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My guest today is standup comedian, writer, and performer, Beth Stelling. And I saw Beth on her Netflix special If you didn’t want me then”. And I thought I really wanted to talk to her. She has just the easiest. but yet biting and funny humor. And you can tell she’s built for it. I think one of the things she really represents is somebody who’s Hey, I’m questioning everything. I’m questioning relationships and life and how I’m doing things, but simultaneously is so supremely confident about her craft.

And she might get input from a couple of people, but. But it’s just an incredible reminder that, as human beings, we’re going to have so many areas in our lives that we’re always unsure of and wobbly, but there’s no reason that we can’t also be in charge of something that really is ours. And Beth is an incredible example of this.

Not to mention that she, when I saw her, was getting ready, training for, and had tried out for, and made the U. S. Masters field hockey team. And a few weeks after this conversation, she was going to be competing in the Pan Am games. So there’s a lot going on with Beth and she is strong and loving. I just really enjoyed talking to her.

And I do feel like oftentimes comedians are some of the best people to articulate just the day-in and day-out kind of challenges and things that we all go through. So I hope you enjoy my conversation with Beth Stelling.

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  • Doing Scary Things [00:03:23]
  • The Pan American Games [00:09:12]
  • The Mental Shift from Stand Up to Field Hockey [00:11:25]
  • Finding Our Essence [00:17:46]
  • Learning to Find the Humor [00:18:32]
  • Beth’s Road from Ohio to LA [00:20:55]
  • Lessons from Our Parents [00:27:59]
  • Compassion and Forgiveness with Our Parents [00:34:48]
  • The Predictability and the Chaos [00:39:01]
  • Finding Comfort and Ease with Yourself [00:42:14]
  • Emotional Relationships with Food [00:46:04]
  • Our Expectations vs the World’s [00:49:38]
  • Working on Healthy Relationships [00:57:48]
  • Finding Inner Peace [01:01:03]
  • What About Instincts [01:03:03]
  • Your Childhood Can’t Be an Excuse [01:04:38]
  • The Creative Process [01:11:20]
  • Dealing with the Old Stuff [01:19:09]
  • Focus on Beth’s Physical Practice [01:24:02]
  • Looking for New Possibilities [01:31:45]
  • A Champion for Strong Women [01:32:36]
  • Parallels with Team Sports and Stand Up [01:41:20]

Show Transcript:

Beth Stelling, welcome to the podcast in my house. We’ve kept you for hours and hours already and you have field hockey practice at nine.

[00:02:18] Beth Stelling: I’m fully prepared for it. Thanks to you.

[00:02:20] Gabby Reece: Oh, yeah, you’ll be, we’ll get you your ketones at the end, get you jacked up. But I, think it’s funny. I saw you. I don’t know you. I know you a little better, but I saw you on the Netflix special one. My two things I love are documentaries and comedy. It’s my two favorite things.

And after I watched you, I, thought, Oh, she’s really funny. And I was talking about it to a friend of mine at workout. And then Krista Miller, who is a comedic actress and she connected us. And I actually went and saw you perform and, and then I realized as I started doing homework.

That I was like, maybe also why you liked her is because she’s, there’s something jockey, like it’s some language that I relate to. I go, how pathetic would that be? If I’m like, look at her, she looks like she, so I want to actually start. I want to start there because I feel like you were a field hockey player before you were a comedian.

[00:03:19] Beth Stelling: True. I started in third grade. Third grade. In Ohio.

[00:03:23] Gabby Reece: Is it because you were attracted to it? Is it because that’s what they did?

[00:03:26] Beth Stelling: I think we played in gym and it was offered in our community program, in the free community sports program. And my sisters were into it. And so that for sure is what drew me to it. But yeah, that, we started on the floor, wood floor, gym floor, and then you moved to grass and then it wasn’t until I guess college, I played a little bit of club here and there, but I didn’t play in college. I played a couple of games, but I was a theater major, so I eventually gravitated towards that.

And then it was like 70 years ago out here in LA. That I started playing on turf like in an adult league out here and got serious about it. And then this year of February is when I decided I was like, it was another teammate that was like, you should try out for the Masters team, the U.S. Women’s Masters team.

And I was like, really? And she said, yeah. So I was like, you know what? This year for me was about friends, seeing friends, play out, like musician friends, and traveling and field hockey. And so I was like, I’ll do it. And I was doing like less, I did a little stand up here and there still too, but I just, I did my job here and there as well.

But, I tried out in Phoenix and then ended up making the team. And so I’ve just been, now I’m actually full on training for it, which is interesting. I’m losing all the, I’ve lost some of my favorite fat in my butt and my boobs. I was going to ask you, has your physique changed? Yes, as I’ve been preparing for this, I do, I’ve changed a little bit.

[00:04:56] Gabby Reece: Yeah. Not drastically. Why are you wincing?

[00:04:58] Beth Stelling: I, it’s tough to see your boobs and your butt go. I think I need to rebuild them with some muscle.

[00:05:05] Gabby Reece: But don’t you think your butt is just harder?

[00:05:07] Beth Stelling: Yeah, maybe. It feels like it’s getting smaller and I really like a big butt. And a smile.

[00:05:17] Gabby Reece: I was, my, I was way more flat chested when I was competing too, cause all your fat goes. People don’t realize it’s yeah, it’ll come back. Don’t worry. Yeah. So when you’re flying to Arizona to try out. Yeah. So from my point of view as someone who comes from sports and I’ve done other things. I can’t think of anything, short of things where you’re going to die, war, military, what have you, certain sports maybe, that is, seems more scary and truly more difficult than being a stand up comedian.

I understand you’re not working in the coal mine, but the point is, It is very difficult. It’s hard and scary.

[00:05:54] Beth Stelling: Yeah, even to the point where, I wouldn’t, I think I would normally say no, like it’s not scary because it’s like I do it. I would say I have to call back to that first time I did it.

It was very scary. So the answer is yes, it’s scary. I’ve just been doing it so long. But even early years of me, if I took a break or had to do something or go somewhere, coming back after however many days off, a week off, three, oh my gosh, three weeks off, it’s not to mention the pandemonium.

Like coming back after that, it was scary. And I had been doing it a long time. So yeah, time off when you’re not working It, it still has that, that, adrenaline, that fear feeling to come back to it. And then, of course, you get the first laugh and you’re rolling, but.

[00:06:45] Gabby Reece: It’s rhythm too, right? I was thinking, okay, what, does sports and stand up comedy have?

Stand up, you’re alone. you’re a writer, so on certain projects you work with other writers. But there’s something sort of a singular pursuit.

[00:07:03] Beth Stelling: That was the allure.

