Sarah Remus



University of Minnesota - English Literature

The Acme Comedy Club was just supposed to be a stopgap for Sarah Remus. After returning from the Peace Corps, she picked up a job waiting tables there by night, so she could search for a more permanent job by day. But soon she was hooked. The environment — full of humor, energy and creativity — was a perfect fit. So, when a position as the club's manager opened up, Sarah jumped at it.

Now, Sarah does everything from developing the club's promotions, marketing and media to dealing with audience members who heckle or have had too much to drink. But the reward for her hard work is sweet: The moment where a 250-person audience shares their first laugh together.

If you want something, go for it.

How did you discover your current job?

After returning from the Peace Corps, I began waiting tables at Acme Comedy Company at night while I job searched during the day. I was hooked from the start. I loved being surrounded by the energy, the creativity, the humor. There was something so pure about stand-up comedy, that when a position for a manager opened up I went for it without hesitation. I knew I wanted to work in this environment.

What is your typical day like? What types of things do you do in your job?

My days vary greatly. I spend a lot of time focusing on marketing and media. Whether it is sending out press releases, scheduling interviews and appearances for comedians or developing new promotions, I am always thinking of how I can get people to come and appreciate this simple, yet crafted art form. I also spend a lot of time on the operations side of things, making sure shifts run smoothly and putting out any fires that may occur.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?

The most rewarding part of my job usually happens at about 8:03 p.m. That is when a group of strangers, who have gathered together to listen to a comedian tell jokes, share their first laugh of many together. Hearing 250 people laugh together is instant gratification for all of the labor that is put on behind the scenes to make it all come together.

The most challenging part of my job is dealing with audience members who heckle or have had too much to drink. Bad apples keep me on my toes and hecklers, whatever they may think, definitely do not help the show. Public service announcement: if you feel the need to yell out during a live comedy performance please don't. Seriously, if you are going to disrupt the show stay home and yell at your TV, don't come to a live performance.

What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?

Because shows are nights and weekends, a lot of my personal relationships are sacrificed. I do a lot of Sunday and Monday outings to try to make up for missing Friday and Saturday events.

What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?

Every job no matter how big or small is significant and important to running a business successfully. From the dishwasher, to the usher, to the box office, to the wait staff to the comedian, everyone's role is important, don't take them for granted.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?

I think one of the biggest challenge for women in my industry is the myth that women are not funny or do not have a good sense of humor. Believe me, I have seen the myth debunked weekly, but somehow it still perpetuates in the industry.

Who are your role models?

My mother.

What are some of the rules you live by?

Treat people well. Look forward. Learn from your mistakes.

What advice do you have for women who want to be in your industry?

If you want something, go for it, otherwise someone else will. Don't be afraid to be tough and stand your ground; in the end, people will respect you more for it. Laugh at yourself and try to treat everyone fairly and with respect -- even the jerks.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Promoting, not just stand up, but all comedy in a larger capacity.

What are three things you love aside from your job?

Music, a good book, and an adventure.

-Interview by Keriann Strickland