Being onstage before a crowd of strangers hasn’t been an issue for comic Emily Heller, an Alameda native headlining three nights at the Punch Line during Women in Comedy month.
“I’ve never had stage fright at any point in my life,” says Heller, who appears March 17-19 with Janine Brito and Mary Van Note opening the shows.
“My parents have this story of me when I was 3 years old and I was in some kind of musical performance. I was just screaming at all these other kids in the choir to be quiet, because I wanted to be the only one onstage singing.”
That fearlessness has enabled Heller to carve out an exceedingly promising career in comedy. In November 2015, she released her first album, “Good For Her.” She also acts and writes for TV, with credits including “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “Conan” and “Chelsea Lately.”
Heller says she’s enjoying writing material for others as part of her television duties, but with positive critical and public reaction to her recording, she’s intent on crafting more for her standup routines. A regular in the local circuit, she’s been working hard to add new wrinkles into her act.
“I’m going to try and do as much new stuff as I can,” said Heller, who is now based in Los Angeles. “I perform in the Bay Area a lot and I know that a lot of people are going to come out who have seen me before. I want to make sure that I offer them something they haven’t heard yet.”
Heller is constantly examining her personal life for potential jokes. A hilarious bit on “Good For Her” called “My Medical Issues” has her buying medical marijuana (the seller is her only doctor!) and smoking it only when she has her period (a “reasonable five days a month”). Even funnier are the euphemisms she comes up for it.
While Heller’s humor is self-deprecating and blunt, she assures fans she’s quite all right; after all, she’s living her lifelong dream of performing (alone) onstage.
“I think sometimes people hear comedians that are self-deprecating and think that they must have such low self-esteem,” says Heller. “But I’m actually in control of this narrative, and I’m confident enough that I’m standing on this stage, in front of people I’ve never met, talking about myself and getting paid for it. That’s a pretty nice life.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Punch Line, 444 Battery St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. March 17, 8 and 10 p.m. March 18, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. March 19
Tickets: $16.50 to $22.40
Contact: (415)-397-7573, www.punchlinecomedyclub.com