The Chris Grace Show

Heather Pasternak is a great friend of mine and truly feels like a teammate in the world of standup comedy. She's performed on Colbert and headlines around the country. She's one of the most productive people I know and one day I hope to grow up to be just like her!

As always you can email the show at, and join the community at

Here's a great quote I found in, of all places, the Shopify website:

"Women challenge the status quo because we are never it.” — Cindy Gallop

Have a great day!

What is The Chris Grace Show?

Comedian, actor, musician, and software engineer Chris Grace interviews the most interesting people that he can find. In a world of narrowcasting, granular demographic analysis, and algorithmic content pre-determinism, why not treat yourself to a good old-fashioned conversation?

Chris: [00:00:00] Okay. We have Heather Pastor Knack on the It's Me show the Chris Grace show. And yes, I was just explaining that these two mics for remote are neither of these mics is. Mean to record with

Heather: can hear you.

Chris: Um,

Heather: a good job.

Chris: I have those, you know, the standard standup mics?

The SM 50 eights. Okay. That you get at every club. I have literally like five of them. They're in my garage somewhere

Heather: Are those what you meant to use for

Chris: them? Yes. Okay. And then I running out.

Heather: Yeah, we're on the go. We're on the

Chris: where are those

Heather: But who are you that you just are like, oh, but I have these other random mics.

Like what are these from?


Chris: is my whole life that you don't know about. Which is, yeah, I just buy too much crap.

Heather: Oh, I think you've alluded to this

Chris: Yes, that's right.

Uh, so Heather's on the show. Uh, I'm a big fan of Heather and her comedy.

Heather: I'm a big fan of you. Yeah. Thank you for being here.

Chris: we met through a

Heather: yeses

Chris: And you have taught me many things in life. Wow.

Heather: that's so kind. I'm just so happy you're here. Chris and I are doing a show together in Las Vegas [00:01:00] at the Jimmy Kimmel Comedy Club, which is pretty cool. And it's so nice to be in your hotel room doing this podcast instead of in the smoke-filled casino

Chris: Oh, I know.

Um, have you been to this club before?

Heather: I've done it once before. I was featuring here for my girlfriend, Jade Karea, who's really talented and funny and amazing. Um, and she's really great about trying to like, get other opportunities and especially for women in comedy. So she introduced me to the club. They invited me back to headline. It's a pretty sweet deal for me because, Somebody, uh, was supposed to be there today and they had to cancel.

So a lot of the tickets already sold, which was like, that's something I don't have as much confidence in yet is selling tickets out of town. Uh, but I do feel like I can at least do the time. So it was like a pretty sweet deal for me.

Chris: This is a great subject for me because, uh, , I think I've alluded to on the podcast before, but in the world of standup, I am in a slightly awkward position, and I relate to what you're talking about because now I've talked to a couple of clubs where they have, uh, essentially offered me [00:02:00] longer slots.

Yeah. Where. , they, the, the pole part of the standup career where I would go around featuring like I am tonight mm-hmm. , um, is being short circuited a little bit

Heather: you can fill the room. You got

Chris: well because they think I can. So I,

Heather: But do you know if you can yet?

Chris: Oh, I'm pretty sure I can't.

Heather: Well, I have some resources. I have some people I can put you in touch with who are. Opening clubs that are newer or you know, you just go in honestly and say like, Hey, I've done some film and television. I'm new to standup. I'm trying to see if my audience translates.

Like, do you wanna be on that journey with me?

Chris: I love, I love that is such a la way to,

Heather: but you know, as long as you don't show up and be like, I can fill this room and then don't deliver. Yeah. But if you let them know they're prepared for that. They have stuff built in. Like that's why you get a bonus if you fill the room.

I'm personally experimenting. I ran some ads. Facebook, some targeted ads where I put up one of my jokes that's doing really well and the flyer for this, and then I can see like, oh, 50 people in Nevada clicked on this today. Like maybe they bought tickets. Yeah. Um, and I, my thinking behind that was twofold, cuz I know [00:03:00] tonight is gonna be full of a lot of people who show up and are like, you're not the person we bought tickets to see.

So I'm trying to fill the room with some people who are actually there to see me.

Chris: Right, right, right, right.

Heather: But yeah, it's a big, beautiful mystery and there's no one way to do it.

Chris: I relate to this sense. now we are essentially running small businesses. And there's the whole part where we have to create material and try to be funny. And then there's a part where we are a marketing department, right?

And, uh, ugh,

Heather: ugh, what a nightmare.

Chris: know, all this stuff.

Heather: know I'm trying to outsource my clips and all that. The clip game is so real. I do think co headlining is a really good way to

Chris: That's

a new, I mean, I don't know if it's new, but it, see, I've noticed lately that that's a thing. Um, do you follow that podcast? Uh, are you garbage? Um, it's these two guys from New York, uh, and they put up clips all the time of them doing, essentially they both do a sort of a slightly shorter headlining set. Yeah. And then they do 30, 30 years. Yeah. And then they do a q and a.

That's fun. A fun thing. And actually my friend Tim Murray and I are doing this in [00:04:00] Cleveland and Houston, but it's a, it's a structure that I hadn't thought of before but is actually kind of fun.

Heather: I think it's great because you can get like crossover

Chris: mm-hmm.

Heather: mm-hmm. , and you can share the burden and pressure of filling a room and promotion.

And also just like traveling in these gigs are so much more fun if you can bring a friend or someone that you're like, have fun hanging with, you know?

Chris: Yeah. Let me set the table a little bit. Um, how long have you been doing comedy?

Heather: I've been doing standup about 10 years now. Okay.

Chris: And where do you, in the, in, in the journey, where do you see your, you, I feel like you're my, from the outside, it seems like you are, uh, you know, leaving the, you've left the world of the feature.

and you're

Heather: attempting. Thank you for seeing me that way,

Chris: and you are.

Heather: yeah. I'd like to get to a point where I can build my followings and translate those two tickets and seats so that I could headline and have a little more freedom for me.

Now I have a toddler, so I have this feeling of like, ugh, I wish I had gotten into the road gig game a little earlier when I didn't have as many. You know, [00:05:00] responsibilities,

Chris: obligations.

