This week, we welcome Morgan Van Dyne to the show. Morgan is a comedian and musical theater actor, and was diagnosed with relapsing polychondritis two years ago. We discuss how to be a performer in comedy while dealing with chronic pain, the path towards getting a diagnosis, and the dreaded “inspiration porn.”
The Who Dis? Podcast is a show featuring performers from the chronic illness, disability, and mental health communities.
You can follow Morgan on Instagram at @MorganVanDyne
For more information on the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago, you can find them on the web at https://www.sralab.org/
This episode was hosted by Liz Komos and produced by Jack Mathews. You can find more information on the Who Dis? Podcast or the Who Dis? Live Show at www.whodisshow.com on the web, on Instagram or Facebook at @WhoDisShow, or on Twitter at @TheWhoDisShow. If you want to talk about the show, feel free to use the hashtag #WhoDis.
This episode was recorded at the iO Theatre. The iO Theatre is home to Chicago’s best improv comedy with shows 7 nights a week. They offer classes in improv, writing, and more! Visit ioimprov.com for a full schedule.
Morgan Van Dyne: 0:07
the hoodie Show podcast. I'm Liz co Mohs. This show features conversations with performers from the mental health, chronic illness and disability Communities were digging into who they are and how their health intersects with their art. Today's guest on the podcast is Morgan Van Dine. Morgan is a comedian and musical theater actor who grew up on Ah, hog farm in South Texas. I am so, so excited to have them on the podcast. Thank you for being here, Morgan.
Thanks for having me. I'm excited. On
Morgan Van Dyne: 0:36
the Houthis podcast, we explore the intersection of art and health. So before we get too deep into it, I was wondering if you would share with our listeners a little bit about how you relate to the health community more specifically, whether it be a chronic illness of mental health, condition or disability.
Yeah, s o. I have ah, chronic illness called relapsing Polly Conroy. This is my body. Thinks my cartilage is for material trying to reject it. So it's a super Brian full. Yeah. Yeah, And I also have bipolar disorder. So were whole mess.
Morgan Van Dyne: 1:14
Uh, how do you know this is kind of an aside, but How do you manage your pain day today? It's something that I experience. And I know that it can be such a drawn out process trying to figure out how to manage it. And yeah.
Ah, I sleep a lot. Yeah, I genuinely like when I have a thing to dio like it's the only thing that I do that day sleeping until I get there because there's not really, like a good like, like, you know, I don't want to be on pain pills cause you then you'd like don't have your mind, you know? Yeah. Um, so yeah, honestly, there's not like there's not anything that's, like, solved it, you know? It's just like, yeah, and you weirdly do get used to it Late dio become accustomed Todo you're just like I
Morgan Van Dyne: 1:59
don't know if you have it is this experience, though, when something when you have a new pain or the pain is like you wake up one day and it's worse than it normally is? My alarm bells go off so loud that I'm like something is terribly wrong.
Yeah, yeah, I think that's like especially in like you're like chronic illness and chronic pain, like that's it. That's a common thing, because the other people like him in a support group. Sure, another people like they'll post in there and be like, Oh, my elbows have never heard before. What's going on? I
Morgan Van Dyne: 2:31
instituted a two week rule for myself that if something hurts consistently for two weeks, then I will go to the doctor. Unless it's very alarming. And I think this is an acute emergency, but yeah, I decided that because I went through a period where is driving me. I was driving myself to the doctor and driving me just like wild. Always worrying about, like, why things were hurting.
