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Joliet woman brings her comedy to kids at Bi-Park Theatre

By Megann Horstead, Reporter – news@thetimesweekly.com | 2/14/2018, 7:06 a.m.
Joliet’s Kimberly Garrett knows a thing or two about making your mark in the world of theatre. So, when she ...
Joliet’s Kimberly Garrett, an alum of Second City, has been using her talents to teach a youth improv courses at Bicentennial Park Theater. Submitted photo

Joliet’s Kimberly Garrett knows a thing or two about making your mark in the world of theatre. So, when she left the writing program at Second City, she ditched the type of jokes she was uncomfortable with telling and found new life in conjuring the smart laugh.

“When I was traveling around doing my stand-up, when people hear a female comedian, they immediately think you’re not going to be as funny, and then when they hear you’re a Christian comedian, they really don’t think you’re going to be as funny,” Garrett said. “The world we live in today, people are so used to profanity, people don’t even think twice when they hear it.”

When Garrett first started getting into the stand-up circuit, she would commonly perform first or second.

People would often approach her after the shows to tell her how funny she is.

Typically, stand-up shows put their top acts toward the end of the program.

Garrett said at first, she didn’t understand why she was asked to perform so frequently at the front half of the show, but she didn’t let it get to her.

“Once people figured out I was really, really funny, I started going last or second to last,” she said.

The arts have long been a passion for Garrett.

“I’ve always had a passion for writing ever since I could remember,” she said. “I’ve always used writing as a creative outlet. I always wrote poems and short stories for my own benefit. I remember that I would never show them to anyone. I would just have books and journals full of things that I wrote because I felt good writing.”

Garrett wanted to expand her writing skills and started looking into taking a creative writing course at Joliet Junior College. She did some research on the Internet and in her search, she found the Second City website.

“I was very familiar with Second City being a ‘Saturday Night Live’ fan, and I found out that there is way more to Second City than I realized,” Garrett said. “They actually have a writing program. I looked into it and read everything the website had to offer about the writing program.”

Over the course of her time with Second City, she grew into a performer.

Garrett said she did not enter the program in 2011 with the goal of being a stage talent.

I had no idea that I could perform,” Garrett said. “I always wanted to be behind the camera. I thought I could say something funny and let somebody else say it. Luckily, I discovered that I had the ability to perform, then I got into improv, and it just continued to grow and blossom from there.”

When the writing program ended in 2014, Garrett went on to work at a theatre in Chicago. When the commute became too much to bare, she started performing at a theatre closer to home.

“I ended up leaving there because the comedy was so far beyond my comfort zone that I left, and wondered, ‘What am I going to do because this is what I do?” “I am a theatre person.’”