What do they say about New York City: There are eight million stories, and sometimes it seems as though eight million of the people telling them think they’re comedians? No, that’s not it. It is a fact, though, that America’s biggest city is also its biggest comedy mecca. Hollywood may be Hollywood, but New York City is where comedians are born funny, become funny or arrive to thrust their funny upon us. I think we should meet some of these people. This is a recurring feature, a mini-profile of newcomers, up-and-comers and overcomers of New York’s vibrant comedy scene. It’s called Meet Me In New York.
Carmen Lynch was born in America but spent enough of her childhood in Spain to be fluent in both languages, which comes in handy not only as a young flamenco dancer but also as a grown-up stand-up comedian in 2017. Lynch moved to New York City after attending the College of William and Mary. She could have been an actress, if only enough actors were tall enough to look her in the eyes. Fortunately for us, Lynch turned to stand-up comedy.
She made her TV debut on Last Comic Standing, and has since racked up TV credits on the Late Show (David Letterman and Stephen Colbert editions), Conan, @midnight, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Wanda Sykes Presents Herlarious, A Night at Whiplash (the concert film from Splitsider), and multiple episodes of Inside Amy Schumer. Lynch starred earlier this year in a short film from Chloe Sevigny called Carmen, which came out about the same time as her newest comedy album, “Dance Like You Don’t Need the Money.” She also just started releasing a new audio podcast series for the Laughly app called “Randos,” in which she records conversations with the weird fans and strangers she meets while on the road. She’s about to bring her headlining show to Europe and the Edinburgh Fringe this summer, so let’s get to know her while she’s still making the rounds of the New York City comedy clubs.
Name: Carmen Lynch
Arrival Date: 2000
Arrived From: Virginia
When and where did you start performing comedy?
“I discovered stand-up in NYC. I didn’t know it was career choice until I lived here. I did a few open mics before 9/11, and then there was a gap, for a while, because nothing felt funny.”
What was your best credit when you moved here?
“I had none. So I guess it was going to college.”
Why did you pick NYC instead of Los Angeles or anywhere else?
“I wanted to go into acting or finance, and NYC had a lot of both. NYC seemed like a fun place to be, and I had a few friends up here with couches. And my sister moved to Paris so I wanted to move somewhere cool, too.”
How is this scene better/worse/different from the scene you moved from?
“Northern Virginia is not known for acting, (although I took a class once at a church and it was what made me dream bigger.) But I was really missing the city life, which I hadn’t experienced since I was 8 in Madrid.”
How long did it take you to get your first paid gig in New York after moving here?
“I don’t know but I do remember one of them being opening in Staten Island for Lisa Lampanelli. The audience hated me from the moment I walked on stage. They were clearly there to see her, but I’m sure my ‘deer in headlights’ didn’t help.”
Can you describe an “only in New York” experience from living here?
“One night I went jogging through Manhattan and kicked something heavy. It managed to fly for a distance and then landed and ran for its dear life. That’s when I realized it was a rat. Luckily no one was coming from the other side, like a toddler or a baby in a stroller, because it was right about that height. It could’ve gotten really ugly.”
What tip would you give any comedian who moves here?
“Give yourself a little extra time on Sundays to get to your show cuz the trains really suck.”
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
“I would like to own an apartment since I don’t own a car or a baby.”
See Carmen Lynch doing two one-hour shows at the Fat Black Pussycat lounge June 27-28 to prepare for her August run of Lynched at the Edinburgh Fringe. You can listen to her new podcast called Randos on Laughly, and buy her latest comedy album on iTunes.
Here’s one of her tracks from that album, in Spanish!
Which NYC comedian would you like to see me style and profile next for Meet Me In New York? Send your nominations to: thecomicscomic AT gmail DOT com