Phoenix native Emily Galati moved to Chicago to attend graduate school and perform improv. She now does neither.
She’s an established stand-up comedian who performs around the country. “So both worked out great, right?” Galati jokes.
Known for her relentlessly clever style, Galati’s routine combines sharp, short quips with longer stories tangling in recurrent punchlines.
A regular set may feature Galati riffing on the gender pay gap with a taut one-liner and a vivid description of how an ex-boyfriend stole her Internet modem.
Galati will bring this quick-witted style to Minneapolis, performing a series of shows this weekend at the Comedy Corner Underground.
For Galati, much of her comedic focus lies on political, social and religious topics.
“Right now, it’s probably a little more political,” Galati said. “[Politics] is kind of dominating the news and what’s around me, so that’s what I am writing about.”
In particular, Galati isn’t afraid to delve into jokes that are controversial — she openly admits her material may make some audiences uneasy.
According to Galati, she rarely switches up her set. Instead, she warns each crowd by joking, “You are not going to like this.”
For her, this is part of the fun in stand-up.
“You get in front of audiences and you have to learn to perform in front of different types of people. It’s a challenge,” Galati said. “It’s getting in front [of] as many people as you can and trying to be as funny as you can.”
Galati tends to focus on women’s health topics and her own brand of feminism.
Even though she isn’t afraid to address women’s issues, Galati said it is difficult to be pigeonholed as a “woman comedian.”
“[Women’s topics] are something I have to [discuss] right now. In four years I might not have anything to say on it,” Galati said. “I hope people just enjoy the jokes now and don’t come to expect that.”
For all her material, Galati maintains a rigorous writing and editing process. Galati starts by finding a premise and letting her thoughts on the subject pour out in the Chicago open mic scene.
Finding the best of her material, Galati whittles down her material to arrive at her swift jests and astute one-liners.
This process also contributes to the type of material Galati approaches.
“I tackle more challenging topics now. I attack a topic and talk about it from different perspectives,” Galati said.
At this point in her career, Galati is focusing on writing more personal material.
“You’re just more comfortable on stage,” Galati said. “You are not reaching for weird scenarios that you make up. It’s things that I experience that I thought were funny or something I believe — you can find jokes in those things.”
This strategy has paid off for Galati, who recently made her television debut on “Conan” this year and is set to perform at a variety of major comedy festivals across the country.
However, she tries not to focus too much on attaining industry objectives.
“I don’t have set goals. I just try to be a better comic next year than I was this year, and hopefully opportunities come from that,” Galati said.
For Galati, performing stand-up comes down to the joy of the process.
“There are so many external factors you can’t control in this business. The only thing I can control is how much I work and how hard I work on my material,” Galati said. “I can’t control who hires me or puts me on TV, but I can control how often I sit down and write jokes and work on my material — that’s what I focus on.”