Laura Mannino is a janitor or an astronaught

Laura Mannino grew up in White Plains, New York, a former site of the Revolutionary War and the current home to five malls. Her half-hour pilot Bomb about navigating stand-up as a new mom, was a PAGE Awards and Final Draft Big Break Semifinalist. In 2021, she was a Semifinalist for The Writers Lab with her half-hour pilot Party Crashers. Credits include Consulting Producer on MTV’s Loveline with Amber Rose and Quibi’s Sexology with Shan and Sketch Writer for Awestruck’s Asshole Parents. She has also written digital content for A&E Networks. Laura is a 2022 Stowe Story Labs Fellow and an ATX TV Festival Pitch Finalist for her romantic comedy series Bodice Rippers. Bodice Rippers is also Black List Reader Recommended. Laura is the founder of Drain The NRA, a grassroots organization that successfully pressured corporations to end their affiliation with the NRA. She also helmed Los Angeles for Warren and worked for Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign as a field organizer. Laura lives in Highland Park with her son and husband, whom she met at NYU while hunting for bars that don’t card.

What were you like as a teen?
I spent my weekends and summers writing in theatre programs writing cranky Balckbox plays about my cranky adolescence.
Did you have an un-sexy starter job?
All of my jobs have been unsexy but they’ve all given me is material.
What do you consider to be your biggest comedy achievement to date?
Every single time I listened to my gut instead of my fear, something worked out.
When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it? 
Comedy friends whom I would be friends with even if we were janitors or astronauts.
Have you ever dealt with trolls?
I’ll take a troll or a heckler over anyone staring at their phone. To heckle, you have to pay attention.
On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian? 
Don’t live only in clubs, bars, or open mics. Live your life fully, then return to the club, bar, or open mic to turn all that living into art.
Best comedy advice you ever got?
Keep going.
Worst comedy advice you ever got? 
How has being funny helped you in your life? 
Right now, I’m grieving the loss of my mom. I’m exploring that grief in the screenplay projects I’m working on. I hope that talking about grief in my work will make others feel less alone.
What specific things should a novice comedy writer do to shape their voice?
Pay attention to the films, TV, books, music, and art you are drawn to or that evoke a visceral feeling for you. The art and stories you are drawn to will help you shape your point of view as an artist.
Was there one person who inspired you to go into the comedy world?
In fourth grade, I played Maria (the funny maid who hangs out with drunks) in a very fourth-grade production of TWELFTH NIGHT. When I got my first laugh, I knew this was the dragon I’m gonna chase for the rest of my life. To make another human laugh is the closest thing I’ve experienced to divine magic.
Do you have a writing routine? 
My focus has been TV writing for the past few years. I prefer to write first thing in the morning before I get sucked into emails and errands and whatever soul-sucking thing is happening in the news that day. I resist applying Hustle Culture shit to my creativity. Everything has a season, and that includes creating. Living and thinking also count as writing. Make room to write, set goals and due dates for yourself, and create space for inspiration. I coach screenwriters and creatives (@boldtypecoaching on IG). I love helping clients set achievable, realistic writing goals that fit their lives and obligations.
What is your go-to movie when you’ve had a bad day?
What single word always cracks you up?
It’s never not funny to me when my 9-year-old son says “balls.”