Heather: many tiny, stupid idiots following me around with cute faces. Um, no, I only have one, but it's like if I'm a headliner and someone's putting me up and I'm getting a decent pay, I can sort of justify dragging my husband and toddler along, which would make it a lot more fun and doable.

But for the feature acts where you're lucky to break even and you're just making a connection, it's really hard to do that. Um, I think it took me a long time to understand what was possible. Like I used to have this. Because I was an actor before a standup that I would have. Become a series regular, then I'd get famous enough that people would wanna come see me and see my standup in my writing.

So I didn't really understand that you could actually become a really successful road comic just by building relationships with the clubs and having them give you opportunities and that sort of thing. So I feel like I didn't fully understand the scope of possibility. I was like a little more close-minded and now that I get it, I'm like, I wish I knew about this five years ago.

Chris: I think that the, I think it's impossible to really understand the whole scope of the

Heather: standup. Yeah. Probably in [00:06:00] five years I'll be like, I can't believe I didn't know this.

Chris: I also think it's changing every like 18 months. That's fair. Um, I think that, I think actually. It's reasonable that you thought that because there's been a lot of models of, Hey, this was a series regular person Yeah. Who then started doing standup all of a sudden.

Totally. And they, you know, they sell out a room at Flappers or whatever and, and they're doing a, they're taking the door or whatever,

Heather: Yeah. And the money in film and TV is so good that like, and if you get on a show, like, you know, now my dream is so much more, I'm sure you can relate to this, but just like humble, like I wanna be like six on the call sheet, you know what I mean?

Like, I wanna be like, not all the time there, but just there enough that I can like do my other stuff and get like that sweet, sweet sag healthcare and like , you know, still write and do the stuff I

Chris: Yeah.

I, I'll, I'll still be fine being, I'll be three on the

Heather: Three on the call sheet. Okay. I'll be six on your

Chris: show. Oh, great. Great. Do this three means you're getting, I mean, the thing is serious regular money. [00:07:00] Crazy

Heather: It's true, but it's also like a lot of work and a lot of hours and a lot of early mornings

Chris: Oh yeah, very. I mean, you know you have a toddler,

Heather: that's true but that's why it's like my early mornings are full

Chris: I think the sweet gig would be a multi-cam series. Regular.

Heather: series. Oh, why are the hours better?

Chris: the hour. I believe the hours are very bad. Uh, very structured.

Heather: Ooh, I like this. We're manifesting

Chris: right now. A lot of people's

Heather: multicam where I get out of early mornings with my son cuz I'm doing them on set. Yeah.

Chris: I will say that, uh, I did a show, I did one episode of a show called Mr. Mayor, which was really fun. And My call time was maybe like 9:00 AM and we were, we were done by 1:00 PM

Heather: That's hot.

Chris: I was like, is it like this every day? And they were like, yeah, basically don't tell anyone.

Heather: Oh my God, the

Chris: mean, the show's over now, but that's amazing. But they were so efficient about getting their stuff done. I was like, this show's a dream. And I think that Ted Danen was on the show and I think he was part of

Heather: mm-hmm.

Chris: encouraging. Yeah. You know, we got enough takes of this like, and it's true, like a lot of times you pretty much got it.

You [00:08:00] don't

Heather: If it takes that many takes, you're not gonna get it.

Chris: Yeah. Um, so you have a toddler?

Heather: I have a toddler.

Chris: you talk about being a parent in your work. Yes.

Heather: Yeah. Which has been really nice. Honestly, I think there's so much messaging out there that makes us feel like parenting is supposed to be easy or we're supposed to be good at it, or you're, you know, not supposed to get frustrated.

Mm-hmm. that I feel like I'm part of a good cause by getting up and being like, Hey, I lose my shit a lot, . You know what I mean? Like Yeah. I think that's really important messaging and there's not a lot of it.

Chris: Do you think that part of that underrepresented part is, and I say this as a person, it's not a parent, but it seems like maybe there's a part of parenting that just genuinely sucks

Heather: Oh, for sure. A lot of it genuinely sucks. And it's funny how like even when people tell you how it sucks, like you think that.

you still

don't really understand how much it sucks. .

Chris: well, so tell me how much it sucks.

Heather: There's a lot of things like, okay, everyone [00:09:00] says about the lack of sleep, and you're like, I get it.

Like, fuck you, lack of sleep. Big deal. And in my mind I was always like, okay, lack of sleep, but I'll make up for it in the day. Or something, but then I never realized like what a cont I would be when I would get, be getting my sleep in 90 minute chunks. Uhhuh, like, not, like being able to, uh, never get it through straight through in the middle of the night is really hard.

Um, also just like the added pressure on your relationship, like suddenly you have so much more involvement in the other person's decision making and you're so much more judgmental and you think you could do it better and. , you know, you're tired, you're over touched. I mean, like sleep deprivation is a war tactic for a reason, you know?

And then it's somehow, like when I was single, I would do dishes like every four days, like maybe like laundry, every, like, I don't know how, but having a child translates into like laundry every single day, multiple loads.

Cooking food that then they don't eat, and then you eat it and then you feel fat. And then like cooking like two or three meals until they like [00:10:00] eat the thing.

Like all these things that when you're single, you think, oh, I won't put up with it. I'll make 'em a meal. And if they don't want it, they won't eat. And then you realize like, no, you're in a hostage situation. You're trying to survive and you're just trying to like appease them. Um, yeah. And it's just, there's such a big gap between how you think it's gonna be and what it's really gonna be.

It's really, really challenging and just losing your shit. And I think people don't talk about it for a few reasons. Like I think as a society, we're very protective of children. Like children are really resilient. But we sort of talk about them like they're super fragile and like no one on one hand you wanna get up and go like, yeah, it's okay to sometimes get frustrated with your kid, but no one wants to get up and say, Hey, it's okay if you yell, shut the fuck up to your kid.

Cuz we all know it's kind of not okay. Right. And so it's like, Fine line of like, I wanna talk about what's hard, but I also don't want anyone to come take away my children

Chris: based on your set at the Jimmy Kimmo Comedy

Heather: I mean obviously jokes are exaggerated and stuff, but like I do jokes about being a weed mom and stuff and [00:11:00] sometimes I think about like, am I privileged to feel like I can do that and not feel fear, like, you know, there are a lot of other.