Definitely, especially when I, like, first got sick. It was every time a new thing happened, I was like, So when
Morgan Van Dyne: 2:59
were you diagnosed? Was it
s o like a year and 1/2 ago, Okay. For probably like two and 1/2 years. Yeah, but yeah, I finally got a diagnosis, like a year on April 10. How did that feel? Uh, it was good because, like for so long, I had doctors tell me like there's nothing wrong and I tried to get made up. My antidepressants especially made it difficult to get a diagnosis because I already had bipolar on my records. So I got so much like, Oh, your drug seeking or like you, like you're not mentally well and your It's manifesting like in pain and it's like I don't think so. So it was definitely a big relief to be like, Oh my God, how I can, like, walk into a doctor's office with a diagnosis and it won't be like you feel legitimate. Yeah, yeah, I
Morgan Van Dyne: 3:45
remember one time before I was diagnosed with one of my most recent conditions, I went into my doctor's office. Someone was crying. I just started bawling. I was like, I can't handle this like I can't cope. I don't know what's going on and I ended up. He ended up writing down in my chart that I had a mood disorder not otherwise specified, and then sent me to therapy, and I've been in there be my entire life. And so after seeing that there for us for about a year, I was like, you know, my doctor had given me this diagnosis. Do I have a mood disorder? And she was like, Oh
my God, your
Morgan Van Dyne: 4:18
body is struggling and you were struggling and you were so like fatigued that you just couldn't look. You can't sometimes control the emotional state when your body is so completely worn out. So I don't know how to get that taken off my medical record, but it's something that follows me, and I'm always like Okay, well, all these people think that I have a mood disorder. And yes, I struggle with depression sometimes and anxiety. But no, I don't have, like a diagnostic mood disorder. I
get that, like so much like I haven't really had a problem with bipolar times have been medicated for years. Like I'm lucky that it that works for me, very stable, totally. But it's still always something that, like any time of the new doctor they got. You have bipolar and they make a thing.
Morgan Van Dyne: 5:03
Yeah, I think that's unfortunate. And that's something. Hopefully, this podcast will help Buzz, you mediate for some people. Is is those like stigmas and assumptions that people make and just forgetting that, like we're all humans and we're relatable. And yes, well, thank you for being here for sharing that I know it can be vulnerable to talk about our conditions. Um, the next question is, what kind of artist are you? And how did you first become interested in life is a creative
what kind of artist and my, uh Now, I started off doing like theater. I guess, um I don't guess I did s sort of drink, theater and dance. I was actually dance major in college. Um, did I did not graduate from whatever. Um and I think I've always definitely been like I don't know how big a subconscious goal of being like the funniest person in the room like that was always like my thing. You do know, Morgan. Oh, yeah, they're so funny. Eso s. So I think it's just like a natural progression from theater into comedy And then for the last few years has been, like mostly stand up, which is super fun. Yeah, especially since I like between bipolar and being chronically ill. There's a whole lot to talk. So that's why I
Morgan Van Dyne: 6:21
need more stage time. I when I think of the people I know that have chronic illnesses and disabilities and mental health conditions, we've had these really wild experiences than other people don't have And they're funny.
Yeah, absolutely. I think it's really fun to talk about those things specifically on saves like I have material that's about other things. But I always think I get, like, the most enjoyment out of talking about, like mental and physical illness, because, uh, if you can get other people to laugh about it, I feel like that helps relieve a little bit of, like, stigma in their mind. Totally like, Oh, they have, like, a normal life, even though, like it's harder. Yeah, I
Morgan Van Dyne: 7:01
think that's very true in the its connection. Like, I think the moment that you make someone laugh, they connect to you in some way. They bond a little bit your your experience, and it does break down that wall of preciousness like, Oh, you're sick and aigoo can talk about it. What's going on? Ah, and it does. It breaks down that wall, and I think it touches people's truths that they realize they can relate to you. Yes, and I would hope. I think one thing that's been on my mind the last couple days is how scared are people of being around people who are sick because they don't wanna hear about it. I don't know what to say or they're like It touches their own mortality and physical ability. And I think that when you can make people laugh in that arena about health and mental health, specifically, it's less scary.
E I feel like for me, but I look normal. But then, like anytime I have some kind of physical indication, like the first time a new friend sees the physical indication of I see like the like fear wash over them and just just like a little bit of like a tonal change and how they'll talk to me about being sick. You know, it's like it makes it real for them, and it's the worst. It's the actual worst. When you see someone go old, you're like, really sick. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's That's very weird.