[00:07:05] Gabby Reece: Yeah. It’s so funny people like you. I have a kid like that. I’m such a team player person. I’m always like, let’s do it together. But going out there in, to Arizona to try out, are you using that same side of your personality to be like, Ooh, I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m an, I could fail. I’m going to go for it.

[00:07:25] Beth Stelling: That’s interesting because I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect. And I didn’t, I wasn’t really tapping into that, I would say, because I felt shy. And I felt like an adult that has to make new friends in that moment, and that’s hard.

And I didn’t know what to expect, and physical stuff is like when you’re being tested on it, it’s scary. I don’t, maybe you did. What kid looks forward to the president’s test growing up? You know what I mean? Yeah. Or just I’m going to be tested on my physical abilities right now?

That’s terrifying. So I don’t know if I really tapped into that. I did my best to rise to the occasion. But I think I’ve actually. ultimately did play a little scared. not of the ball, not of the game. That I always go for, to my own detriment. I played maybe a little more frantic, less. Too sped up. Yes, yes, exactly.

Stay calm, wait. I’m a defender, particularly as a defender. Last thing you want to do is go for it and they’re just around you. You need to hold and hold and force them into something or force them into the corner or into their own mistake. And I, felt a little go for it, show that you can do this type of thing.

So that was present. And it was even like, we’ve just practiced for the first time as a team at Duke last, this past weekend. And I still had that going. It was very like, how do I get calm? How do I take a second to be like, Hold them. Stay calm. Jab. Don’t lunge. don’t blow it. fully go for it.

Just hold. Yeah, so I have to get into that mindset and I’m going to be there because it’s in two weeks.

[00:09:12] Gabby Reece: Yeah, you guys are going to go to the Pan American Games in Argentina. Did you, care if you really made it or not? Did it mean anything to you?

[00:09:18] Beth Stelling: I did care, but it was, it would have felt, I can put myself there.

I thought if I don’t make it, I’ll understand it’s my first time trying out. And when I did make it, I was shocked. You know what I mean? So I was like, okay. So going into this practice, I did have a feeling of, I don’t belong. Or they’re going to see that I don’t belong and I haven’t been doing this like they have.

And I didn’t play in college. So in our moment, in our pre meeting, in the locker room, I, you say, just to get to know each other. Oh

[00:09:50] Gabby Reece: no, your resume, your field hockey resume.

[00:09:52] Beth Stelling: I was like, I played from third grade on. I moved from the gym to grass. And that’s where I stopped. I was very like, I am not you guys.

And also, of course, I was like, the last stick I played with in high school was a wooden stick. And when I showed up to play in LA with a wooden stick, people were like, it’s a witch. I was like, I now have a updated Kevlar composite stick. Does it make it easier? It is lighter and that makes it easier to get your jab.

Equipment’s amazing. I just ordered a new one for fun because the master’s people got a discount, the women’s master’s team got a discount and I was like, I’m just going to have a backup and just roll back up. Watch it not work for me. That’s the thing too. It’s like the game has changed so much.

So there’s stuff I had to catch up on and learn. Which I have been playing with my club out here, the Santa Monica field hockey club. So it’s I have been playing, I have been doing it, but I maintain this sort of mindset of I don’t know what I’m doing, which is interesting. I need to obviously move out of that because like our coach is an Olympian, Stephanie Fee.

And. We, she’s this game is going to be dependent on your confidence. It’s not just like you look over your teammate and you’re like, I could take it, I couldn’t, it’s I’m here and I’m ready, and it comes from all of us being confident to say I’m here for you, pass it to me if you need me, as opposed to am I where I’m supposed to be and I don’t think I should be here.

So this is a mental thing for me too, I think.

[00:11:25] Gabby Reece: On this show, I, I. I talk to, a lot of doctors and scientists and it’s, usually around some sort of wellness. But the thing that shows up for me in your story though is, I think as we move through life, we want to try new things and we’re scared.

I think we have passions that we want to pursue, but we don’t know how. And I think that’s as much, connected to wellness as, supplementation and getting to bed. I think this idea of living a life that even if you’re scared, that you’ll, just go for it. Yeah. And I, just, I think that I wonder. Or maybe you can share what do you think it is in you that you don’t worry. You just say, okay, I’m going to, I’m going to try whether it’s to be a standup comedian or go, play adult field hockey as, and by the way, I think there’s another onus on us when we have any level of success in something.

So you’ve done well in standup and now you’re going to go and try out for field hockey. It’s oh yeah, the funny girl’s coming out to the team, right?

[00:12:35] Beth Stelling: Or they expect you to be funny, which is not always the case.

[00:12:38] Gabby Reece: Plus you’re trying to work it out in your mind about your footwork and where you’re supposed to be.

[00:12:43] Beth Stelling: It’s who’s got time for jokes, right? there were young people for sure who were like, hazed me in a way. It bothered me at first and then I realized they were like 19 and I was like, oh, okay, nevermind. But There was this one guy who I’m now friends with, but he was it was mean to me, honestly, I, learned his name because I was like, I don’t like this person.

Yeah, no, your enemies. They’re bullying me. Yeah. And it was very like, zealous celebrity jokes or whatever. And you know me, I’m like, oh, you’re getting to know me. I’m like the last person that’s showing up to a field hockey game that I’m already scared to be at. It was just like a random pickup game. You show up and play.

[00:13:19] Gabby Reece: You didn’t bring like your iced frappe and your assistant.

[00:13:21] Beth Stelling: I was passing out posters. Anybody need anything signed? I’m here. yeah, I was like trying to like, I was already, that was enough, that was putting myself out there. Like we just said, as an adult to try something new, which is scary even though I had the experience in it.

And so it was like, I did get a little hazed by a teen, the most brutal people out there. They are. so that was, yeah, you’re right. Like it felt like I, if I’m not, is it not human nature to want to do things you’re good at? I think, so it’s I knew I could do it. So that made it a little easier, but then it is the, like you said, the onus of being like, I’m good at this thing.

And I should try to match that energy I bring to that activity into this sport. but initially I really didn’t do that. It wasn’t about trying to win or get on this team or I didn’t have goals. It was like, I don’t love working out. How can I sneakily work out by having the ball in front of me, like a little carrot, like that I can go for, so that was making me run.

And all I need is a little encouragement. I’m probably a comic to this day because after my first open mic, some arguably creepy booker was like, you got something kid. And I’m like, I do, like I could have been, I’m terrible. And it just made me come back and do it again. And all it took for field hockey was the guy running it named Simon, very friendly guy, thankfully.

