Teachers either love Liz Mitts or hate her

Liz is a queer comedian, writer, director, editor and producer. She wrote an episode of Marvel’s Wonder Man when she assisted the room helmed by Andrew Guest. After three years working in TV and film development at Ed Helms and Mike Falbo’s Pacific Electric Picture Co, Liz dove deeper into her creative pursuits, writing TV and features in addition to producing her own comedy web series. Liz has performed stand-up, improv, and sketch at the Second City, Groundlings, UCB, and The Idiot Workshop (which she won’t shut up about). Liz will split her time between New York and LA until her reward miles dry up.

What were you like as a teen?
I was extremely talkative in class which made teachers either love me or hate me. I loved to chat with friends in other classes during my bathroom breaks. My favorite thing has always been to make people laugh. I loved watching NBC Thursdays with my family when Community, The Office, and 30 Rock would all play in one night.
Did you have an un-sexy starter job?
My first job in Hollywood was assisting at Verve Talent and Literary Agency. It was fast-paced, stressful at times, and extremely social. I loved having such a big community of fellow assistants. I then moved on to work in development at a comedy production company where I learned the ins and outs of story and got to see the process of developing TV and movies from idea through post. Both of those jobs were like grad school for me. I got a thorough understanding of how the business worked and made countless invaluable connections with other assistants who all continue to rise in the ranks.
What do you consider to be your biggest comedy achievement to date?
Filming my web series. It’s an extremely micro-budget, but I am so relieved and grateful I had the courage to do the damn thing with my talented friends.
When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it? 
I have never been able to picture myself doing anything else. I imagine myself on the couch as a kid watching TV with my family. How comforting it was to have this time to laugh with them. I know this is what I’m best at and my greatest passion. The joy of being on stage or on camera with friends and the sense of accomplishment after a long day of shooting keeps me going.
Have you ever dealt with trolls?
Since college, I’ve encountered people who try to shoot me down in subtle ways. Once a woman I looked up to rejected me from her troop and said improv is not for me, I’m more of a stand-up comedian. I internalized that for a time but since have learned and reinforced the fact that I am the only person who determines who I am and what I’m great at. Therapy and To Be Magnetic also help immensely!
On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young comedian? 
Ignore the critics in your head and in the audience. You learn by doing. Get out there with confidence and don’t stop until you’ve reached your goal!
Best comedy advice you ever got?
Don’t let perfectionism hold you back.
Worst comedy advice you ever got? 
More experienced people deserve stage time more than you.
How has being funny helped you in your life? 
Comedy came in handy whenever there was tension in my family or friend groups. Comedy also served as a defense mechanism against people who bullied me for my chunkiness as a kid. If I made a joke first, they couldn’t hurt me! If they couldn’t love me for my looks they could love me for my humor.
What specific things a novice comedy writer should do to shape their voice?
Producing my writing has helped a ton. Things that are funny on the page may not play as well when they’re acted out. Even just reading a script aloud with a friend over Zoom can work wonders.
Was there one person who inspired you to go into comedy?
Tina Fey is probably my biggest inspiration. She has my dream career and whenever I wonder why I’m working at restaurants and taking a lower salary to pursue my dreams, I think of her hilarious show 30 Rock and her illustrious career.
Do you have a writing routine? 
I find myself going through phases of grinding on scripts. Last year, I went through three outlines and five significant drafts of my first movie script in seven months. Then I took about a month off before writing my web series. I like to give one project all of my attention at a time to ensure I am completing things to the best of my ability.
What is your go-to show?
Party Down is my most recent go-to comedy show. I can’t believe I didn’t watch it when it came out!
What single word always cracks you up?