Morgan Van Dyne: 8:31
Yeah, I will talk to people about how I have trouble walking sometimes, and I've been doing pretty good. I want to give a shout out to the shortly right ability lab. I wended their pain management program and it was like an intensive eight hours a day for four weeks, and we, like, worked on all this stuff physical therapy, everything. And it gave me a new take on my body and what I can and can't do and how to manage my body throughout the day so that I don't like burnout, because that would be my cycle. I'd be like, Oh, I've got energy and I burned through. It s Oh, I haven't had a bad day in a while because of them in this program. And I got a new job and it wore me out and I had to go to a rehearsal with both of my crutches. I couldn't get up and improvised. I had to sit through out the whole thing, and I saw all of them just like it did. It was like the weight of it hit them where they're like, This is what Liz is talking about when she says she's having a bad day. And normally I just stay home. You don't see it because I don't want to go out like that. I hate the way that looks. I hate the way that feels, but they saw it cause I was like I had to run rehearsal like everyone has to see this now and yeah, it's a weird feeling for other people to realize, like the weight and gravity of what you have going on. Yeah,
I really do that like so hard. Like, right now I have, like, stitches and bandages all over her back. It's like, Yeah, I was, like, avoiding hanging out with people, like being in public or like we just finished a musical. And I liked didn't usually, like, you know, in like, see it early You just everyone changes in front of everybody was like, I don't want people to like, See this? So it was a very out of character for me to, like go find a place to hide d o you know, But it just yeah, you can see a shift in people when it becomes real for them. So that was
Morgan Van Dyne: 10:14
something that I was thinking about in terms of access, that changing rooms and all that are inaccessibility need that maybe people don't always think about is having a private space. Yeah, body dysmorphia. That's another point of to talk about in terms of being a performer. I know in acting your e so much connected to your body and the way your body moves and works. Have you ever had moments of body dysmorphia or just not really understanding the way that your body works or disconnection from it? Whether that be because of pain or I don't know, Sometimes I think when we have these chronic conditions, we purposefully disconnect from our bodies to escapes. Um,
yeah. I definitely think I wouldn't say about they, like, Major just more for your problems. But I would say, like, uh, being a dancer my whole life and then suddenly being like in so much pain and having so much change internally that I can't dance away used to It's really weird to see now, Like I just finished a musical and we got video of us dancing and I was like, Man, like, I used to be so good but I can see myself in pain. And it known that really is, like, sucks to watch, you know? Yeah. I
Morgan Van Dyne: 11:24
feel like I could feel that.
Yeah. Um, and I definitely, like disconnect from my body. Even I'll talk about it separately all the time. Like I don't know. I feel fine, but I'm so tired of living in this body like that kind of thing. Yeah, I do feel like I feel separate from what I live in your solos. Yes. I,
Morgan Van Dyne: 11:47
uh I have always wanted to get this tattoo that says, Oh, Corbally solo on Bosco in Italian, Which means the body is just a vessel because I really feel that way that my body is just the vehicle to get me from point A to point B. And I am a completely separate entity from that.
Yes. Yeah, that big.
Morgan Van Dyne: 12:08
Okay, so, back to your career, in comedy and performing Are there any standout moments for you as a comedian? In times that you felt like you unlocked a barrier, whether that be the first time you went up and did stand up for the first time that you talked about your health in your work or the first time that somebody laughed at a joke about you know, any of those things that are, like, big moments that you remember sticking out for you?
Yeah. So I tried to ride stand up for, like, two years before I ever was like, Okay, I can say this in front of people like I don't know what it was just like that particular format was so hard for my brain, and I think it was because I was trying to write in a really like, structured way. And now I do stand up in its and like more of us, like, almost storytelling with punchlines kind of way. But I think the moment that I realized like, Oh, I can do stand up us like sitting with my friends in the kitchen and just like, half venting and like, but like, deflecting a little bit. So it was, like, funny and talking about, like being in the psych ward. They were dying, laughing, and I was like, Oh, people can like, handle this. We'll be booking like, Listen to me, talk about the worst time of my life. But it was so funny. It was like such a funny experience likes funny stuff happens in the psych ward, as I'm sure you can imagine. So, yeah, that was a total moment, like just like remember that day so clearly just sitting in the kitchen with them and they're like dying, laughing while I talk about the worst week of my life and I was like, This is amazing. I can't wait to do this or not. Zero
Morgan Van Dyne: 13:39
cool. I love that. That was inspiration is like, Okay, my friends can do this. I can do I can try this now in front of an audience and see what happens. Yeah. Uh, opposite to that. What are some of the challenges you found? Being a performer with a chronic health condition?
