Georgia native Mia Jackson has been featured on Season 9 of NBC’s Last Comic Standing and Laughs TV. You can catch her August 18th at the Village Underground and August 20th at the Knitting Factory.
You’re a native of Georgia. How did a Southern upbringing shape your sense of humor? My comedy is right in the middle of my mother and father’s sense of humor. My mother is a matter of fact, no-nonsense type of person, but has a quiet sense of humor that comes out when I least expect it. My dad on the other hand is a character. I end up seeing elements of her quiet humor and his personality in my set. I can go either way depending on what the joke needs. Growing up in the South as a region….well…Georgia itself gave me a taste of rural, suburban and urban life and it informed my worldview in terms of how I talk about race in my set.
What did you study at University of Georgia and did it influence your style of comedy? I graduated with a degree in Speech Communication. The program didn’t influence my material, but it was helpful as far as learning how to structure topics and in finding ways to make those things interesting. It was also a good foundation for learning how to speak in front of people.
Comedy requires a lot of bombing before hitting your stride. What do you consider your worst gig and what did you take away from it? I‘ve had a few bad gigs, but the worst was at a college about 5 years ago. I didn’t get a lot of rest before the show and wasn’t prepared like I needed to be. Before I went on stage, the people working on the show were talking about how there was someone from the year before who was terrible and got booed off stage. I didn’t want to be yet another person on the list they would be talking about next year. I stepped on stage and the crowd was rowdy; to make matters worse, my parents were in the front row. I couldn’t connect with the crowd and I just wasn’t their cup of tea. I couldn’t find a way to turn them around and ended up getting a little hostile and rude. It was all because I was embarrassed. I learned a lot of things after that gig…such as getting as much rest as you can. Prepare. Know your audience. Oh and don’t be rude. It wasn’t the crowd’s fault that I wasn’t doing great…I was to blame. I made sure after that point that regardless of how a show goes that I need to do an assessment and think about what went well, what went wrong and what could be better the next time.
What’s the most difficult aspect of doing stand up in 2017? Ha! Comedy has always been difficult, but I would say at this point there is sooo much content to be consumed and so many platforms on which to consume it. So I would have to say trying to stand out among so many options is probably one of the harder things right now.
Who or what do you find really funny? Some of my favorite people to watch: David Perdue (shout out to Atlanta!), Pat Brown and Erin Jackson.
What do you do to relax when you’re not on stage and is there anything that gets your creative energy flowing? Relax..as a full time comic? There’s no time to relax?!! Ok fine, when I am forced to relax, I read quite a bit. I will also watch pretty much any type of true life crime show. My creative energy gets flowing when I take a minute and have fun and not be so focused on all things comedy….just participating and being present in life helps.
Where can we see you next? Aug 18: Village Underground, Aug 20: Knitting Factory, Aug 30 – Sep 2: Accidental Comedy Fest in Cleveland.