling landed in the Big Apple on Nov. 3. She was originally scheduled to leave on Halloween of this year, but had to postpone her move due to Hurricane Sandy.
The Voice-Tribune caught up with Boling to find out more about her blossoming comedy career and what she’s most looking forward to as a funnywoman living in New York.
When did you first become involved in comedy?
I started doing it right after soccer ended, so the spring after my senior year at UofL. I kind of fell into it by accident. I was an English major and creative writer at UofL and (was) writing sketches and stuff, and then I saw this stand-up thing and didn’t really know it existed, so I just Googled open mics and did it that way.
How do you choose which material to perform?
Sometimes it’s a late night, Saturday at 1 a.m. and people are drunk, so you should probably go with a blue joke, which is a dirtier joke. You can’t do jokes about books at 1 a.m. You just have to be able to read the crowd and have enough material where you can pick and choose.
The more personal jokes get, the more universal they’ll become. The trick is to take experiences from your own life, but take it so everyone else is like, “Oh, that happened to me too.” … I try not to make too much fun of pop culture. … It’s too easy to make fun of Kim Kardashian.
What do you love most about comedy?
I think I’m finding out more about myself in doing this, because you get up there and act goofy but kind of have some substance to what you’re saying.
Who is your female role model in comedy?
For me, it’s always been Tina Fey because I love that she was a writer first and now she’s performing more. … It’s good that she’s going out and being a voice for women. I like that she’s able to branch out of comedy.
Do you find it tougher being a female comedian in an industry mostly dominated by men?
In the comedy community it never really comes up, which is kind of funny because people talk about female versus male comedians. … You’ll have people come up to you after the show saying, “It’s great to see a girl up there,” or “I don’t usually like female comedians but you were funny.” But I never think about (the male versus female comedy perception).
I heard you performed for Bellarmine’s men’s basketball team. What was that like?
(Coach Scott Davenport) called me up one day, and Coach Davenport is great because he’s always wanting to do fun stuff for the team. … I just kind of came in, no intro, no microphone, guys sitting around, (I’m) telling my jokes and they were laughing. That was definitely the most interesting show I’ve done, and I’ve done some weird ones.
What made you decide to move to New York to pursue comedy?
The sooner you go I think the better it will be. I’m kind of starting over by going there, but at least I’m starting at two years instead of eight years. Being around those people pushing me all the time, I think it’ll make me better quicker. … It’s definitely a scary move, especially when I graduated with an English major – what job am I going to have? … I know people up (in New York), but it’s just like starting over. It’s a huge scene there so I’ll just be doing all the open mics that I can, meeting a bunch of people, hopefully getting my name out there and booking a lot of shows.
What’s your ultimate goal with comedy?
I would love to be able to just say that my job is comedy and not have a day job anymore. … For me, as long as I’m doing that, whether or not it’s going on the road doing stand-up or writing or performing on a stage. I just want to be able to say this is my only job.