Definitely not. Knowing how I'm gonna feel the day of a gig is a huge one. And it's impossible to explain to someone who hasn't been through something like that. You know of like, No, I know how I look, but I literally can't walk today. It is not possible. I can't come. That's really difficult. I also have to sometimes, like the last time I did stand up about my illness, I literally prefaced like I told a couple jokes, and it was like I kept getting ah, instead of laughs, you know? So I literally stopped. It was like, Look, I don't need you to be sympathetic to me like you're I know it's rough, but I'm here to make fun of it, and we're gonna laugh about it and like after that, it went a lot smoother and people did laugh. We thank goodness because I was like, I don't know if this is gonna come off is like, mean or like. Like, I'm shaming the audience for feeling bad from you, but I feel like it does help sometimes to, like, call people out like I don't need you to be sad for me, e. I did
Morgan Van Dyne: 14:50
that, Uh, we got to the who dislike House team. Josh, Lovie and Simon Collier. And I opened up for here the musical a couple months ago, and I got to intro like What? Who this is and why I'm doing it. And people were doing that. I was like, That's not what this is about.
Yes, it's like That's the worst thing when you're like, Here we are to have fun and people like, Oh, you poor thing.
Morgan Van Dyne: 15:13
Yeah, it was like, No, that's not like this isn't a moment for you to have to feel empathy or or be inspired by me. And whenever I just Yeah, I know that inspiration for drawing. I'll talk about that all the time on this operation poured. Think there's a time and place for us to inspire awe inspiring, but when that's all it is or people. I think what it is if they invalidate your talent, just is a human who's talented for the inspiration aspect of it like that. You're only that talented because of your illness or disability. Or I only like your talent because of your
illness. A disability makes me think of when I was like a little kid and I would just like to talent shows or something, and I would sing. And people just think you're so cute. Yes. Yeah. No, I'm good. Thank
Morgan Van Dyne: 16:04
you. Yeah. No, it's true. It's like I want to be seen. And I want to be talented because I'm talented. Not just because I have a disabilities and I'm talented, you know? Uh, yeah, it's And there's a fine line also of being like, Hey, I have a disability. You should let me in the door because I don't see anyone else like me in your space. And I want to be in your space so that other people coming to the show are coming to your theater. Whatever can see themselves represented. Yeah. Yeah. How do you feel about the concept of those of us performing on stage? Might be seen is an inspiration on Lee. Instead of being valued for our art in its own right.
It's the worst. I hate it. It's something that I don't like being. I mean, it's partly like a little bit of just like my personal. I don't like being seen as, like weak bond. I was feel like anytime the word inspiration has thrown out there, they're like, look atyou, achieving despite the fact that you're less than like That's how it sounds to me. And I don't think anyone ever says it, meaning that no, but there is, like, you know, some subconscious, like little micro aggressions there, you know? So I Yeah, it's rough. And but there are other times, and I feel like usually comes from people who have similar struggles. When they say something like, You know, you inspired me to, like, Do this like That's awesome. You know, that feels really good because you get it. You know, like I trust where it's coming from you
Morgan Van Dyne: 17:31
you trusted. It's not condescending. The actual genuine inspiration, not inspiration, mixed with a little condescension and separatist. Yes, I think that's what if when it feels separate to me, as if the person doesn't relate to me, but they're seeing me. Is this like entity to inspire or be inspiring? It feels empty.
