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Comedy Star Kelly MacFarland: “Play nice; You never know; Today’s bartender is tomorrow’s booker”

Play nice. You never know. Today’s bartender is tomorrow’s booker. Be humble. You’re only as good as your last show. Rest up, you’re gonna need it. If it feels unsafe, it probably is. Girl, get out of there! This business is a marathon, not a sprint. I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelly MacFarland. Kelly MacFarland is a stand-up […]


Play nice. You never know. Today’s bartender is tomorrow’s booker.

Be humble. You’re only as good as your last show.

Rest up, you’re gonna need it.

If it feels unsafe, it probably is. Girl, get out of there!

This business is a marathon, not a sprint.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelly MacFarland. Kelly MacFarland is a stand-up comedian, writer and actress. She has an extensive and well-rounded resume including comedy clubs, theaters, colleges, festivals, television appearances and entertaining US troops overseas. Kelly has appeared on the Today Show, Comedy Central, NBC’s Last Comic Standing and AXS Gotham Comedy LIVE (to name a few}. She can be heard on SiriusXM radio and has two albums available on iTunes. For all things Kelly, visit www.kellymacfarland.com!


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was a dancing, singing, theater kid. I always loved performing. I tried stand-up in my 20’s and it just felt right. I never looked back.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

The first story that comes to mind is a gig I had in Hawaii with Fred Willard. We were a “news” team covering the Hawaiian Tropic Pageant. It was one week at the Turtle Bay Resort with 50 gorgeous women in bikinis looking to talk to anyone with a microphone. I was a field correspondent for “TV” complete with ABC Sports inspired yellow blazer. I interviewed them daily, chatted with them over breakfast and even participated in their sarong contest (over my clothes, of course). Doing improv with Fred Willard was and still is the highlight of my career. He’s brilliant, quick, kind and hilarious.

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?

When I first started, it was like I was doing an impression of a stand-up comedian every time I went on stage. I was charming enough to get laughs, but I wasn’t funny and the material wasn’t personal to me. About a year in, I had a gig with my dear comic friend, Tony V. I had opened for him and as usual, I was just ok. On the way back from a gig, we were cutting up in the car. Just cry-laughing, sharing stories and being stupid. He turned to me and said, “This is who you need to be on stage. This person right here. Just you. You’re funny. Just be yourself. Stop doing whatever you’re doing and tell stories like you do. You’ll be great.” So I did, and here we are.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

The Best of Boston Album release is very exciting. I’m working on a new hour of stand-up and that’s always fun and challenging. I’m in a movie called The Sympathy Card and it is being featured at a bunch of film festivals which is extremely cool.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

One of my favorite things about being an entertainer is that I meet new people all the time. Most are kind, some are scary, all of them are interesting if you pay attention.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Always have fun, do what makes you happy and celebrate the small stuff. Be a person and live life. You’ll always have something to talk about.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Kindness… so simple. Send your best self into the world and inspire others to do the same.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Play nice. You never know. Today’s bartender is tomorrow’s booker.
  2. Be humble. You’re only as good as your last show.
  3. Rest up, you’re gonna need it.
  4. If it feels unsafe, it probably is. Girl, get out of there!
  5. This business is a marathon, not a sprint.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Success doesn’t just find you. You have to go out and get it. –

I love this quote. No one owes you anything. You want it, get it. It might take you a while, and you’ll get there.

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?

There isn’t one person. I have wonderful, supportive friends and amazing parents. They still come to shows. They listen to my albums. They put up with my crazy schedule. To me, friends are family and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Ellen DeGeneres…She’s hilarious, kind and a great dancer. (I hope people describe me the same way)

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@kellymacfarland

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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