He, I think he’s an Australian guy. He doesn’t do it anymore, but he was like, Hey, you’re great. You should come back next week. And I don’t think he was lying, even though I have sometimes those feelings in my head. but all that’s all it took to be like, okay, I didn’t come out here and embarrass myself.

[00:15:00] Gabby Reece: And it’s fun back. I think too. I certainly don’t. I’m really guilty of this. Laird is really good at this. Fun. Yes. Have fun. Have some fun. Why? I always attach like, how do I do it? What’s the outcome? But sometimes just going and hitting a ball of any type, it’s Oh yeah, this is fun. You’re playing.

[00:15:21] Beth Stelling: Yeah. And it is more fun when you have a little bit of an affinity for it or a little background knowledge. Cause I went to a dance class. We all sit and watch TV and stuff. And you’re like watching people judging them on so you think you can dance or whatever it is. And you’re like, I got into this dance class.

And I was like, I am an absolute imbecile. I was like, I couldn’t catch it. I couldn’t remember anything. And it was. It did break me down. It did shake my confidence. I was like, so, that is obviously why we want to do things that we have an affinity for. We’re like a natural talent that we lean towards because those feelings do not feel good.

Now, if I really wanted to, I’m sure I could have stuck with it, but, you went once and that was it. Yeah. Oh, I thought that I could do a dance class where I learned a routine and the answer is absolutely not.

[00:16:07] Gabby Reece: You practicing at home on one? In private?

[00:16:12] Beth Stelling: I’m never doing any of those moves again.

[00:16:13] Gabby Reece: I am intrigued by your landlord, but anyway.

[00:16:19] Beth Stelling: But, oh yeah, and also I will say this too, in that realm. I was looking for things to go back to, to get back into my body. Cause like the reason I started it, it must’ve been about, yeah, eight years ago in LA when I even Googled field hockey Los Angeles or in Facebook or something. It was because I felt a little lost and Wanted to get back into my body and know who I am instead of just being like a floating head.

I had been just, I’d gone through some, a little traumatic, some partner abuse, and I was coming out of that on the other side and still going to therapy, trying to figure things out and, went to a healing trauma program. And part of the result of that, it’s like, nothing is going to be nothing.

You’re never going to do anything. That’s I’m fixed, Yeah. But one of those things that they did encourage was like, Like meditation, of course, and, maybe seeking a meeting if you needed to do that, like Al Anon or something or codependence or something. and the other thing was like getting back into things from, that you used to love as a kid.

So that was also the impetus for me getting back into field hockey. And I also got a cello for myself cause I used to play cello. You did? You play cello? I do, but very intermediately. And I looked at the strings last night and two of them were very loose. That’s how long it’s been. I played a couple weeks ago, but I can really, I really knock out the Forrest Gump theme song, but that’s about it. So beautiful. You know that one?.

[00:17:46] Gabby Reece: Is the idea behind that to get back into sort of your essence that maybe we’re come to this world with a pretty amazing essence. And then we get dinged here and there by either parents or lovers or all.

[00:17:59] Beth Stelling: Yes. Nobody really gets through this unscathed. And I think that it was, yeah, I guess to I guess the S I maybe the sad or bittersweet sentence would be like to feel what it was like before I got hurt before things went bad or I got, yeah.

Yeah. Like I want to go back to that. Obviously you can’t, but you can do a defibrillator back to that time sort of thing.

[00:18:32] Gabby Reece: It’s an interesting thing when you go through something and you realize too though that how much of it, it’s like, how do we, so much of it we keep alive in our minds and then how do we work it out?

It’s such an interesting dance. It’s like honoring that. So do you think, were you just, do you think you were always funny? Were you trying to be funny for somebody? Like I was watching Gene Wilder, recently on some interview, an old interview, and I guess his mother had a heart attack when he was nine.

And when she came home, the doctor said, Don’t ever get in a fight with her again, or you could kill her. She could die at nine years old. Can you imagine? And part of that was like he, the way he said it too, was like a joke. But then he said it was the first time he ever thought about trying to make someone laugh on purpose.

Interesting. Yeah. I know you’re the youngest of three. Your mom was a single mom.

[00:19:32] Beth Stelling: Yes. A teacher. Yes. And I for sure was, my mom would say I was a little ham. I was definitely in the comic relief, for sure.

[00:19:40] Gabby Reece: Were you doing it because you thought, oh, this makes everybody else feel better, or just was who you are?

[00:19:45] Beth Stelling: I think if I have to like really tap into what I, Why I did what I did back then was, I loved the feeling of making them laugh. So I would say it’s definitely, as much as I want to be like, I, did it for them to make them not have to think about anything bad. It’s I loved what it felt like to make them laugh.

Yeah, when you’re the youngest, you pop out and you have an audience. Everybody’s already there. They’ve just been waiting. Yeah. So it was I just would do anything. I would do anything for a laugh. yeah,

[00:20:20] Gabby Reece: I’m just thinking about what I did. We call it the selfish act of giving. Laird talks about that all the time, yes, giving is really great. It’s great for the recipient, but it really feels so good.

[00:20:35] Beth Stelling: Yes, it does. I also, I also love giving gifts and acts of service too, but it’s like, it feels so good, obviously, to make. See someone laugh or make them happy or you remembered something small that they had said and now here it is for you I’ve remembered it, yeah, so it’s that is such a good feeling.

[00:20:55] Gabby Reece: What’s the path from Ohio now was this? Was this Miami of Ohio that you went to school? Okay, because I saw that and I was like, it’s got to be Miami of Ohio. I couldn’t see you down in South Florida. You would have gotten derailed. You wouldn’t be here. I don’t think I would have been here, no. What do you think you would have been doing if you had gone down to South Florida?

[00:21:17] Beth Stelling: Piercing teens on Daytona Beach. Yeah, something like that.

[00:21:19] Gabby Reece: Got a Cuban lover.

[00:21:23] Beth Stelling: Running a ride at Universal. yeah, it was, my dad, of course, so my, my, my group was raised in Ohio, Dayton, Ohio, and then my dad moved to Orlando. So there was a period of time where I didn’t see him probably from about three to six.

And then my sisters and I were court ordered visitation down there, which is wild if you think about it. I would have been. Like, I think we were like six, eight, nine or something like that. How’d that go? My mom taking us to the airport. This was back when she could still walk us to our gate.

[00:21:52] Gabby Reece: Yeah, Of course. That’s right. For those of you who don’t remember, there was no TSA. You didn’t have to have a ticket to travel and you could walk up to the gate and just get on and even meet people. Yes.

[00:22:04] Beth Stelling: It’s wild. You could think about now.

[00:22:06] Gabby Reece: Yeah. Before, 9-11..Shoes. Yeah.