There's like a tone and voice, sometimes to Yeah, it's like it's like an ar RL pat on the head. E
Morgan Van Dyne: 18:02
worked at a pre kindergarten and for a while, and one of the moms patted me on the head while it was kneeling down, putting things away and was like, You have a good day and patted me on the head and I was a gosh. I've never felt so small filled with rage. But it's that similar feeling of like, you know, you're making yourself feel better somehow by telling me I did a good job. You know, like I don't need a rite of review. Were so yeah, I don't know,
I would much rather someone come up and be like You should work on your timing or something that would be so much better.
Morgan Van Dyne: 18:35
That would be better if you could do this. So one of the things that I often find is a side effect of my chronic pain is brain fog. Forgetting what I'm about to say or questions there numerous times where I've been on stage, and I legit. Just forget what I'm supposed to do. I had a show a couple weeks ago and I forgot the name of the server who I just spoken to, and then I was like and their server? Have you ever experienced brain fog on stage? Or how do you manage that in a performance arena?
Yeah, definitely. It's It's this problem and stand up, I think, because it's like monologue ing. You know, I I think actually, when I did that, who does show? I had a paper with me and I made a joke about like, I can't remember shit like E Like I tend to keep, like, bullet points on me because I will get, especially if I, like, get on a tangent like someone reacts to something. So I like riff on it for a second, and then my brain will just be like and we're done. That's it just it was in there. I think it's the worst. It's definitely like worse on days where pain is worse. Had a problem with it. Like I just finished, you're in town. The music, video and honor, thankfully, was just our soft opening, but I know my lines. Super Wells like, not a problem, but I got to like midsentence talking to another character, and it's like my brain just turned off. So yeah, we're done. It's like I really hope they just say they're next line because nothing, nothing is in my head, right? No, no, it's
Morgan Van Dyne: 20:02
a wild experience, and for me, I think it's because there's so much going on inside my body, like I'm I'm receiving and processing somebody like pain messages or sensation messages or just body Lee function. You know, things are happening and was sorting itself out that I am trying to be so present and in the moment that yeah, it's just all of a sudden it's like I miss a minute. Yeah, a moment I've
noticed. I have, like, my skin itches all the time. Like all of my skin, it's just like because of inflammation. Um, and I've noticed when my brain shuts off like the itching does. So I feel like there might even be like science there. That's like your brain is just like hold on, we're turning everything off like regulating. Wow, that's fascinating. Yeah,
Morgan Van Dyne: 20:45
yeah, I'm trying to think if there's anything if I have anything, it would be an interesting stuff. Like what? When. When someone experiences a kn episode of Brain Fog, what else are they suddenly aware of? You know, I think I don't notice. Sounds like it takes me a minute to be aware that I've lost time,
you know? Yeah, the first few times it happened, I was like that. I have, like, a mini seizure like it's truly It's like Total disconnect.
Morgan Van Dyne: 21:14
This is embarrassing. I've had chronic headaches since I was, like, little. They thought maybe I was having separation anxiety for my parents or that it had something to do with the surgeries that I had as a kid. But I think my migraines started when I was in, like, third grade or whatnot, but I will check my face every day for strong on. It's a weird thing that, like what? I'm like getting ready in the morning. I'll just smile to be like, Did I have a stroke? Because these headaches can be so intense and they feel so different all the time. Yeah, and, uh, yeah, it just it makes it makes me wonder or worry about something bigger, and then I just go, OK, I'm fine.
I have the same, Like where have olfactory hallucinations smells. So I'm always like the same thing. And like, what if it's toast and I'm actually having a stroke, But it smells like I'm having e do
Morgan Van Dyne: 22:06
that. I smell gas all the time.
I did to that. Like gasoline. Yeah, E
Morgan Van Dyne: 22:11
When I lived in this condo and my husband was traveling for work all the time and my neighbors, I would I mean, if you were to ask him about her. If they happen to listen to this, they will laugh because probably once a week, I go from being Do you smell gas? I smell gas, and they're like, I don't know. Okay, Okay. We're okay. The next week do you smoke? After I
think I spoke. It's like burnt chocolate for a meal or two mommies like I'll go back there, you guys cooking and you remember, It's like,
Morgan Van Dyne: 22:39
No, that's so interesting in the river north.
