You will feel bad a lot, but it never lasts — There are days I feel horribly unfunny, like I truly can’t do this. However, this feeling is always temporary and usually a symptom of something else that needs addressing, which brings me to my next point.
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Laura Ramoso.
Laura Ramoso, originally from Italy and Germany, is a sketch and improv comedian based in Toronto. She is best known for her satirical online videos, with over 14 million likes and half a million followers across Instagram and TikTok, featuring original characters such as German Mom, Italian Dad and That one girl who just got back from Europe. Laura appeared on season four of WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (FX). Her award-winning special DIANE (2019) became the first solo-show ever to win the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival’s Best of the Fest award in its 15-year history after touring in Chicago and San Francisco. Laura was invited to perform in Just For Laughs character showcases in 2019 and 2020. She also produces Laura & Friends, a raucous improv show featuring Canada’s hottest comedians.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Thanks for having me! I was born in Legnago, Italy to a German mother and Italian father. Shortly after, because of the work my mom did, we moved to Douala, Cameroon for 6 years. Then Baku, Azerbaijan for 3, Beijing, China for 5, and finally Hanoi, Vietnam for 3. I then graduated from high school in 2013 and chose to pursue my bachelors at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, which is when I first moved to Canada. They call this sort of upbringing a “Third Culture Kid” lifestyle. It was definitely challenging at times, but I loved it.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path as a comedian?
I grew up watching comedy with my dad, and even though I preferred playing comedic roles, after theatre school I always thought I’d be more of a serious, classic actor. It wasn’t until, by chance, I saw The Second City cast perform in Chicago in 2017 that I even became aware of the possibilities of sketch comedy for me. It was very much a lightbulb moment, I remember thinking “that’s what I want to do”. I immediately started to work towards that goal, and here we are now.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, sent me a direct message on Instagram!!!
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I was always deathly afraid of tech going wrong during a show (sound not working, wrong cue playing etc.), I thought it would just be so embarrassing. As luck would have it, the tech failed during one of the most important showcases for me at the time, and what could have been the worst night ever — turned into a wonderful opportunity for play. I improvised my way out of it and it made my show better than it would have been originally. I am very grateful the tech went wrong that night, it taught me that mistakes are gifts!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My husband, Gaelan, has stood by me through every single achievement and letdown in my career from day one. He is the most supportive and helpful partner I could have ever hoped for. I am so grateful to have him in my life, I couldn’t do this without him.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
I would say that failure is inevitable and actually something you should welcome — you have to fail to get better. There is no way around it, only through.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
Planning a tour for 2023! Creating opportunities to perform in as many cities (and countries!) as possible! I am very excited for that.
What do you do to get material to write your jokes? What is that creative process like?
99% of my concepts come from real-world observations, big or small. I am inspired by the people I see and interact with in my day-to-day, or real-life situations and behaviours I find odd, charming, relatable etc. I then take that observation or truth, and exaggerate it to the point of satire. That is my favourite kind of comedy to write and perform. I keep a running note on my Notes app and I make sure to add to it throughout the day whenever I feel inspired. “Normal” things like parties, running errands, the supermarket, riding the bus, family dinners, etc. are highly inspirational environments. The funniest stuff comes from a place of truth — that’s my opinion anyway! I am most inspired when I spend a lot of time “in the world”.
Super. Here is our main question. What are your “Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
- You will feel bad a lot, but it never lasts — There are days I feel horribly unfunny, like I truly can’t do this. However, this feeling is always temporary and usually a symptom of something else that needs addressing, which brings me to my next point.
- Your best work happens when you are well rested and well fed — It’s easy to let the day get away from me, and sometimes I think the sort of “grungy”, “artist” lifestyle of staying up late, getting up early, working 14 hours a day etc. will get me the best results. That is untrue, sleep and a good diet do WONDERS for creativity. Who knew?
- The better you get, the more you think you could be better — When I was starting up, I thought for sure there would come a day where I’d think “Here I am. I have arrived. I am finally good”. By nature, that is just not possible. The better you get, the more you realize you could be even better.
- Even though you love this job, it’s still work — Though this is my dream career, it doesn’t mean there aren’t problems and challenges that come with it. In fact, I’d say it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had, but the only one I think is worth fighting for.
- Breaks are good — Stepping away for a bit can help you see the bigger picture.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I stand by the idea “discipline will take you to places motivation can’t”. Motivation is very fickle, it comes and goes, but discipline is inevitable. It can be hard to be disciplined in an artistic career that is so contingent on creativity and being in a “flow” state. But being disciplined, working hard, and not giving up will never fail you 🙂
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
What a big question! If I could inspire any movement? Free and accessible healthcare for all.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would LOVE to have lunch with Bill Hader.
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
@lau_ramoso on Instagram and TikTok!
Links below: https://www.instagram.com/lau_ramoso/
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
Laura Ramoso: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.