Maeve Press, a 14-year-old comedienne, is making a splash in the city.
She was slated to perform at Jamaica Plain’s Riot Theater on Aug. 24 and will be at ImprovBoston on Aug. 27. Maeve Press also recently performed at Boston’s Women in Comedy Festival, where she was the youngest comedienne ever to perform.
Press’s sense of humor revolves largely around personal experiences with anxieties and struggles, whether she is on stage or in the audience.
“That sounds awful, but it’s just plain true,” Press said in an email. “It must be an evolutionary human thing, finding our pain funny. Otherwise, I don’t think we would still be around.”
Press says she likes deadpan humor, especially when it catches the audience by surprise, and clever one-liners.
The jokes that you can expect to hear at one of Press’s shows are generally about her awkwardness, stupid moments, and the things that keep her up at night, she said.
“I know that I am an awkward person, I just am. It has not been socially successful all the time, like at school,” Press said. “But in stand-up, I can talk about how weird and awkward I am and my parents don’t have to get worried and put me on medication. So it’s like Maeve is funny, not Maeve is disturbed.”
Press’s favorite comedian is Tig Notaro.
“She inspires me because she’s intelligent, she takes risks, she’s original and she is real,” Press said. She added that she is also inspired by Mitch Hedberg and George Carlin, since they also take risks.
“I guess I like risk. I also like Monopoly, but that’s another story,” Press said.
Press is underage, so it can be a challenge to find places to perform at.
“There are some places that I’m not allowed to go in, usually because it’s just a bar and apparently my jokes are not worth losing a liquor license over,” Press said.
But at such a young age, Press has a lot of aspirations for the future of her career.
“I would like to be able to do big, long shows. Concerts. Shows where I can really go deep into material,” Press said. “Usually at this point I get 5 or 7 minutes. That’s ok, but sometimes good comedy needs time.”
Press’s goals include making a comedy album and doing a comedy special for TV, as well as go to a good college and write and direct films.
“I hope I can get good enough that I have a big voice and can make some kind of difference,” Press said. “We need to think and we really need to laugh.”
Her youth also adds a different quality to her comedy. According to her father, Darren Press, Maeve brings a “young female teen unique perspective,” to comedy.
Maeve Press says she doesn’t have a choice about this perspective.
“It’s hard for me to bring the perspective of an elderly man, even though I sometimes try to channel that,” she says. “Because I am younger than most other stand up comics that I meet at this time, I do have the chance to speak from my current experience as well as my lack of experience.”
Press says her ideal audience is “people that want to be there.”
“I have performed in front of people who are more interested in seeing someone who is telling dirty jokes and I just can’t please those people, so that is not ideal,” Press said. “Honestly, if the audiences is more than my guinea pig and my cat, I’m happy. No offense to my guinea pig and my cat.”
Darren Press says that Maeve has always been quirky, funny, and totally unpredictable.
“I can’t remember a time when Maeve was not responding to the world with humor,” Darren Press said. “When she was in fifth grade she started a new school. She came home from the first day and explained to us that she was put in the ‘special’ a.k.a. ‘slow’ group. While the situation was actually quite devastating to her, she explained the entire situation and her experience in such a way that we were all laughing. That was the moment that led to her signing up for a little comedy workshop. After the workshop she was hooked and started dragging me to late night open mics.”
For more information, visit maevepress.com.