Tig Notaro is a Grammy-nominated stand-up comic and writer. The Netflix documentary about her life, Tig, was released in 2015. She spoke to Rainbow Rumpus about how she grew up to follow her dream of becoming a comedian.

How did you decide to become a comedian?

I had followed stand-up for years. It was a fantasy of mine, but I didn’t know it was an option to do it. I remember in 7th grade my friend’s mother said, “Tig is so funny, she should be a comedian.” And I remember [gasping]. It was electrifying to hear that. Probably more seriously it started to seep into my head in my early 20s. In my mid-twenties, it finally happened.

What was the biggest obstacle for you?

I think just getting over… my mother was very artistic. My stepfather was very business-minded, and I think he was the overpowering force, at times, in the house. I think I had it in my head that I had to do school, the more normal route. So I think the obstacle was getting over what I thought I was supposed to do.

The documentary, Tig, follows your quest to become a parent. What do you hope your kids learn from you?

I think the biggest requirement is for people to appear into the world and be nurtured for exactly who they are and what they want to do. I can’t wait to find out who my kids are.

What would you say to a kid who wants to become a comedian like you but is worried it will be too hard?

There’s nothing wrong with things being hard. I never realized my road was hard, because I was so passionate and excited about it, and I think that’s really all you need.


Her comedy special, Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted, debuted on HBO in August. She’s currently writing, executive producing and starring in an original show for Amazon.com. Find out more about her at tignation.com