I’m Just A Person…




It’s of my opinion the best art (comedy included) comes from a place of honesty and vulnerability. Tig Notaro is a wonderfully deadpan comedian. While she was already a steady working comedian, gradually climbing the ranks of fame, her career skyrocketed almost over night after a historic set where she bravely walked out on stage and greeted her audience with, “Hey, how’s everyone doing tonight? I have cancer. How ya doing?…”

Her memoir chronicles a series of rough life events that go in about this order: she is diagnosed with c.diff, a week later her mother dies from a sudden accident, a short while later her relationship with her girlfriend ends, then within months of her mother’s passing she is diagnosed with breast cancer.

If you haven’t seen it, there is an abbreviated documentary available on Netflix called “Tig”. I’m calling it “abbreviated” because the book goes so much deeper with her traumatic events, while the documentary is a slight shift in focus, dotted with comic relief. It was a little hard to find the comic relief in the book (but i’m not complaining). Since the audiobook is narrated by Notaro herself, her deadpan delivery amid SO MUCH grey material was hard to distinguish between what was funny and what was heartbreaking. Again. This is not a complaint, just an observation on framing. She used cancer in her comedy act. It was funny because she was owning it and framed it as comedy. In the book, it was the retelling of pain on a more personal level. I was crocheting and crying in the middle of a Starbucks and probably looked like such a nutter. I would absolutely recommend this book, but if you don’t get around to it, definitely watch the documentary and her stand-up.

And I’ll leave you with this:

7 comments on “I’m Just A Person…”

  1. Tig Notaro is amazing! I was lucky enough to see her at Carnegie Hall this past year–my sister scored big-time tickets in the fourth row because she works for one of the sponsors of the NY Comedy Festival. I have never laughed so hard in my life. And yet, it’s awful what she went through, and yet, what better way to deal with such intensity of awfulness. Thank you for reminding me of this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love Tig Notaro! I recently watched her Amazon series, One Mississippi, which is a little like a drama/sitcom based on her story. Same as you, I laughed and cried, and sometimes at the same time. There is something so truthful in the way that she interacts with her experiences and, although she is confronting life and death, it doesn’t seem so dramatic and scary. In a way, it just IS. Although— based on what you wrote, I have a feeling the Amazon series may be a more light-hearted approach, and it sounds like she digs a bit deeper in the book…

    Thank you for sharing– I look forward to checking out the book and the documentary!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was so intrigued by your review that I watched Tig on Neflix. I now need to put the book on my list. Her story is incredibly poignant. She did not know the ending to her story in the midst of the struggle (none of us can know how things will turn out), but she kept going with humor, grace, dignity, determination…. It is a great reminder that we can’t know the outcome in the middle of experiencing our greatest challenges. Hope, even in the face of living nightmares, is a miracle that we can all claim. I just recently came across this quote by Marin Luther: “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” Hope is YES to life; despair is a quiet no; but hope grounded in reality is only for the brave of heart! I believe we need each other to sustain it, and I need as many examples as possible. Thanks for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This reminds me of a conversation I overheard while I was still in art school. Someone posed the question to their friend “If someone would pay you to sit on a couch for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, making more than enough money to support yourself, would you do it?” I remember at the time thinking ‘what a dumb question’…but for whatever reason it stuck with me and the more I thought about it, the more brilliant it became. Because for the creative person, we NEED to WORK. We have a need to follow our purpose, or else we feel incomplete. I never understood the mentality of wanting to do nothing. Yes, I wish I didn’t have to work on what I didn’t like in order to make money, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Preach, D! Working for money is bogus but I love working and could never sit on a couch- there is far too much to do!


  4. Was completely ignorant about this amazing person! Once I’m back States’ side I’ll have to look into her more closely 🙂


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