People and at different times in history where you know, it was very easy for someone to accuse you of being incompetent or being on drugs and like, you know, what does that mean? It just all feels kind of scary sometimes to talk about.

Chris: Yeah, I mean certainly in like the Clinton era, there was the framing of like, and this is their, the term of the era was like welfare mothers. Yes. Which would've been it certainly at the time it would've been like this mother smokes marijuana all day.

Yeah, it would've. I mean, but

Heather: really accepting of wine moms, which is like one of my best bits right now, but it's like who decides where the line is and like why is it okay to talk about this and not about that?


Chris: yeah, I mean, I actually think that, first of all, that bit is great. And also I think it kind of is revealing a thing of like, Um, you know, we don't perceive black mothers as being like wine drinkers.

You know, it's connected [00:12:00] to, um, some archetypes that are destructive. Totally. And, uh, because now, I mean, we're also live in California, right? So

Heather: so it doesn't feel as

Chris: Exactly. We've been cultured about, like, marijuana culture is just like, you know, and that, by the way, that's what cool people say is marijuana culture,

Heather: Oh, good to know. I'm so glad you told me that.

Chris: Uh, but yeah, I mean, I think that's what's great about that joke though, is that it kind of, uh, functions on, like those structures are built into us and so that's what makes us laugh at

Heather: joke. Yeah. I think also good standup is like that. It's revealing. It's like, look, I'm not dying to get on stage and say like sometimes I have to get stoned to wanna hang out with my kid. Like, you know, it's not flattering or to cope with the stress of it or whatever.

But like sometimes just admitting those things, I feel like it lets some air out for me, but also hopefully the people who are watching and going like, me too. And I don't, I'm not a bad mom just cuz like sometimes I am a bad mom.

Chris: Is that something you hear after sets sometimes? That someone comes up and says,

Heather: me too.

Yeah. Yeah.

Chris: And

they [00:13:00] mean that in a good way.

Heather: Yeah, totally Yeah. Or just the response I get is really fun. Or even, you know, maybe I, I used to have a, you know, when I used to do standup about being marriage and baby hungry, I used to do this bit where I'd come out on stage and I'd say, anyone else trying to trap a man? I mean, start a family.

and like that got such a big response because I think as women were conditioned to think, we have to pretend we don't want those things to get those things. Yeah. And so just being able to be like, Hey, I really want this, like, I feel like was cathartic Yeah. For people. And even if they weren't willing to say Me too, it's like they're watching me and going like she said the thing none of us are saying.

Yeah. Like, you know, that's the hope.

Chris: Yeah. And also there's sort of a, maybe a little bit defiance of saying,

When it's almost, um, I don't know if this is, uh, by the way, most of my podcast features me stammering about

Heather: questions.

Chris: I don't know if this is, uh, something that you consciously thought about, but like it almost feels defiant in the sense of expressing a thought for you and other [00:14:00] women as opposed to worrying about what guys would think about that thought, you know? Right. Because a lot what I mean is that there's a cliche of like, women are just trying to trap you to like,

Heather: oh, totally

Chris: start a family or whatever,

Heather: No, there's always gonna be men saying something stupid. I mean, to be honest. . If I don't have a man commenting on a clip, I post and saying like, women aren't funny or something.

Or like, too bad. She's funny, but like maybe I'd fuck her or something. Like then I, I, I know I'm like, oh shit, my clip didn't reach a wide enough audience. . I swear that's how I think and feel. It's so fucked up. But like when I get those comments, there's a little part of me that's like, oh, nice. I hit the masses on this one.

Chris: right, right.

Heather: Which is sad, but it also is kind of fueling cuz I'm like, okay, my shit's still needed out there. If there's this much like resistance to it, you know?

Chris: Yeah. I mean,

Heather: your bits are like that too. You have some really great

Chris: bits. I mean, I think that what happens when you, when these bits sort of make it further out is. , you realize a little bit that we're in a kind of a bubble in California sometimes, [00:15:00] and I think that's what's been interesting about doing stuff on the road too. Mm-hmm. is been seeing like, oh yeah.

Some of these references, you know?

Heather: Totally. I have some jokes tonight about LA and the entertainment industry and I'm like, we'll see if they hit

Chris: Right. You have jokes just about like the intersection of Melrose

Heather: Basically. I have jokes about going to Beverly Hills High, and I'm gonna try a joke tonight about how everyone thinks. That means I went to school with Shannon Doherty. Really, because I went to public school in Beverly Hills. I was actually just like buying weed off Shannon Doherty's body Double

Chris: Which is

Heather: funny to us cuz we're from la.

Chris: I think that'll,

Heather: we're in la. Okay, well we'll see.

Just Yeah,

Chris: Yeah.

Heather: And I'll be like, Chris told me to do this.

Chris: Yeah. , your feature act told me he sabotaged me.

Um, I think in our comedy circles, I think you are known as essentially like a writing.

Heather: Thank you. I wish I could sometimes turn that machine on myself.

Like sometimes I feel like it's easier to help other [00:16:00] people. Mm-hmm. . Um, but yeah, I think it's a cool skill. I think writing for other people's voices helps you write for yourself, and I'm grateful that I could do that for other people.

Chris: Y you don't feel that, I mean, I, I perceive that of you for yourself too, but you don't feel that way.

Heather: I think so. But it's kind of like, you know, like the shoemakers kids never have shoes. Like sometimes I feel like I dedicate so much time and energy to punching up other people's jokes or you know, they're paying me to sit there for an hour and make their shit funnier. And at the end of the day I'm like, do I give myself that same attention?

And also like there's such a power and fresh eyes that I think two people working on a joke can do a lot more than one person who's been looking at the same joke for six months. Yeah. But I do try to like, take it to my friends and my writing groups and work it out in shows and stuff like that. But I, I always feel like there's more I could be doing.

But even I notice this in scene work. Like if I help a friend for a self tape and I'm putting them on tape, it's like I understand every beat. I'm like, oh, you gotta do this. No, they mean that, right? Because there's no pressure on it. But then when it's my self tape, I'm like, what does it mean? Should I cry [00:17:00] here?

Like, I feel so lost.

Chris: like, what funny voice should I do? Yeah.