[00:22:09] Beth Stelling: Yeah. I think it was the 2000 was, it was shoes and then 9-11? Yeah, that’s right. I think it was shoes. Yeah. And by that the shoe bomber.

[00:22:18] Gabby Reece: Okay. Yeah. so the, so you go down, so we would start going down.

[00:22:20] Beth Stelling: So they had to battle. Yes.

[00:22:22] Gabby Reece: Yeah. Because your dad had some aggressive behavior towards your mother. Yes.

[00:22:29] Beth Stelling: And. So he gets it worked out where we start visiting him and just a wild experience, right?

Like to be you and your sisters your mom has to take you to the airport drop you off My mom used to spray her perfume on like the stomach of my little bunny. Oh and sometimes I would just We would have to go for a month in the summer. That is a lifetime as a child. When you were a little kid?

[00:22:51] Gabby Reece: Oh my goodness.Did you have a mouthy? Was your middle sister? Who was the mouthy sister? Was any of them the one that would be the defender of the pod or who was there anyone or were you just all

[00:23:03] Beth Stelling: Megan was what would you call it? Surrogate mom for sure. Yeah. Our oldest sister.

Hannah. was, I always think about, it was a field hockey shirt that we had one year. It was like, speak softly, but carry a big stick, which I think was like a Franklin Roosevelt quote. Anyway, I think about that with Hannah. Like she is quiet and shy, maybe sometimes, but she’s very loyal, very, there’s an undercurrent there happening.

So if she had to, she would, she’d lift a car, Yeah, sure. And me. I would say, if anything, maybe it was like a passive aggressive humor type situation. Smartass, yeah.

[00:23:42] Gabby Reece: Smartass, yeah. Do you think your dad, when you guys would go after about two days, think, I court ordered this, but I really can’t handle it?

[00:23:50] Beth Stelling: No, I think he’s loony enough to have been like I’d keep you here forever. He was always trying to get us to stay. His, behavior was more if I take you on a shopping spree, except the budget would be like 15, I was like, that’s not a spree. I’m not complaining, but that’s not a spree.

And if I do this, or if I take you to the beach all the time and make it fun, fun, then maybe you’ll stay. So his, attitude was more like, how do I get you to stay here? And we’re like, You’re not going to get a sister here. Yeah.

[00:24:17] Gabby Reece: And this is who, nobody had a cell phone, right?

[00:24:19] Beth Stelling: No. isn’t that so interesting to have the parent be like the person who can connect you back to the other parent.

That’s always wild. There’s so much. it’s like when you’re watching a movie and you’re like, No, don’t do that. let them call her. he didn’t do anything. I don’t remember having memories of him like, keeping us from her.

[00:24:40] Gabby Reece: No, but it’s just that he’s the one. The gatekeeper.

[00:24:42] Beth Stelling: Yeah, it’s just so strange to have that have been the case.

And his, he, yes, there’s so much about my dad, but Sign Spinner is his job technically. He calls it Live Road to Commercials or Character Directionals. Yeah, I love the titles. I’m like, I often do this in stand up because I, we’ve spoken about this. I like being present and genuine. Yeah. So if it’s, if I’m repeating a bit, sometimes I’m like, you guys know this one.

It’s no, they don’t know who you are or what you’re talking about. So the point is my dad, Dresses up in costumes and stands on street corners in front of Orlando businesses and has been doing this for 30 years. Some people for sure know him. Like when I was touring the special from three years ago, I would always ask, does anybody know my dad?

Even in, where was I this year? Madison, Wisconsin, I think. No, Fort Collins, Colorado is doing the Fort. This is not that long ago. We’re getting pizza afterwards. Me and Mo Welch and who’s with me as a comic, she was directed this last special as well. And this is just a couple of months ago.

We’re eating the pizza after a show. Some sweet little guys give us their chair. We start talking to them. They’re like a young band touring. We get to talking. One of them’s I’m from Orlando. And I go, No. Do you know my dad? He’s like the leprechaun in front of the carry man. I was like, that’s my dad.

He’s I know that guy. cause he grew up in Orlando. He’d seen my dad on the corner as a leprechaun. So it’s interesting to still have that. He was like a weird little staple there. Yeah. And he got a little press one time, which he clings to, I don’t know how long ago it was, but he was on Far Out on Fox and they show a clip of him.

He’s not just sign spinning, which by the way, If you really think about it, that’s not a good way to get people in. They can’t even read the sign. So my dad does not spin. He gets on a ladder. Oh, he just holds it? Oh. He gets up on a ladder? Yes. He’s been arrested for that many times. It’s like against an ordinance in certain areas of Orlando.

Oh, you can’t have a ladder? Yeah. Do you have a permit for that ladder? Ladder and being above the street or something. There’s no reason to risk your life for Firehouse Subs, To him, it is.

Anywho. so people would sometimes know him and that was his sort of M. O. I forget where I was going with that.

[00:26:53] Gabby Reece: W were just talking about how he got his attention.

[00:26:57] Beth Stelling: Oh, I know. So on Far Out on Fox, that’s where I was going with that. The woman was like, The people say when Bird’s out there, there’s this many more people go in, like a, some sort of percentage or something. Yeah, sure. And then you cut back to the studio and you can tell the woman at the desk is and then she was like, I don’t know, he seems weird.

And I remember the kid being like, I don’t like her. You can’t say that about my dad. But it’s of course she’s absolutely right. everybody, no one’s allowed to say that, but me, of course, that’s the family privilege, but walking around with him is, and was always wild. Cause he’s, wearing like practice jerseys just as a shirt.

Like a penny. Really? Yeah. Oh wow. He wears his wallet around his neck. Where did, where is he, was he from Ohio? West Virginia, he was born in New Orleans, grew up in West Virginia and India, moved to India. Yes. The country of India? Yes. And rented Gentile, like Andhra Pradesh, because his dad, my grandpa. Was a doctor, but also a missionary, so they’re sent over there, which is very interesting, to find that fascinating.

[00:27:59] Gabby Reece: And you know more because now you’re an adult. I went through this, I, didn’t always live with my parents. I lived with a couple that grew up with my mom from two to seven. And, my father passed away during that time. But what was interesting is as I got older and I got less angry, And I became an adult.

And for example, even when I met Laird, my oldest daughter was four months old. It was, I have a stepdaughter. And it was all kind of messy. I, we show, I think we did, we showed up, like we were really uber responsible, to her, mom, but it was still messy. Yeah. And, I started looking at life just going it’s not perfect. It doesn’t happen sometimes the way that you plan it. and of course you have to show up, but I’m wondering is as you’ve gotten older, if you think back to maybe the way that your dad, what he had to navigate, cause my grandma was a very tough and mean lady and I think it really.

