Kelly connects with former Comedy Central executive Tara Schuster to talk about her powerful book about the work she's done as an adult to overcome a very rough childhood.
“Yeah, it definitely rings true, particularly around, you know so much of comedy is telling stories that are a little more extreme but contain a universal truth that everyone can relate to. And so those of us who have had experiences at the extremities, I think, are the ones who can tell those stories the best. But I also want to say that I don't think that the archetype of the suffering artists who's just struggling, and everything is hard. I really reject that. And I don't think you need to be depressed or a drinker or have a million issues in order to be funny.”
“She was so freaked out, and she was like a very calm European woman who, mostly in sessions, always had like a little mug with the tea bag and the little string coming out of it, and a kerchief around her neck. She was freaked out so, to hear how scared she was in the messages really scared me into realizing I didn't have parents growing up, really, I didn't have parents who nurtured me. They were incapable of taking care of children. This has led me to have severe anxiety and depression, and if I didn't do something to save my life, I wouldn't have much of a life to live. So that's where my first book begins.”
“If I had never been laid off, I don't know that this book would have happened because I had used that job as a magic trick, you know, like: look at me, I'm working with Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele and David Spade, and I'm like glamorous, and I went to the Emmy's. Look over here, but don't look over here at this quarter century of complex trauma that's keeping you up at night. It was such a duality there, and once I lost my identity - for example, people would introduce me as Tarar Schuster, Comedy Central, like it was my married last name. I worked there a third of my life, so I just had no sense of self, and that's why I went on this journey was because I lost it when I lost that job.”
Photo credit: Diana Ragland