Heather: I'm like, was I ever funny? Like, you know. So,

Chris: uh, do you, do you have an issue like motivating yourself to work?

Because it seems like you don't.

Heather: I work a lot. I'm actually past that. I don't have procrastination problems. I have relaxation problems where like I don't have any hobbies that I haven't monetized and I'm like very American and I

I don't know how to just like hang, like. I am not your, uh, stereotypical pothead, you know what I mean? Like I'm more the like smoke weed to clean the house. Kind of like, it's hard for me to chill without guilt.

Chris: you should try meth.

Heather: bro.

Chris: think, I think it would fit this lifestyle way

Heather: God, I'd love that. Um, no, I don't know how to really like,

Even I'm in my personal therapy, like when my therapist is like, well, what have you done for yourself? I'm like, well, I've watched reality tv, like a disgusting animal. And he's like, why are, do you have to call it disgusting animal? And I'm like, oh, like a right. I'm allowed to just be [00:18:00] frivolous is a word that I like to use.

And he's like, it's not frivolous. Like doing nothing is part of Yeah. Being alive. Do, are you good at doing nothing?

Chris: I'm great at, I mean, I'm, I'm completely opposite from you,

Heather: Do you use meth? Like what

Chris: Yeah, I use meth to relax. That's how we both use

Heather: But you also do a lot, I mean, look, you have a

Chris: Yeah.

I mean,

Well, actually, one of the things I wanted to ask you is like, so. last, uh, well, what is this? 2023? No, really?

Almost 18 months ago, uh, my husband had a health issue, which

Heather: know. I'm so glad he's okay now, right?

Chris: He's, he's, uh, in, he, he, no, he has a thing that essentially won't go under remission. Okay. And I've talked about in the podcast. It's so, but

Heather: But it's under control at this point. It

Chris: is under control. Um, but he has a kind of renal.

carcinoma is what it's called. That doesn't go into remission at this current time. They don't have it any technology or medication that can make it go into remission. They can have it

Heather: That's scary.

Chris: Oh yeah. So it's so scary. Um, but since then I have [00:19:00] been so productive. . I mean, thank you for all the medical problems because I finally, I got over my procrastination with a horrible way to frame it

Heather: Because it made you just feel like more gratitude for how much time you have, or, yeah,

Chris: and it also made me feel like we gotta make some money Uhhuh , you know? And I wonder Bills

Heather: are expensive.

Chris: And the, the reason I was thinking about this

Heather: and so are online shopping habits.


Chris: I mean, you know, all these microphones, aren't gonna pay for themselves.

least. Yeah.

It made me think about though, is this what people talk about when people have a kid and because I, what

Heather: more productive when you have less

Chris: Yes. I see a lot of people have kids and they, they suddenly become, you know, sort of, well,

Heather: are cool and magic in that.

Basically any character flaw you have is magnified and reflected back at you. So you're sort of, you work on yourself more than you would and you become aware of things about yourself that you don't like, and you start to see like things of your parents that you didn't like, that you didn't know you had carried with [00:20:00] you.

And like all those

Chris: were do, were your parents also sort of, uh, Work.

Heather: Yeah, work. My mom had me when she was 40 and she was like working really hard and she wasn't very maternal. It was like one of the kindest things my mom ever did was like, pay a Mexican woman to raise me. You know what I mean? Like a nice warm lady who had

Chris: She, she outsourced warmth.

Heather: Yeah, basically. She's actually really cool and we're really close, but my mom's always been someone who's just better with adults, you know what I mean?

Chris: mean? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Heather: she's like, she's always been a better friend than like a toddler mommy.

Chris: Right.

And you have siblings, right?

Heather: I do. I have two older sisters, which

Chris: which means she, she w went in for this multiple times, you

Heather: Yeah. And by the third time was like, I need to stop pretending

that I'm good at this.

Chris: Right.


Heather: So I definitely feel like I got the best version of her and. A lot of the things I needed and even even like finding my friend's parents in high school who I was like close to because my parents were very, like, we had a don't ask, don't tell sort of thing.

So like I had to go gay, [00:21:00] married, . Yeah, we were, me and my parents were gay, married , but they were just very old school like that, like, you know, my mom didn't wanna do the sex talk or any, The stuff, and like I had, I had my friend's mom took me to the gynecologist for the first time when I was sexually active for the first time, because I knew I couldn't like, tell my mom about that.

So I sort of

Chris: what, what would she have.



Heather: really?

Chris: she literally have said that?

Heather: Yeah. Oh really? Well, my sister got her period. Apparently, like the story goes, she like got her period and screamed and was like, I got my period. And my mom was like, don't scream that in the house.

It's disgusting. And then my poor sister sat on the toilet waiting for it to end because like my mom didn't come in and explain to her like anything about what the fuck to do,

Chris: Wow.

Heather: So I got the advantage of sort of seeing what didn't work and sort of like knowing I was like on my own on certain things. But you know, as generational trauma goes, my mom grew up in a house with like five siblings and her mom was a [00:22:00] teacher and her dad was like a postal worker.

It was like when you could be those jobs in America in the fifties and still own a home, you know, and, um, her mom, her parents, it just sounds like they were spread pretty thin and they were like pretty neglectful just cuz there were so many kids. So she was kind of on her own. So I think she didn't learn a lot of things.

Like she just doesn't know a lot of stuff. Like even when I got married, my mom didn't know that you're supposed to like get ready with your daughter.

Chris: Oh.

Heather: So she didn't get ready with me and I didn't tell her, cause I didn't want her to feel inadequate. I was just like, okay, show up with the guests. Great.

Chris: Okay. So she was just like a, a special guest? Yeah. I mean, she was a guest

Heather: Exactly.

Chris: Interesting. Um, and I mean, did that, like, were, were you just like, that's mom, or were you annoyed or were you.

Like saddened by it, or was it just like, this is what I expect?

Heather: No, I think I just like went and found the things I needed in other people, and I'm grateful that I was able to, I don't know how I would've felt if I hadn't done that for myself.

Like then I might have felt some sadness. Right. But I feel like I've actually been able to [00:23:00] just accept that she showed up how she could. Yeah. You know? And then I think as a result I'm like pretty nurturing, you know, in an opposite way because I sort. See that she wasn't that way, but, but she is very sweet and she is very warm and she's very loving, but she just wasn't as physically affectionate when I was a kid.