Yeah, I know. I know their way through. Yeah, that's exactly what it smells like. Except I'll just like in my house. And I'm like, Oh, invisible chocolate. Yeah.
Morgan Van Dyne: 22:54
So fun. I mean, I really like this move, like cooking chocolate, but yeah, no, it's not super weird. Yeah, yeah. Uh, okay, cool. What are the roadblocks that you see for artists in general? But more specifically, artists in your field with a similar condition. And what about those? Like you who aren't artists like maybe someone to works of the c t. A butt is living with what you live with.
I think I kind of already touched on it, but just sort of when you're chronically ill, not being able thio predict when you're gonna be available or healthier, like ceiling well or even capable of, like, doing what you need to dio. And I think in some ways it's a benefit to be in an artistic career because a lot of times commitments are shorter. Like Okay, I just have to get through this, like, two hour improv gig and, like, I can go home and sleep. Um, I had, like, a 9 to 5 job for a month and was like, This is impossible. Sometimes I just have anxiety about the fact like, my gosh, people out there with my disease that like, have to go to work every day, and I don't know how they do it like it freaks me out thinking about it. And it's not even like that 18 hour day is so hard, but it's doing it five times in a row and then having only two days to recover its it's impossible. And for that month, I didn't get to d'oh anything else like any. I mean, truly got home from work, fell asleep on my clothes and till I woke up to go back to work like it was awful. And I think workplaces. They're super unsympathetic to it, and probably some of it is just like being told it like it is intentional. But I also think a lot of it is genuinely not understanding and like you get labeled as a complainer so easily, so easily, like I call him really reliable. I called him twice on and, like got called into my boss's office to talk about. If you call it again like you're fired and I was like, Well, I have to quit, then you think it's going to happen. I don't like doing it, No, but it's It's just like, not avoidable If I gap and like I mean, there are days I get up in like my feet are social and I can't put shoes on So when I supposed
Morgan Van Dyne: 25:01
todo coming in and
slippers like yeah, yeah, um, I really feel for people who have toe work like nine to fives, I don't It's incomprehensible to me. I
Morgan Van Dyne: 25:15
just recently tried to get a new job and found that my body just flipped out. It was I couldn't walk that one day. I had to go twice this last week to the doctor, and finally I sent them an email and just said, This isn't working. I can't I want to but I can't. And it's a constant reality and struggle. Where are I'll be? Like I'm feeling good and feeling good and I can't get a job now. I could get a job now and then I start working and then my body goes, What are we doing? Yeah, and I realized I don't have the physical stamina or endurance to do a job and this work, and so, luckily, I'm in a position right now where I get to choose to do this work and Aiken. You know, I have support. And that way my life has set up where it works. But yeah, it's hard for me sometimes to think about people out there having to go 9 to 5 and then sleeping. You know, they sleep all night long until they have to get up in the morning again.
I feel guilt about it, too, because, like you said that you have periods were like, No, I'm good. Like, I feel great. I'm gonna go to the show. I'm gonna have fun. You'll have a beer. A thing. Then I'll be like, Okay, well, if I could do that, I need to work. Yeah, and then I'll try to work. And it'll destroy me like, you know, like, had to stay in the hospital for a week because I overworked myself. But it's this weird, Like when you're feeling good, you feel guilty when you Yeah, I think that
Morgan Van Dyne: 26:34
I think that's huge. That guilt of feeling like, if I can do all of these things, if I can go out and do these shows, if I can get up and I can write during the day and I have energy to do that and take care and manage all of these things. Then I should have a job and I should be doing that. And I should be contributing to my household in my society, in my world, in that way. But the reality is I can't do both. I just can't have both. So if I wanna have a 9 to 5 job, I would have to give up performance in comedy because my body can't do it. I just can't do it all
and like life, too. You know, like people like healthy people get to, you know, go to their 9 to 5 and then go out with their friends afterwards. Like I said, it's not a not sure I know what the worst, but it's totally not an option. When you're like that sick, it's literally like your life becomes work guns in just that
Morgan Van Dyne: 27:26
Well, it's that the spoon theory or the, uh, I have one therapist calls it the envelope of energy. I don't know why she can't just call SP has her own envelope of energy. This food theory is a philosophy about all of us having so many spoons for people who don't know and we, uh, can use a spoon for certain activity. We wash the dishes and that's a spoon. We go for a walk, and that's another spoon. Maybe we go out for a night and that's four spoons. Then we wake up the next day and we only have one left, but we have a full day of work to get to. So then we start borrowing spoons from the next day and the day after that, until we run out and we're in a huge spoon deficit. And it's just there's more planning and strategy that goes into someone's life when you have a chronic condition to manage your day to day and to make sure that you can meet your commitments. But also take care of yourself so that you can meet the next commitment. And it's exhausting.
