By Beth d’Aoust
VANCOUVER – “Sweet Beth” Stelling is bringing her delightful comedic stylings to the Biltmore Cabaret as part of JFL NorthWest, and if history repeats, perhaps she’ll even drop in for a guest spot at one of the annual comedy festival’s lower profile rooms. When asked whether she prefers performing in cozy, underground, hole-in-the-wall venues or lofty, prestigious, sold-out theatres, Stelling admits “It’s just fun to get invited by local comics in whatever city I’m in to perform at their show. It usually means they like you. And that’s the only reason I do this: to be liked.”
Throughout Stelling’s wide range of subject matter runs a common thread of gentle razzing. From playfully roasting those who insist on introducing her as a “female comedian,” to lambasting her own regrettable tattoo choices, her dietary dilemmas, and her absolutely precious relationship with her adorable, Midwestern, music-teaching mother, Stelling delivers material that is both exceptionally well-constructed and genuinely pleasant to behold.
These abilities clearly have not gone unnoticed by her peers, as well-established fixtures in the LA comedy community have begun to vie for her sharp, refreshing voice in the writer’s room. Last year, Stelling begun flexing her screenwriting skills on seasons one and two of Judd Apatow’s Crashing, starring Pete Holmes, and season three of Riki Lindhome and Natasha Leggero’s Another Period.
“Writing for other people is most fun when you believe in, care about, and are inspired by the person,” Stelling insists. The ambition doesn’t stop there, however, as she divulges, “I’m currently developing my own show. It just keeps developing. I can’t stop it.”
In a mere 31 laps around the sun, Stelling has achieved remarkable acclaim for her uniquely charming brand of comedy, due perhaps in part to her ability to prioritize genuine joy for the work above the bright lights of super stardom. The joy in Stelling’s voice is palpable as she gushes about her craft: “I’m doing it! It’s amazing to me. I’m patient and want to really enjoy what I’m doing. More importantly, I want to do it very well. I’ve found that even if I’ve watched other comedians get things before me, I’m thankful I was forced to wait because it makes my work better. I’m grateful for where I am in my comedy career, while simultaneously reminding myself I’ve been working toward it for 10 years. I just want to create quality material that finds the right people.”
Beth Stelling performs at the Biltmore Cabaret on March 1.JFL Northwest, JFL Northwest Comedy Festival, Just For Laughs