Some say doing stand-up comedy is like therapy - only cheaper. Venting to a crowd of strangers can be cathartic if you have a passion for the spotlight ...and the chutzpah to bare your soul. 41-year-old Sarah Maizes has both. The LA mom of three is living a surreal life: busy mother by day...comic diva by night.
"I can't believe it," she told The Well Mom recently, as she rushed off to New York City to debut her irreverent take on modern motherhood at the Comedy Expo and the legendary club, Stand-Up NY.
It's the next step to stardom on a surprising path that began more than three years ago when the pretty brunette hit rock bottom. She was struggling with an identity crisis spurred in part by the demands of caring for infant twins, plus an older daughter who had just been diagnosed with autism.
" You are a different person after having a baby. There is nothing that happens in a man's life that changes so completely who you are. Every goal you had, the way you lived your life, it changes in an instant," she soberly explains over coffee in the corner of a sunny coffee shop where she sometimes pens her material.
In a split second, the ex-New Yorker went from accomplished literary agent, author and Mattel marketing exec to full-time mom. After a year at home with a toddler and infant twins, she felt herself fading away.
"There were no creative juices flowing. I was exhausted. I didn't know who I was anymore," she recalls.
Comedy changed all that. On a whim, she signed up for an improv course at a local comedy club, much to the happy surprise of her husband Steven.
"I was thrilled. I thought it might invigorate her," he says.
But no one knew she actually had some raw talent. Over the next two years, Maizes worked on her craft as a student at the Acme Comedy Theater and was later invited to join the company where she now performs once a week. When her 40th birthday rolled around, she decided stand-up would be her next challenge.
"She has that fire in her belly," says friend Jodi Miller, Maizes' newly hired comedy coach and fellow Acme cast member.
Now the passion seems to be paying off. Within weeks of posting a performance on You Tube, more than 100,000 people clicked to watch Maizes rant about the down and dirty of motherhood from martini play dates to her sex life. Watch Sarah's act below.