Amy Veltman thinks you need a hug

Amy Veltman is a New York City comic, actor, and writer who’s performed across the country. She’s appeared at the Comedy Cellar, Charm City Comedy Festival, The Ladies of Laughter competition, The Detroit Women in Comedy Festival, Gotham Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club, and Carolines.

What single word always cracks you up?
Fart, probably because I wasn’t allowed to say it growing up. Get this: my mom thought it was more polite to call passing gas “pooping.”

What were you like as a teen?
I had the first asymmetrical haircut of anyone I knew, which meant I thought I was cool. I was pretty horny, which was a bad match for my strict parents.

What’s the best comedy advice you ever got?
There’s something Mike Birbiglia said (I’m paraphrasing) about how, for a long time, your taste will exceed your ability. That and the adage about it taking ten years to find your comedic voice have helped give me the patience to keep going.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?
I don’t remember. I let the unwelcome stuff roll off my back and try not to take anything too personally. I do think I’m lucky that I started older–I don’t have too many guys coming up to me with unsolicited feedback.

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?
The community of people I met, working out a schedule in advance of mics to go to each week, and the desire to get better.

So, what are the worst gigs?
The worst gigs are ones where I’m not in the right headspace. It’s never something about the audience, even if it’s just two people.

Favorite response to a heckler or troll?
It seems like you need a hug.

And your first impulse when someone says “Women aren’t funny”?

I know I’m supposed to say something funny here, but I honestly get it, because I find a lot of things that men joke about really unfunny or unrelatable. I find it especially satisfying to get a laugh from someone who is nothing like me, and nothing gets my admiration more than someone with a really different worldview than mine who can crack me up.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life?

I think my sense of humor spackles over some of my other personality deficits.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian?
Keep getting up.