It was hard on my mom and that stunted her in a way that she, Yes. So I just wonder now, because you have this interesting way, it feels anyway, and Chris and I were talking about it, where you really have peace. It feels like it’s an observation. It’s a fact. It gives some reference to maybe your experience, but you don’t seem particularly angry or stunted. I’m sure there’s always things we’re all working out, but that what, when we can go, maybe my grandpa was a missionary. who knows what that, what the rules of engagement were on that.

[00:29:43] Beth Stelling: Yeah. No, I appreciate the observation. I’m like, it’s always interesting to have something reflected back to you.

So you can be like, Oh, I’m glad. I am glad that it’s coming off in that way because I also have done a lot of work. And in fact, I have my mom to thank for that. My oldest sister, Megan and Hannah, but we were a unit. We were also court ordered therapy as well by the state. So it’s like therapy was part of my early days to move past some of the stuff that we saw as kids.

And it feels like we all did the work. And I would say, it. Maybe my dad hasn’t as much and that’s frustrating. It feels like that to me and I have my oldest sister Megan to thank because sometimes I will say that or reflect that or he’ll do something I don’t like and it’s like it’s less like you keep your side of the road clean and don’t worry about that.

It’s less that and it’s more like Can we forgive him for not being able to, for his limitations? That’s her question to me. And so it’s yeah, I think I can. we are very different people. Sometimes I can get frustrated with him. He often loves to do this thing. He has lots of things. He’s very repetitive.Very repetitive.

[00:30:52] Gabby Reece: Is that age or lack of new building of life?

[00:30:54] Beth Stelling: Almost always been repetitive. It’s these little things he said. Like, out on the street, he repeats, repeats, and he’s very connected to that. He thinks he’s really connecting with other people and their cars as they drive by a lot of, keep following that party road is one of them. Listen to your parents if he sees a kid. I’m like, my old joke was like, you should have, but like he has a lot of, he should have been a parent. Yeah. There you go. It’s a better joke. but There was, so I guess all that to say, it’s I think too, because we are different, I do appreciate knowing what his perspective is.

There are still times where I have to put a boundaries or that’s enough for me. One of the things he loves to repeat is role reversal. He’ll say you’re the parent and I’m the kid now. Oh, for real? He’s been doing that for a long time, even when we were younger. That’s a no go.

[00:31:47] Gabby Reece: Yes, a lot of role reversal.

I would like you to know, because you don’t have children. I don’t know if you will ever decide to, if you choose to, whatever. So you’re not a parent at this moment. I can tell you as a parent, one thing I’ve learned is you always have to be the parent. And I’ve had times with my kids where I want them, I want to tell them like, It’s not even tell them, I’m sure I’ve said everything I’d like to say to them for the most part, but I can remember having tension, with one of them and being like, yeah, I don’t even want to talk to this person.

And then a little voice speaks and it’s ha guess what? You’re the parent. You don’t get to have temper tantrums. You have to show up in this certain way because you’re also modeling to them what it looks like that, I don’t have to agree with you, but I’m not going to bail on you. and. And, so I just want to say, I don’t care if you’re deep into your thirties, at no time, now, granted, as parents get older, maybe you step in and care for them in a different way. But I always think it’s like when a parent goes, you never call me. It’s then why don’t you call? Yeah. You know what I mean?

Like it sounds silly, but.

[00:32:59] Beth Stelling: Yes, very much. I think we have had to deal with a lot of missteps and hit in that way from things that he said to us growing up. And no parent is perfect. My mom is also not perfect. like I always thought of her as like an angel because of everything she went through and raising us on a teacher salary and all this.

Yeah. And being able to move on and keep going. but there’s a lot of things my dad said that were like, when I say repetitive, it’s like almost brainwashy, one of the things that was so interesting, he always said, was that get the education you need to get the job you need to get the car and the house you need, then worry about the husband.

that’s like something that was so repetitive. Interesting. He would also always say if you ever have kids, I’ll take it. If you ever have a baby, I’ll take it, don’t worry

[00:33:49] Gabby Reece: I would, it’s like, I would give you my baby.

[00:33:51] Beth Stelling: I’m not leaving it here.

[00:33:54] Gabby Reece: It’s I know the inside story. Let me carry it.

[00:33:56] Beth Stelling: The call’s coming from inside the house.

[00:34:02] Gabby Reece: I think to this day, my mother has never driven my kids anywhere.

I have a kid 28 years old. It’s like when they can drive you. Then y’all can go together somewhere in the car.

[00:34:14] Beth Stelling: I’m not gonna run this one back, but thank you. and then he would also often say you’re always like, and then he would say his wife, a lot of you’re always, you’re so like her.

There was just a lot of things said. he still will sometimes do this thing about unconditional love, which he’s really put on and that’s his story in his head about my mother. And I know that’s where it comes from because when I have tried to get more information or find out more or his perspective on some of the darker things of our past never goes well.

And he’s definitely used, but he also struggles with mental illness. Yeah,

[00:34:48] Gabby Reece: So this is important because sometimes, when you bang your head against the wall in a situation, even an ex partnership or something, it’s oh yeah. Because we always go, oh, that’s a good person, that’s a bad person.

No, this person is not well. And I think, because we think, there’s no way we could be born to somebody not well. Yeah. I even joke about that having kids. So kids have that. assholes have parents, like you just, we have all these like ideals and it’s Oh no, listen, that person maybe is not well.

And there’s something that can be liberating when you also can be like, I have compassion for that. I also understand in the ways that it has impacted me. That’s my responsibility. I gotta work that out. And then also. I forgive them. And like I have never slept over again with my mother when I moved out at 17.

I can visit for only however long if she would come stay with me. I would request the day that she would leave before she entered because I was like, this is what’s going to work for me as an adult. So I think too, realizing, cause we think, Oh, how could they do that? Or this? It’s no, man, they’re not well.

[00:35:59] Beth Stelling: Yeah, and the limitations of that person and like what you can expect from them.

[00:36:02] Gabby Reece: Yeah, you can have sex and be crazy. Yes. You know what I’m saying? And make babies, like it happens. There are no rules on that. And, sometimes don’t you ever think like when you think like your mom had three kids? With him.

It’s did you, not see it? Like not the first time, not the second time. Oh, the third time, it’s like even sometimes like you wonder how they got that deep

[00:36:27] Beth Stelling: hundred into the well And then we watched reality television and people were falling in love like in a week They both catch up and you’re like, oh, that’s how they didn’t have a conversation about, needs, future plans, whatever it is, or I’m not saying that is the case for my parents, but it’s like, it can happen.

they met in college. They met in college. They didn’t know better. No. And it’s so interesting. My mom will say something like, I was like, what did you like about him out of curiosity? And she was like, he talked a lot. It just makes me laugh. I think she thought he was funny too.