And you know, it's also a different era. Like the parenting style now is very like, it's okay to cry baby, and oh, who's having big feelings, you know? And right when I was young and I'm sure when you were young it was a lot more like, you have nothing to cry about, don't be ungrateful. You know what I mean?

Like that kind of thing. Yeah.

Chris: I just had, I mean, I just had, uh, my experience of childhood is just like

Heather: love your jokes about your parents

Chris: slightly,

Like abs not absent, but like I don't have memories of any interactions about those things at all. Yeah.

Heather: Yeah. I think my mom really cares, but I think like sometimes she just thought if she just was hands off that she would fuck us up less.

Chris: Yeah.

Well, I wonder, uh, for you and your, your journey with therapy, [00:24:00] um, because I'm older than you.

Uh, one thing that I went through in the, literally in the last five years was recognizing that there were things that I would tell myself, like my parents left me alone a lot. Um, so I was always like, I'm just super independent, which I totally am. Like when we talk about like road gigs, like I'm so comfortable being by

Heather: Oh, wow.

Chris: On a road gig. It's a superpower, dude. I mean, I. I could literally just , I could travel to Antarctica by myself and just be whatever. And I would always, literally, until five years ago, I would say, um, you know, that's the benefit of my upbringing was I was really left to my own devices all the time.

Heather: and what do you say now?

Chris: And now I recognize that that is, A sort of useful skill that I

Heather: like

spinning it positively.

Chris: But it is also, but it's also fair to say that it's a compensation for something that I wasn't getting. Yeah. And that, um,

Heather: I think I have like, I'm hesitant to say those cuz I don't wanna.

[00:25:00] Ungrateful and I think no one's gonna give you any. Everything. Yeah. Because people are flawed

Chris: Oh yeah, yeah, for

Heather: sure. Now that I'm a mom, I like, I wanna be viewed as perfect. So it's hard.

Chris: I think the value in recognizing the duality of it is, is I'm grateful. Like that I'm not gonna change. Like that is how I am. Yeah. But it also recognizes that there are some, um, Things you lose in that compensation.

And also they might not serve you for me personally, as there are situations where that doesn't necessarily serve me. That's fair. Yeah. Because I'm not the most like, let's hang out kind of

Heather: person. You can't. Yeah. It's like sometimes it hinders your

Chris: It

100% hinders connections in a social and frankly in a professional sense.

Mm-hmm. , um, but also, . It's just, uh, you know, and it can definitely pop up in like personal relationships, obviously. Like if you're a person that's like, I love being alone, and then you get married, , it's, you know, um, so

Heather: no, sleeping in the guest room is my love language.

Chris: I mean, I, I [00:26:00] love, like, I would love to have.

The, like Eric and I did, um, a show at the Sydney Opera House, uh, in Oh, cool. 2019. We did it for a month. I directed it and he was They flew, realize


Oh yeah. He's, he's an amazing performer. Wow. Amazing singer. Um, we flew to Sydney for a month. They did not know that he and I were married.

Oh, wow. So they gave us both our own hotel rooms in a hotel for a. Down the hall from each other.

Heather: Was it the

time of your

Chris: your life? Oh my God, it was, and he loved it too,

Heather: And it was like one your place or mine kind of vibes.

Chris: Yeah. Yeah. But I mean, on top of that, he's way neater and cleaner than I am. Oh. So he got to have a space that was un Oh my God.

Un, un uh, like messed up by

Heather: Grace UNCs.

Chris: vibe. Yes, exactly. Um,

Heather: how, what do you call this podcast? Is it Stammering with Chris Grace? Because Okay.

Chris: Pretty much

Heather: no. . This is a great title.

Chris: So this work ethic that [00:27:00] you have, it's interesting that, like, is there, is there a tangible cost to like not being able to relax? yeah, but I mean, there probably

Heather: it's probably gonna hit me on my deathbed where I'm like, what did I do? What have I spent my whole life doing? But then again, we work in an industry where it's confusing because we work in joy. You know what I mean? Like a lot of people to relax, they watch a movie. When I'm watching a movie, I feel like I'm fucking studying.

I'm like, oh, there. That was the catalyst. What? What minute are we in? Oh, look at what the protagonist did. Like I am watching it. It's hard for me to turn off that. Cerebral part of my brain and just enjoy stuff. Even when I'm watching standup, I feel like I'm studying a little bit.

Chris: Oh,

100%. When you're watching the reality shows to be frivolous, are you also like thinking of jokes about the

Heather: the shit. No, that's really my thing where I'm, there are a few things I do for myself like that, and like this week I made a point, Monday morning I woke up and I smoked weed right away and I took a shit while smoking a joint and I was like, these are the perks of self-employment and I have to make sure that I'm doing these [00:28:00] things.

Yeah. To justify the fact that often when you're self-employed, you like overwork and you never stop and you get to do things you like. . Yeah. I think I struggle with also like, want to say no to things more like when I think about success, it's about be what things do I get to say no to? What jobs do I get to turn down because I'm conserving my energy for something else.

Chris: Mm-hmm.

I'm at the stage where I, so I have so many things that I've that are going on now that, uh, I, I've sort of obligated myself to in a good way. Um, but I'm curious to know if, when and what it's gonna look like when I burn out, when I run out of that energy that you're talking about.

Heather: Yeah. Or I guess there's a fear, like you work really hard for the opportunities, but if you get there and you don't have the material, yeah.

To back it up. What's the fucking point? Yeah. Um, you know, or when is material burned? We're in such a different time now where it's like you can post the same clip of the different jokes and because of the algorithm, it's like your different followers see it, or it has a different [00:29:00] tag, or you're in a different outfit.

Or can we treat it like music? Is it like hearing the hits or is it like you've heard it once and you never wanna hear it again?

Chris: I don't, I don't, I was thinking to the other day that because there is so much content now, it's really kind of impossible to assume that like your, your clip went viral and it got 500,000 views.

You can go do road gigs and people have never heard that

Heather: That's how I feel too, and that's what I abide by. I think it's too much work to try to reinvent the wheel every single time. Yeah. Um, but it is just food for thought. But I, I don't know. I feel like there, I also get a lot of sense of accomplishment and like, there are things like, you know, people are like, oh, like the, the likes and the follows don't, don't matter.

