Arts: She’s Funny

Misty Looman loves to make people laugh. In fact, that is her job. Looman is a professional stand-up comedian who grew up in Edmond and now lives in Los Angeles. “It’s an opportunity for me to share a part of who I am, the funny person I am, and just kind of make people happy,” she said. “People come to comedy shows and they have a lot in their lives, and if those eight minutes that I’ve been on stage brighten their day, then I’ve done my job.”

After graduating from Edmond Memorial High School, Looman attended a small college about 30 minutes south of Dallas called Southwestern Assemblies of God University. The school didn’t offer any performing degrees. The closest “match” was a degree in preaching. “Funny enough, I trained as a minister,” she said. “The parts of the preaching where I made people laugh were the most appealing to me.” After graduating with a degree in youth ministry and video production, Looman decided to move to California to follow her calling.

Her parents always knew she would become an actress or a performer, because she often imitated the characters she watched on television. “I was dancing, making everyone laugh,” said Looman. “I’m a pretty good hip-hop artist just from learning from the neighbors,” she joked.

In high school, Looman’s passion for the performing arts grew even more while directing several comedy sketches. When she got to college, Looman continued writing sketches. “We would do what’s called Southwestern Live, like ‘Saturday Night Live’,” she said. The school often asked Looman to give orientations for the new students. “I always made it really funny and they kept asking me to come back and do it again.”

Looman got her first real audition right after she graduated from college and joined an improv troupe. After four years she realized she was ready for another challenge and decided to move on to stand-up comedy. She took a class, worked with a mentor, and started developing material for her sets. “I find it more challenging than improv because I have to find out what makes these people laugh,” she said. “It’s kind of more rewarding when you have thought in your head, oh, this is funny, and they confirm it for you when they laugh really hard.”

A lot of Looman’s jokes are based on her own experiences and often feature friends and family members. So be careful if you have comedian friends, because you might end up in their jokes, she warned. Often, Looman gets her best joke ideas in the middle of the night and has to jump out of bed to write them down. A little tradition she has kept from her days as a preacher is writing key words on a piece of paper and sticking them in her back pocket before the performance.“It’s just there for comfort even though I know my jokes inside and out,” she said.

Looman has performed at all the big clubs in Los Angeles, including Hollywood Improv, the Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store. She is a regular at the John Lovitz Comedy Club at Universal CityWalk Hollywood and has performed at the Loony Bin Comedy Club in Oklahoma City. “That was fun. It was really great to come home. Pretty much half of the club was my family and friends.”

During a set anything can happen and comedians have to learn how to control the crowd. Looman luckily hasn’t had more than a couple of negative experiences. One time, a lady who had too much to drink asked out of the blue if Looman wanted to marry her son. “The good thing about a comedian is that you can turn that into a part of your comedy,” she said.

Looman is currently working with a writing partner on a full comedy show. They hope to get it picked up by theaters and eventually TV. Even though comedy is Looman’s priority at the moment, she wants to have a family and possibly even move back to her hometown. “I definitely love the values I got being an Okie girl and I pride myself on that.”

For more on Misty, visit www.myspace.com/mistyloomanisfunny.

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