And trillion three shows this weekend musical so sure our shows and I literally like they're they all after the show was over there like Oh, we're gonna go drinking and yeah, it's just I have to go home and sleep, or I'm not gonna be able to do the show tomorrow. You
Morgan Van Dyne: 28:40
miss out, you know you miss out you get to have that experience with them. And so you get that and that's beautiful and lovely and amazing. But then there's a price sometime. Know that Zafar the makes me feel sad. Kind of talking about that sadness
this'd. Speaking of sad,
Morgan Van Dyne: 29:04
what's your relationship with failure? This is a question I'm gonna ask all of the comedians, especially that join us on the podcast because failure is such a big part of comedy, of trying and failing. And how did you get comfortable with failing on stage?
I feel like I don't sound like a jerk, but I feel like I haven't really had that thing. That's like, You're not allowed to say that if you're standing
Morgan Van Dyne: 29:30
on my gosh, no for
But I don't know, I
Morgan Van Dyne: 29:34
love how big your smiling You should be proud of that, that you feel
positive things. I think it makes me better at stand up because when like you have to fail like you're going to fail probably more often than he succeeds you at and I don't know. I think it's like funny when I go up and I, like, tell a joke and pause for laughter, and it's silent like Mel. Start cracking. It isn't like to me. That's the funniest thing I've ever said. E like most of the jokes that I write, But I like love like no one else likes it. I'll say something, and I think, like this is just a field time and it will kill O s. So maybe that's why I have such an easy time with it because, like like, I just know that, like the things that I think you're gonna be amazing like no one's gonna like and it cracks me up. What is my brain? My eyes is so plenty to me and no other human on Earth thinks it's funny. I
Morgan Van Dyne: 30:31
think it's all about that moment, like what you do when you realize that you failed or that something flopped and you laughed. You enjoy that moment. I usually try to learn from that moment of like, was I trying too hard? At least an improv all think maybe I was pushing too hard. I was forcing something, and that's why it didn't land. And I wasn't being authentic or genuine solid. Pick it apart, you know, But I like it. I think it's like the failure that teaches us that one. We're trying, you know, we're trying things and to our relationship to that moment. I've never gotten mad at myself for something not working. It's more like, Oh, this isn't This is an opportunity.
I could probably stand to be more introspective about it, but
Morgan Van Dyne: 31:12
maybe not. It seems like you're doing
It works like Definitely. There's probably things I could learn from it, but instead of just like, that's dumb, I'm funny and you don't get it. E
Morgan Van Dyne: 31:24
love e Just funny and you don't understand is a you problem.
Everyone else is wrong.
Morgan Van Dyne: 31:32
I really like that. Sometimes you have to just live that way. Okay, and then what advice do you have for an emerging comedian in your field? What's something that you learned? Was that obvious, or did it take a lot of work? What's one piece of Morgan advice?