And I get that, but at the same

Chris: but I, but I don't believe

Heather: that No. But like for me, when I'm like, oh, this got half a million likes or something, I'm. , that means I meet half a million people like smile or laugh or like alleviated some pain for them. Like for me, that's where the joy comes in and I feel like that's not ego full to enjoy that part.

Chris: Yeah.

Heather: But it so often gets sort of swept under where it's like people [00:30:00] think that's not what you're thinking about. You know what I mean?

Chris: I think that's a very healthy way to look at it. Because what I hear behind that is that you put up a clip that you believed in, that you thought was funny and then it got shared and people liked it.

Right. It doesn't, it doesn't sound like you. Ga trying to game the algorithm and then, hey, that worked. Right? Because I think that is the part that is not joyful. The part that's like, okay, I put up a standup clip, but it didn't tick off, so now I'm gonna like hyper edit it. I'm gonna,

Heather: or take it down. Yeah.

Sometimes I've done that or experimented with that. . It is an interesting sort of game. I've done that more on my TikTok, like TikTok feels like more of a mystery. Instagram, I feel pretty comfortable with Facebook. I feel like I'm faking it. Same with Twitter, YouTube, I'm trying to get into that shorts game.

There's just always some new thing to learn. I think it's very cool, this whole marketing element. Yeah, I'd love to outsource Sue it to like a nice 20 year old who knows more than me that I could teach some stuff.

Chris: Yeah. I mean, there's, there's a website that I saw where that you pay like a, a [00:31:00] high amount monthly mm-hmm.

that you just, you can just like Dropbox them, like

Heather: your sets

I'm a little too controlling for that. Like, I wanna be like in it 3 0 6 out

Chris: they're 19. Right.

Heather: centered here. You know what I mean? Like hashtag that like a little bit. I think that you have to have someone who's got a comedic eye or you gotta have someone where you can send them some time codes and you know, but I'm figuring out my process and I'm trying to be comfortable experimenting.

Everyone's like, oh, consistency. But you know what, as a mom, it's like I just have to be like, if I can do this every three days, trying to post between nine and noon, sometimes that's 7:00 AM and sometimes that's 1159. Like, you know, and just sort of being easy on myself. And you learn a lot that way too, cuz you go like, oh well, what's working?

Yeah. Whereas if you do the same thing every time, you don't get to like test as much.

Chris: Yeah. I mean, you sound so much more

Heather: Really, I'm just faking it. But you could do it too. And like honestly, having accountability buddies is so helpful. Like, I've had people where I'm like, can you just text me and ask me if I posted something[00:32:00]

Chris: Um, if you had to do like all of the material you want to, you've, or feel good doing right now, like how much of a, how much of a time do you think you.

Heather: None

aren't you like immediately sick of your shit? I'm always immediately sick of my shit and I'm like, what do I even care about anymore? Like, this felt so important like three weeks ago, and now I'm like, do I even give a shit about this?

Like I feel like there's an amount of standup where acting is required in that you have to act like you're. This is still a burning desire to work this material out. Yes. I'm always much more excited by the new stuff. I do try to set myself up so that I'm trying a new joke in between old jokes at work.

Mm-hmm. , um, to feel like, you know, I always feel like it's such a dance of. Hey. Saying to the audience, Hey, I respect your time. So this is stuff I've written, but also I'm present in the moment so I'm down to like play a little bit. Yeah. But I guess if I did every joke that I really loved and I didn't care about, like have they seen it on my late night set or hear that and I did some crowdwork and I had fun.

I [00:33:00] mean, probably an hour. Yeah. It's hard to say more than that because in LA the sets are so short. Out of time, out of town I can get 30 minutes. Tonight I'm probably doing 40. Mm-hmm. . So I just don't feel like I've had as much time to work it.

Chris: Yeah. I, I mean, I've talked about this before because I have been offered, you know, Greg Berman, uh, was nice enough to offer me,

Heather: uh, and do it, you know, that's what we all do.

We say yes to the shows and then we figure out, oh fuck, I gotta get the material together.

Chris: Yeah. So, I mean, do you think that's a reality in general for standups?

Heather: Yeah, and I think it's good because like, you get us in a room, obviously look at us on this podcast like when. Stand up like a conversation, like all of us can talk for eight fucking hours.

You know what I mean? It doesn't mean everything's gonna be brilliant or hit, but if you speak from the heart and you, you're naturally funny and instinctual, you're willing, you're playful, and you go with a good intention. I think intention really matters with the shows like. . I always try to be like, okay, I'm just gonna go out and share.

One intention I like is if I can make one person feel less alone tonight, I crushed it. Mm-hmm. , because it's an attainable goal within [00:34:00] me to connect. But if my goal is like, I want them to like me, I want them to invite me back. If you, I come out with such a desperate energy and I'm not as playful and I'm this and that, and I feel like people can smell that, you know?


Chris: Yeah. Have you done a show where you, um, sort of identified like, okay, I didn't, I had an sort of unspoken intention that didn't serve

Heather: Yeah.

it's always, it's always when I forget to set an intention because the unconscious intention kicks in and that's always, I hope they like me. I hope they think I'm good. Oh my God, there are other comics on this lineup who are so great and I want them to think I'm worthy.

You know, it's all that like stuff that comes from like not feeling enough. And I don't know if you feel any of that. You're a little older, so maybe does it ever end, I guess is my question,

Chris: Uh, well,

Heather: you always seem really cool, really confident, and like you don't give a shit. And I don't know how much of

Chris: that is, that is some, that is somewhat true. Uh, but I definitely feel. when we, when I took the class that you co-taught with our friend Jerry Kaman, [00:35:00] um, and we did our graduation show.

This is like mid, near the end of the lockdown, essentially. Yeah. Um, my friends were coming to see it and I have done standup before. Uh, but I was very, very nervous for that graduation show. Um, and I don't think my friends could tell that I was,

Heather: one ever can,

Chris: but I can, you know, you know, when you're physically like, um, now, also since that started, like my mom died, our two cats died.

in a 48 outer period. Both of our cats died. Um, Eric has his thing. Yeah, exactly. And they hated each other, which

Heather: was, oh my

Chris: god. Befuddling thing. But you know, the stuff has happened with Eric and so there is an, I mean, I already had this feeling, but


Heather: The context is like, who gives a shit?

