Last week you met Fuzzy and Erica. This week, meet our friends, comedy couple Derek and Natalie.
They have been part of the Chicago comedy scene for years, performing sketch and improv all over the city. In fact, they fell in love while touring for The Second City. Not only are they both talented and hilarious, they’re totally nerds in love (seriously, they got married by a pirate)… and they have a little comedian on the way.
*Note: Derek is entrenched in his solo show work, so Natalie answered the questions for both of them. “Maybe I should add that as a pro/con… show mode means one of us does the work,” she says.
– Do you make each other laugh all the time at home?
Well, this is kind of the couple’s version of the “be funny!” imperative you get from strangers who find out that you do comedy. I mean…yeah. The answer is yes. But I really hope most married people make each other laugh. If you don’t, you’re probably screwed.
– Does the comedy come easier because you’re in a relationship?
It comes in higher volume. I feel like we’re good sounding boards. If I weren’t with someone in my comedy world, I would be more hesitant to “try things out” on a civilian. The result is a tight five every day in the bathroom.
– How do you balance your “comedy life” with your “regular married life”?
It’s easier than with a regular person, I think. If I was married to a lawyer and I said, “I have to do this show at 10:30 on a Tuesday for an audience of seven. Paid? No, I’m not getting paid! Ha. You’re cute.” I don’t think it would make a lot of sense. Late nights and bad shows and humiliating auditions are a shared experience, so I think it helps our regular married life. And it makes it that much more exciting when we have a night to make dinner and watch TV. So exotic!
– Describe the pros and cons of being married to a comedy partner.
Pro: Bits! Especially in hard times. We can’t resist jokes in times other people might crumble into sadness or conflict.
Con: Competition. Even though we men and women aren’t directly competing for roles, you can’t help but wonder which of you is funnier. Especially when my own (Natalie’s) mother puts in her vote (her vote: Derek’s funnier).
Pro: Time working together. We were lucky enough to tour and understudy together, so for a while, there was very little, “Hey, how was your day? Oh, I don’t know those people.” We’ve only been married for nine months, so being together all the time is still a pro.
– Anything else you’d like to add that you think would be fun?
We both recently wrote one-person shows. Due to our vastly different comedic sensibilities, these shows could not be more divergent. Mine was a humorous but earnest take on my life choices, and Derek’s has a 3-D poster and puppets. Sometimes we don’t get each other, but we still always laugh. Also, go see Derek’s show at Stage 773, Oct 11 – Nov 1! Click here for details.