[00:37:09] Gabby Reece: Yeah, of course. And I also think when I think of, like, when I see you and I’m like, you are a performer, you make your living as a performer, you’re good at being a performer, you’re the continuation of like your dad in his own little way. that thing maybe came from him.

[00:37:28] Beth Stelling: He loves to say that. Yeah. He loves to be like, one of his. Or in the, in our business.

[00:37:38] Gabby Reece: In our business. No, but I’m saying like this idea of being able to do this. but the point is, it’s like, how great.

Yeah, definitely. my mom’s 6’2 she was 6’2 and a half. Fantastic. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for that. I needed it.

[00:37:55] Beth Stelling: I really needed it. I took that and I ran with it. And I jumped and I bumped and I spiked it.

[00:38:01] Gabby Reece: Yes. And it got me into school and I met some really helpful mentors, But I think it’s, For me, it feels and even when you tell the stories, and your Netflix series is, a special is very, it’s personal, but yet, so you get a sense of it, but you think, Oh, great.

It’s great fodder, painful, but great. Yeah. And, and yet when you say like your dad’s doing what he’s doing. One can’t help but think,

[00:38:30] Beth Stelling: Yeah. And he’s very much, talk about whatever you want. You lived it. He’s very use whatever you want. Yeah, He’s always been like that.

[00:38:39] Gabby Reece: Yes. And it him, tell him where to find me.

[00:38:41] Beth Stelling: And then I did, I put his website on there.

[00:38:42] Gabby Reece: That’s amazing. Was there an uptick?

[00:38:45] Beth Stelling: Yeah. Oh, my dad has been answering phone calls because that’s his cell phone on the website. I’m like. Buyer beware, like you’re going to, you’re going to be like, Oh, it’s Colbert Stanley. Good luck. Enjoy that three hour long conversation. That’s amazing. Try to get away from that.

[00:39:01] Gabby Reece: It’s great though, because he loves it. Laird always talks about, the predictability and chaos. And that’s what I have, I’m 53 years old. That’s what I’ve finally learned is I’m not going to be upset about the things that are upsetting about you.

I’m going to be so excited that you’re consistent. Yeah. Yeah. There it is, because the younger me was like, Oh, and now I’m like, Oh, there it comes.

[00:39:25] Beth Stelling: Yeah. It’s amazing. I FaceTimed with him a couple of weeks ago, or he FaceTimed me, I picked up, he has no shirt on and a wiener dog in his lap and a cop’s pulling him over.

And I’m like, dad, tell them that you pulled over to FaceTime your daughter or something. And he’s all I’m talking to the girl daddy, which by the way is three, two, three years ago, the old special. And he goes, my dad has made business cards. No, I didn’t make the business cards.

[00:39:51] Gabby Reece: Do you have the same last name as him?

[00:39:54] Beth Stelling: I do. Okay. Okay. Oh, so he’s going to, he says, I’m talking to the girl, daddy, the cop doesn’t know what this means. He’s aren’t you? I don’t call myself that it’s just the name of the special, which derives from a funny little thing. My nephew said, like this is my dad and my sister. My oldest sister is very like, like a family leader.

And she’s and that’s my girl, dad, which made me laugh. My dad and my girl, dad, that’s where it comes from. And that’s why it made me connected to comic female comic. That’s the joke. Anyway, I’m talking to the girl, dad, to this cop who’s what? He tries to give the cop my card. The cop’s I’m good.

I’m on FaceTime. what is happening? I took screenshots, my face in the corners like this. I’ll show you. And, the cop is pulling him over to say, What I hear is, it’s going to be a problem. He’s saying he’s going to want a restraining order if you don’t stop telling him to smile.

My dad won’t stop telling his neighbor to smile. that’s the issue. This is why my dad’s getting pulled over. Yes. He tells the neighbor to smile. He lives over, on the farther side of the gated commute. It’s not even gated.

[00:41:01] Gabby Reece: It’s you know how Florida is. Yeah, sure.

[00:41:04] Beth Stelling: Everything. You come into this little thing. He’s on the other side of the complex, but my dad drives around because some lunatic decided to give my dad the job in the community of naming yard of the month, which means my dad is driving around consistently 30 times a day, observing people’s lawns. That’s how serious he’s gonna take it. And in the middle of the night, you’re, going to get your sign at the turn of the month.

Whoever has the best lawn. So he’s driving around every day and this guy doesn’t like it. And he’s not happy. And I’m sure he’s not working on a hundred, Yeah,

[00:41:41] Gabby Reece: He’s five Schlitzes in.

[00:41:43] Beth Stelling: Yeah, exactly. I don’t think either of the parties are sane. And my dad’s doing his keep smiling, keep following that party road type thing to this guy. Keep smiling. Keep smiling.

[00:41:56] Gabby Reece: And he gets a cop to do a restraining order?

[00:41:58] Beth Stelling: He keeps calling the cops on my dad. And yes, this is the cop saying, he’s saying, if you don’t stop telling him to smile, he’s talking about a restraining order. It’s can you even do that? That’s, how is that possible?

Can you even get a restraining order? I guess if he says you can’t drive by my house anymore. I guess you’re foregoing lawn of the month.

[00:42:14] Gabby Reece: Yeah, I was going to give it to you, but now I’m not. They’ll probably end up being best friends. Remember when you tried to have me like,

The thing, the other thing that I, is, like I’m so drawn to is, the comfort level that you, I don’t know if you’re very good at, if it’s just that you’re a great actress, but it feels, it does feel real. And again, I, will, I probably tried to get some extra verification from Krista, but it’s this ease you have with kind of the difficulty of that.

And even that it seems like you bring that into. The way you will have the relationship with yourself. There’s an ease, like it doesn’t feel like you’re hiding. It doesn’t feel like, like even in your last special, when you turned around in your jeans and it was like, get a look at this. I was like, and, listen, being a large woman, and I’ve been around a lot of large women.

And, it goes both ways, right? Some are trying to be smaller and Oh, and it’s hard to meet a guy. And I’m trying to look at that. Yeah. And I’m a really big, I’m talking about really big women. okay, you’ve got some juice on you, but you’re not crazy giant. But I’m talking about women that are like this, or Olympic 200 pounds, six-foot-two jump, just massive.