Be introspective so you can see this question. I think I think it was a cool moment for me when I realized that everyone else is also like super nervous to do it, give thumbing sense. I tend to think I'm like the only person in the world who has anxiety about being sure. Mike, why can't I just do it? Everyone's doing it. Do it yet. But truly everyone is clutching their But when they walk on stage, So I don't know if you can learn to like like that feeling. I think you can kind of get yourself to, like, crave it like it's a little like I want to be scared you know, totally s O. I think embracing the uh fear that comes with performing is super helpful and probably healthy. I would think no. Yeah, I have a therapist that says Like the problem is never your feelings. It's resisting them. And I think that's really accurate, Like if you just allow yourself like, except that you feel away like think it's a lot easier to cope with. And if you're like I have to try not to be anxious. Yeah, totally. Yeah, I think those
Morgan Van Dyne: 32:58
are my most favorite moments when I feel anxious or scared or nervous, because it reminds me that I care that I'm doing something I haven't yet done before and that I'm pushing myself for that. You know, I'm I'm breaking through something because it's all good and Well, to go up there and be comfortable and be like I'm great and Bubba And here I am performing night after night. But when I'm nervous that I'm like, Oh, this has stakes.
This feels important. I feel like I perform better when I'm a little nervous to, like, If I'm really comfortable and I don't know, you just sit into it. It doesn't great as well. Yeah, Sounds
Morgan Van Dyne: 33:36
cool like it is. So embrace. Embrace the nerves and the anxiety. Which artists or comedian or performer would you take out for dinner? Where would you go on Why? Why? The person
I felt If my friends listen to this, they already know what comedian I'm gonna say That is making me giggle. Bill hater. Yeah, I'm obsessed with him. A
Morgan Van Dyne: 33:59
dancing bill hater is the only thing showing up in my instagram right now, and I'm trying to get away from it, and it's right back there. Like all it's all Instagram thinks I want to see
the o. Um, where would I take Bill here?
Morgan Van Dyne: 34:16
Where would you take Bill hater like, What would you eat? Oh, fancy dinner. Hot dogs?
No. Yeah, Nothing fancy. Definitely. Just like like sandwiches and not at a restaurant, just like on a bench. Cool. That sounds ideal.
Morgan Van Dyne: 34:31
Would you make the sandwiches or would you? Goto was no. This
make a stand with really quick.
Morgan Van Dyne: 34:38
Like, What do you like about Bill Hater?
I, his brand of comedy is so it tries, like the least out of like anyone I can think of like he just, like is. And it's funny. I don't know how else to say that, like, it's very relaxed, which I think he would probably disagree with me because he talks about, like, how bad his anxiety is, how if you watch him here like dogs into every scene on SNL, because somebody was pushing him because he wouldn't walk out like But it seems so. It's just like, I don't know, it's very understated. Yeah, it seems
Morgan Van Dyne: 35:12
effortless and genuinely authentically him. Yeah, there's a style on a thread that I think passes through all of his work.
Yeah, and I think to have been successful as quickly as he was, too, because if you think he didn't do it for very long with, you know, like, just is funny. Yeah, well, I
Morgan Van Dyne: 35:34
hope you enjoy your sandwiches with Bill haters so much. I think I hadn't really thought about it, but I should try to tag all of these celebrities when we put these out there. And then maybe you and Bill here could have sandwiches. Theo, Cool. Well, thank you so much for being here. This is a really lovely conversation. I enjoyed chatting with you. I feel like we can relate to one another with the experience of chronic pain and all of that, if you ever want to check it out, that Shirley Ryan ability love center was amazing.
Thank you for having me.
Morgan Van Dyne: 36:10
Thanks, Morgan. Yeah. I had such a great time talking to Morgan today. They are a really talented comedian and performer. I think that there's someone that you definitely want to check out. So go ahead and follow them on Instagram at Morgan Van Dine. That's M o r g a n v a N d y n e. And go see one of their shows. I think that you is a listener will benefit. Thanks for listening.
Who Dis? show is hosted by Liz Komos and produced by me. Jack Matthews. If you'd like to support the hood is show you can tell a friend or leave a five star rating and review on apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. When using social media, feel free to use the hashtag Buddhists for more information on the hood is show, including upcoming live shows We're on Facebook. Twitter at the Hood is Show Instagram at Who does show or on the Web at Buddha's show dot com. That's a W h o d i S S h o W. This episode was recorded at the Io Theater. The Io Theater is home to Chicago's best improv comedy was shows seven nights a week. They offer classes and improv writing and more. Visit Iowa improv dot com for a full schedule.