Chris: even stronger feeling like one of my core energies is like none of this matters.

Heather: Having a kid helps with that too.

Chris: Yeah, that makes

Heather: used to have time to like reread my emails and be like, oh my God, did I say that?

Okay. Right. And now it's like, I don't give a fuck . Yeah.

Chris: [00:36:00] Um, you know, I, but I also think there, there have been times where I could probably didn't have, um, the right intention that you're talking about.

I definitely have had the most success when it's just like, I want to go have fun.

Heather: Yeah. That's a great one.

Chris: I think another thing I've thought about is just trying to really connect with the people in that

Heather: room Mm. Right. Yeah.

Chris: Um, but I, but you know, I have felt a little maybe too loose with my material when you talk about, like, are you sick of it?

As soon as you write it, like I haven't felt that yet, and I think I do. I would say if one of my superpowers is being alone on the road I do think another power I have is I don't really get bored of the material. Like I,

Heather: you switch it up a little here

Chris: I switch it up a little bit.

I, you know, part of it is like some of the thoughts that I'm communicating are still, like, to me they're very old. Like the idea that you shouldn't think of all Asian people looking the same, right? Is something that I've clearly thought from like, probably 48 [00:37:00] years of my life, , right? Um, but they're still people that I do that joke in front of and they're like, oh, and I can't believe that in

Heather: you're like, they need me.

Chris: I mean, really like, like there's like, you know, one of my jokes is about. , uh, gay men and their profiles were put No Asians. and it's not as common anymore. It's not zero. Right. And when you tell that to some audiences, they're, some of them are genuinely shocked that like

Heather: that's not okay.

Chris: Yeah. And so to me, I'm like, There's still people. Yeah. Learning this stuff for the first time, . Right. And I think that is one of the things that I've experienced being in LA versus being outside of la. There are things that in LA you're like, well, of course like pronouns and, all right, it's all, we all take it.

We are all, we're all on board. And then you take, like, you go to like San Bernardino , and it's like suddenly it's not that

Heather: that's the cool thing about standup. It's like if you can make something funny, people are so much more likely to have an open mind about something new. I think that's the superpower of standup.

Chris: Well, I also think [00:38:00] something I've really admired about you getting to know you is that I feel like you have a relentless ability to not be negative

Heather: Oh, thank you.

Chris: That's my perception of you from that. I don't know what work you've done to get to that

Heather: I am really positive. But you know, that's an ethos from Jerry Katzman's standup comedy class that I've taken with me, which is this thing of like, and it's basically the law of attraction, like what you focus on grows, but also that criticism.

Can be like a boomerang. It's like if I criticize another performer, then it makes it harder for me to get up and perform because I'm going, oh fuck is everyone looking at me the way I looked at that person? Yeah. Whereas if I look at that person and I go, well, they have good stage presence. Well, maybe their jokes aren't hitting, but they're not bailing on themselves.

Fuck. I like her shoes. Like, and I just, I then I live in a world where I go, well, if that's how I look at people, then maybe that's how people look at me. And so I can get up and stand up. So like I feel. It's a constant muscle to be flex that I've worked on for a really long time, but I get a lot of benefit out of it because if you can be a positive person [00:39:00] in the world, then you can assume that there are positive people looking at you that way.

And I always just tell myself things like, you know, they don't remember the mediocre jokes, they remember the great ones or whatever, and it's like, I think it'd be too crippling to get up and do anything if I were. It's just like the world is full of so much negativity. It's the same way in class, right?

When someone gets up and does a joke, we give them notes on the jokes they can make funnier. We don't give them. On the jokes that suck because they can feel that they suck because nobody laughed and they don't need us to go, Hey, remember when nobody laughed?

Chris: don't do that

Heather: Yeah. So I think there's just a lot of, like the negative stuff that gets, sort of comes out in the wash hopefully.

Chris: Do you think that there's a, um, sort of side skill or, I mean primary skill probably in, in comedy of the thing you're talking about, you do a joke in front of people and then it works or it doesn't work. The ability to recognize that it didn't work is sometimes I've noticed with people starting at comedy will sort of be like, oh, it worked or it, right.

Heather: I think people commonly [00:40:00] mis uh, diagnose uncomfortable laughter. But like sometimes people will have a joke that's just shocking. Like, the punchline is like cocking balls. And it's like people laugh cuz they're like, huh? And then like that comedian is like, it crushed. And it's like, no, making people uncomfortable is different than like actually making them laugh.

Do think you have to get to a point where you're discerning, but similarly, there's a skill of like not throwing something out when it just needs workshopping. Like sometimes it's like a joke doesn't work, but the premise is still great or the punchline just needs tweaking or you know, and that's the cool thing about doing it for 10 years is you get to learn that where it's like I'll have a premise from 10 years, years ago and it's only like this year where it like fits into a perfect other idea I have or something.


Chris: totally.


you just, uh, shot a special? I

Heather: did. I shot a special and I shot it with two other comics. It was a short, mini special.

We did about 15, 20 minutes each. We did two shows. I found this less daunting because if you can do that, you have comedians to share the expense, the promotion, the [00:41:00] burden of filling the room. and just the whole process. So I found that really nice, um, especially when it's like there is an element of like how much material do you wanna quote unquote burn when you're putting something out yourself.

Yeah. Um, and then I actually partnered with a girlfriend, so we used, uh, clips from that standup special where we shot all three of our specials in one night. to pitch a standup reality TV show. Oh. So that was part of the way I was able to get budget for it, is that it was sort of like part of shooting something for a sizzle for a show idea.

Mm-hmm. and then like the specials coming out of it was just like bonus

Chris: Oh, cool. Um, and when, what was your thought going in, in terms of strategy of like, where's it gonna

Heather: So it's funny because, you know, I've done late night and stuff and back when I did late night in 2018, everyone felt like you shouldn't burn stuff in la la la.

So there was a period when I was pretty covetous of my material and I was like, I'm not just gonna do this for anyone, you know, like blah, blah, blah. and I didn't wanna do the clip game and all that cause I was like, well if I do the clip game, I can't get it on late night and all these things. And then what [00:42:00] happened was I had this like really funny set once when I was like in wanting my boyfriend to propose and it was all about like diamond rings and this and that.