[00:43:41] Gabby Reece: When you see them yeah, they’re just doing this. And then it’s also the feedback from the outside world, right? Oh, and or they’re robust. They’re like, suck it hot. And you’re going to be living in that body and that situation anyway.

And the idea of having, coming to the place where you have a relationship with that. I just, was that always natural for you? Was it humor? Like, how did you get to the place with, ha this is my family and this is how I grew up? Because there’s a lot of people who go through a lot of things. And also here I am.

Like even getting ready for this. I’ve put you in the sauna. I’ve put you in the cold pool. You went on the red bed and I was like, do you want any lipstick or anything? You’re like, I might put some mascara on, it’s like just the ease, of here it is. Is that. Where does that come from?

[00:44:32] Beth Stelling: I think it comes from, I started the women’s issues group at Oakwood High School when I was 15.

I’ve always been fascinated with acceptance. I think sometimes your frustration becomes fascination for sure. And you go, how can I help? What am I going to do to make other people not feel like this? Because my little, I’m thankful I’ve never dealt with an eating disorder. I find, sometimes I feel like I have to say that because so many people.

I’m not surprised that is prevalent in our society. Cause it’s wow, thank goodness I escaped that somehow. that doesn’t mean I didn’t have some sort of tenuous relationship with food. I for sure, early days of standup, I was chubbier. I think I, I’m trying to remember when I gained my weight.

And you know what, field hockey freshman year, had to go to my dad’s house before, fall field hockey season. Yeah. There for a month. What am I doing?

[00:45:27] Gabby Reece: Eating. And fast food, right?

[00:45:29] Beth Stelling: All the time. Yeah. Tons of food. And I came back and my coach, who I’m still in communication with, Alyssa Ficker. Was one of those like tough coaches that, that was something I responded to.

Somebody who’s like tough to get to and you want them to like you. Oh. Someone more stern. Her son comes up to me and he’s my mom said you got slow. No, I wasn’t supposed to do that. And I knew I gained weight. I also plucked the shit out of my eyebrows, a lot was happening. Yeah. Sun in, in my hair.

[00:46:00] Gabby Reece: Oh, I was a – I dedicate a lot of time to Sun In.

[00:46:04] Beth Stelling: So that was probably the first time I knew I had gained and then, probably like a breakup. I definitely had an emotional relationship with food, I would say. And then when I became a comic, and I moved to Chicago, it was my early twenties, I did gain a good amount of weight.

I was working at the bagel shop. I was eating that pretty much three times a day for food. I was riding my bike to in Chicago, but still I look at some of my old pictures of myself. Even I accidentally deleted a bunch of emails the other day and I was going through them. I could just press move all the inbox, but I was like going through them and to come up that are on this topic that I just sent to my friends last night.

One is a message I used to send out tape and send my standup to my family, which is Hilarious and wild. It’s so bad and difficult to watch. Those early days of me, 22. I sent it to my mom, this is 2007, and I’m reading this email last night, cause I’m going through everything I accidentally deleted, and it says I’ll have to read it to you when we get my phone, but it’s like, she’s locked up my phone.

I’m just kidding. she, she says something beautiful, cause she’s always been like supportive of me being a performer and an artist. Like this is her handwriting. Before my little performances on my board, she’d always write, you were born to perform. Anyway, she’s I love that you’re, doing standup.

You’re so funny. It’s really difficult for me to watch you be mean to yourself. I just see you as my beautiful girl. And. I think everyone sees that too. Maybe not you or something like this. Yeah. And I wrote back and I said, I just think it’s so funny and I like making people laugh. And if I can laugh at, they can laugh at it.

She said, I understand. I love you. Maybe I just didn’t sleep enough tonight or something like this. So this is our little exchange I found last night. Oh wow. But it was like, she didn’t hearing me be self deprecating. Yeah. And I get that, that this is also 2007 comedy. Like times have also changed.

Body positivity movement, awareness of other people. Other than what we were seeing on Friends, like on TV or magazine covers. Like we’re seeing a lot of more different type of people in the world than we were ever before. So I’ve changed on that too. But I did have that relationship with myself where I did feel fat and less than.

And if I were to lose weight, then I’ll do it. It was like, once I this, then I can, whether that be career or, this is amazing that we were talking about this because also audition for Mike and Molly was in there and that was played by Melissa McCarthy, who’s a fat woman. And so it’s and I wasn’t really, I was definitely on the chubbier fat side, but I wasn’t.

What one might call, fat. And I use that word as a descriptor. Yeah, of course. And, you’re probably too young. Yes, definitely all those things, but I was funny and on the, and, that major casting place in Chicago knew of me. And that was a, such a good feeling. And I’m not kidding you. Part of me took such joy.

I think I was working at the cafe at the time to not have gotten an audition. And felt Oh, I got to work out this week or I should tan. I should. In fact, I ate more, but I could never eat enough. She was like, wear a big sweater to the audition because that was a time and still was from years after that.

Like a casting agent might say something to you, like you either need to gain 30 or lose a hundred, whatever it was. So that was still that realm. So this, those things didn’t I was definitely affected by those things for sure. But I also had that battle within me that was like, yeah.

I know that this isn’t true. Like you can, be experiencing something and go, I know this isn’t right.

[00:49:38] Gabby Reece: I know I should love myself and I’m great. it’s not your experience, it’s the experience that the world is putting on you. Yeah. And there forever will be a conflict.

[00:49:46] Beth Stelling: And, no ma And it’s that cliche of, let me look back at a photo of when I was that age and say, you my sweetheart, you were perfect. Yeah. Or whatever it is. And, I do look back. Actually, another thing in that email was a video of Sketch and I’m 22 I bet. Or 3 23. I don’t look great. I don’t know how to dress for my body.

I’m definitely chubby. My face is that baby fat and my eyebrows are too thin and whatever. My hair is yeah, you’re working it out. Yeah. So it’s I have obviously compassion for that person. But when I look in my little diaries, which I still have, it would say stuff like workout and tan. And it’s like you’re in seventh grade, babe.

Yeah. or diet. What did that mean? I don’t even know. So all that to say. Even in this last special, I was touring 26 cities, I was writing on season Morty, I was in a relationship with someone who was really struggling with their own issues, and that was deeply affecting me and my confidence. And that special came up, that taping came up.

I’m not in the best shape, I’m not in the shape I’m in now in that. No. And all I said to you look great though. Thank you. And all I said to myself was, this is it, babe. Yeah. Be, go out there and be you. this is what we’re doing it in. And I still say that, I’ve had other comics say Oh, my special taping is coming up and I’m, What am I going to wear and I’m going to lose weight?

