Julie Kertesz

Takeaways from ‘Julie Kertesz: On Becoming a Stand-up Comedienne at 77 Years Young’

There is a lot to learn from Julie’s story. We’ve transcribed what she said in yesterday’s video so we can takeaway insights from this wise DreamChaser.

My name is Julie Kertesz. I’m now past 80. I do many different things, of course. I am Toastmaster, public speaking clubs. I am photographer. I love taking photos and showing people. I am stand-up comedian, which I began when I was 77, only. I am a personal storyteller. I love telling personal stories because I think they can inspire others. Give ideas. Give courage.

TJ: How did you decide to become a standup comedian?
I read somewhere that the past can change. And when I read it first time, I thought: no, that is not possible. But when I begin to create a story about anything which really was bad in my life, mostly, because there are the most interesting place and how I react to those, though, and what came from it, somehow the story change the past. For example, my husband was not only sometimes aggressive but very unfaithful. So when I begin to tell stand-up comedy, I told: You know, I’m a virgin of comedy. But men, I stopped counting after three.
All the heavy thing, and there is very heavy thing about me sitting home and knowing that he’s with someone else and so on … become a lot lighter.
Oh, the past changed. And there are many things like that I thought, it’s how you tell it – story or comedy or so on – but how you tell it is very important. I have to tell my stories that give courage to people, to others, through my stories some way. Because people see me there on the stage and they tell themself, if she can do it, I can do it, too.
And so, I begin to tell my stories, from one thing to other, because I never believed I was funny. I didn’t think I have funny bones because my mother told me when I was seven that I was not funny, telling her a joke with shit in it. So, I remained with the knowledge that I am not funny and I didn’t try to be funny with my friends. I am the serious one. And when I discovered that I could be funny, and I studied and loved it.
So, one very important thing if you are creative, you don’t have to put yourself in one box. You can be different things, not only one. And you don’t have to wait until people recognise you. You can tell you are a photographer, for example, or a writer, or whatever, before your books come or before people recognise you. And so I tried and I continue to do it, not to put myself in one box. Because everyone has a story to tell.

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