I ended up putting it on YouTube. It was only like seven minutes. It, it got like, it went viral on YouTube, like it just more, many more people than subscribers I had. And I had this realization of like, . Wow. I was so covetous of that material and now that moment has passed and I don't feel connected to it really anymore.

And why was I so covetous of it? Like when really all I want is to get it out in the world and connect with people. So my thinking was, I kind of wanna capture this new mom moment. Like even if it's just for myself of like the jokes I wrote when I was sleep deprived about being a new mom. And if it gets me any traction or gets out in the world or is helpful for other moms or parents or people, then great.

that's a bonus. So it was another one of those things of setting a really low intention. My intention was just to capture it for myself and not to feel covetous and precious of it. And then I actually ended up reaching out to 800 pg. Or PGM, I think is what the company's called. And they put out [00:43:00] specials and they were like down to experiment with a shorter form content.

So then like we partnered on a collab and they didn't care that I had already distributed it on YouTube. Um, so it ended up being like a cool little calling card and thing I can send to people. And I used it for clips and I like how it looks and everything was just a bonus because I was just sort of doing it to capture that moment in time.

Chris: Oh, first of all, tell us where we can find it.

Heather: Oh, it's called Slay at Home Mom. It's out on my YouTube and it's on 800 pgm. Um, and I am Hello Pastor Neck anywhere. TikTok, Instagram. YouTube, screaming on the streets. You'll find me.

Chris: Um, I wonder if that feeling of covetousness is maybe also inversely connected to this idea that I thought about, which is like, um, believing that like, , you can put that material out and you will create more.

You know,

Heather: It's a feeling of preciousness or scarcity mindset of like, this was my big joke, and it's like you'll write another big

Chris: and there's, there's a position of abundance that you could take too, which is just like, I will, yeah. I came up with this stuff. I will come up with

Heather: with it. [00:44:00] And that's how I feel about punching up other people's jokes too.

Yeah. Like sometimes I punch up a joke for someone like you and it's like, you're a gay man. Like, you know, I'm not gonna pitch you a joke that I would even use probably. You know what I mean? But sometimes people think, oh, well I don't wanna give away my shit. It's like, you're not giving away your shit.

You're flexing a month soul. Like there's an abundance of funny ideas out in the world.

Chris: I love the whole, like, I mean, I've, I've definitely talked about this, but like, I love pitching people's stuff. so fun. I love it. And I've, I've, I've been very depressed a couple of times in the real world when I like pitch somebody.

Heather: Oh, yeah. Not everyone's receptive.

Chris: I've been depressed when I. and this is by the way, totally within their rights for me to say like, Hey, can I picture you on this? And then be like, no. Yeah. I just, it just bumps me out.

Heather: Yeah, for sure.

Chris: I mean, I'm not saying that they're doing anything wrong, uh, but

Heather: I've gotten some really great pitches.

I got a pitch from Leah. Bonk, I hope I'm

Chris: saying, oh, Bon Bonai.

Heather: bonk. Bonk. Yeah. I'm not sure how to pronounce it, but she saw my joke, my closer about how my husband, um, you know, talk about how my vagina's different every time I look at it and [00:45:00] I'm like, um, my husband heard me say that, and he was like, no, it's not.

And I was like, yes it is. I don't think you could pick my vagina out of a lineup. But she came up to me after a show and she's like, can I tell you? I just keep hearing. Vagina up. And so I started adding in a vagina up, if you will, and it's like so fun and silly and it's like, I'm not precious about it.

I'm happy to like credit her on this fucking podcast. Like, you know what I mean? And it's like even when I write other people's jokes, they're like, but you wrote it. I'm like, but you set me up. Like you came with the idea, you came with the image, you came with the this, and then I just put a little like dot on your eye, you know?

Chris: Yeah. I think it's a different relationship to, and also a very different perspective on the world of standup that I don't think I had maybe if you know, three years ago, which is this sense of like, we're all helping each

Heather: other. Yeah, it is, it's different. I hope it's continuing to change that people are not perceiving it as such a lone wolf sport.

Cause I don't think it has to be. But there is this image of like comics and leather jackets being depressed and I like to think you can be a joyful comedian. I think if you want any longevity in this industry, you have to find the joy in it because otherwise it is [00:46:00] really sad and depressing and there is a lot of negativity.

Chris: Yeah. Okay. Last thing I wanna ask you. I have a friend who wants to do standup. Yeah. Uh, he's in the UK time zone. Okay. So he, I don't know if

Heather: time is it in UK right now?

Chris: It's like six hours ahead. So.

Heather: well, you should put him in touch with Jerry and because occasionally, like we have done like a Sunday at noon class, like if we have enough interest with people who are in different time zones, we can sometimes work around it.

Chris: I like this. I'll refer

Heather: and, or he can set up some like private coachings before he wants to commit to the whole class and all that

Chris: Oh, cool. And, and uh, they can take your class.

Heather: Yeah. Standup comedy I work with Jerry Kasman. We also do corporate workshops where we teach performer skills for the corporate world, which are really underrepresented.

Just like, you know, how to be a magnetic, charismatic, most authentic version of yourself, which is very in right now.

Chris: charisma is in.

Heather: Um,

Chris: um, and go to your YouTube.

Heather: Yes. Hello pastor. Next my YouTube channel. I'm at heather pastor

Chris: We're gonna watch Slay At Home Mom.

Heather: And thank you for having me. And [00:47:00] Chris is gonna crush it tonight if you have any joke pitches for me.

Chris: Oh, absolutely. Uh, and then I gotta hit up this guy FII restaurant. Oh,

Heather: Oh my God. I

Chris: I didn't get to go to,

Heather: know what? You should chat with Lauren Compton if you want,

Chris: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Heather: amazing too. She does shows in Austin. So I'm excited for you guys to like meet and

Chris: Oh, that'll be great. Yeah. Wonderful. Alright, well we're gonna go do the show now. We're gonna kill it. And then, um, and then Heather's

Heather: thanks for being here, whoever you

Chris: are.


Heather: we must have so much in common cuz we're both obsessed with Chris. Anyway,

Heather. bye.