And I’m like, you are, this is it. don’t talk about changing. be what you’re in. all my talent and my opportunity got me that busy and it made me eat a little more during this time. And that’s okay. But I think it just comes with age too, where I’m just this is it. And I badly just want to look how I look for everybody else too, to be like, this is what a human can look like at this age.

So don’t you worry. like I’m just a normal person. So I want you to be able to see that reflected when you’re watching it. if you.

[00:51:37] Gabby Reece: And is there days still, because for me it’s not as much of the body as it it’s sometimes it, and I didn’t, obviously I got over the height thing very early cause I was like, listen, you’re not going to fight that.

And it’s who’s going to swim upstream. I’m good. I’m never going to be a size two. Move on. I was, 18. I figured that I was like, move on. And it was helpful to have other big girls to be like, yeah, you know what? And to be so talented with your body. so here’s the thing is to me, it’s always, and I tell my girls this, you saw it, you’ve met two of my daughters. These are beautiful young women, but I always say to them, there’s millions and millions of beautiful women. It’s develop a skill, develop yourself, develop a talent, because that’s where the power is. And, do you think that as you’ve become, because success is just a nice confirmation of, I had this feeling I could do this thing.

And the more opportunity I have, it’s just that confirmation, like I, I knew inside what I was feeling. It isn’t about Oh, I’m more successful and, the fact of being able to have more opportunity, work with people you want to work with, do cool things. That’s great. But I just wonder, cause we spend so much energy on the outside of if it’s really the maturity of the craft and the confidence in the craft and the opportunities and the successes that have really been like, yeah, okay.

I feel. I feel good because we think it’s when our hair is going to be perfectly smooth and our skin’s going to be, no lines and it’s all perfect. It’s no, it’s total bullshit.

[00:53:17] Beth Stelling: Definitely. And I will say too, this is just to be full transparency on this. Like this special was difficult for me to watch and it, I almost didn’t want to put it out.

That’s how I, the mindset I was in at that time of filming. And sometimes when you film something, it’s a time capsule. So again, I don’t blame my ex for anything. I was in that partnership too, but it was really detrimental. And I loved him and people are complicated. So it’s but that was rough and taking a toll on me, busy with work.

I didn’t feel like it was, I was as meticulous with the special as my last one. I did this in one take. Because I couldn’t fill an 1100 seat theater twice in my hometown. I didn’t do pickups, I did my entrance twice. But I didn’t do let me take that joke again. It’s just that, what is what that show was.

And that’s a cool thing. And to comics it’s whoa, I can’t believe you did that. But. That doesn’t really matter if people are, you know what I’m saying? You don’t watch a movie and know Oh, and he was really sick this day.

[00:54:21] Gabby Reece: Yeah. also when things earmark a hard time, I look at pictures when we’ve gone through very challenging things as a family.

And I look in that picture now and I think, fuck man, we were going through some heavy shit right here. And it’s always, but it’s good to later. This is still fresh. There’s a pang. And then you’re like, man, and we’ve also come out of that.

[00:54:43] Beth Stelling: Yes, and I’m still me. You saw me. Yeah. And other people have reflected back to me.

I have, it actually was a lesson in trusting the people who I have surrounded myself with and new people that are coming to me because I was still me because you received me and my friends are looking at me during that time and going, this is good. I hope you can see that. Yeah. And I have to go, I have to trust you.

Yeah. But for me, I felt like my hair was too short and I wasn’t in the best shape and I ran them, like I threw that outfit on, so many things were happening for me and it was the last minute I got to be comfortable. Yeah. and I will say too, it was like, I did feel good about myself and I was, the minute I got that first laugh, it’s here we go.

I’ll do my thing. I know how to do this. But speaking of, there’s still comments online about my body or that I look like a man or that I’m tall. There’ll always be that.

[00:55:38] Gabby Reece: Even if you had the hairdresser and the makeup artist and the couture outfit and it just, it, people are sitting at home and they’re not doing anything.

[00:55:49] Beth Stelling: So they’re, yeah, they’re gonna hear you say something and go so deep into their own psyche and insecurities. It comes out in a comment. Yeah. Is what I’ve noticed because I look at some of the men’s profiles that comment those things.

[00:56:00] Gabby Reece: Sometimes I do that too. I can confess that now. Like every once in a while someone will make a comment and I’m like, Oh, let me check this guy out.

Or I’ll just be like, Oh, is this a bot? Like joking and the question mark and people get really upset about that. or a lot of times my favorite is when I have a meditation lady who’s a yoga instructor who put some vitriol about. somebody, a guest that I have on that actually is doing good work, but maybe she has one thing they said about, sort of accountability.

Oh, every, the world of control freaks and this and that. And I’ll leave a voice text on their thing and I’ll say, Hey, listen, it seems like you’re into health and wellness, whatever that means now. and why would you put that mean hate on my thing? And this person, you obviously didn’t listen to the whole conversation cause they’re trying to do good work.

Oh, the embarrassment. Amen.

[00:56:47] Beth Stelling: Yeah, right? Oh, yeah. Because it’s almost like when you’re driving out here, sometimes it can be frustrating anywhere really. And you’re like, if you were like, and then a family pulls up and you’re like, I’m embarrassed. You saw me do that, even if it wasn’t like an active thing.

[00:57:05] Gabby Reece: It’s like someone saw you like, yeah, once you, cause that’s the whole thing about online, right? It’s about accountability and, eyeballs and we’re losing that more and more, but I just, has it, so you’ve done obviously the extra work to come to peace with it. And now where you, I would imagine in certain ways you’re in a new chapter, maybe other relationships, what have you.

I’m just curious because there’s other people that maybe they’re in relationships that they shouldn’t be in. Yeah. How does one, in a case like that, what is the thing that you just go, yeah, I gotta, this is it. Like where do you find that strength? What happens that you can say, I’m gonna, I’m gonna get out  of this.

[00:57:48] Beth Stelling: Unfortunately I have so many examples of it and not so many, like I’ve dated some really wonderful people and I’ve dated wonderful people that maybe weren’t healthy for me.

[00:57:58] Gabby Reece: yeah. Are you rescuing them? what is it? You’re funny. You’re strong.

[00:58:01] Beth Stelling: I would say I’m melanomic. Like I, I definitely, it’s probably some sort of. I’ve been trying to figure it out for a long time, My, my dad married an alcoholic, so I was around that very young. So I’m sure there’s some sort of link to that. I’m also, but ever since I was little, I’ve always been a little organizer. stacking up my stuffed animals, my room needs to be perfect.

If, my space can be perfect, then I’m in control and all’s at peace. It’s also still something I used to procrastinate. But in that time where we were away from our mom when she was It’s healing. We live with our grandparents. And when I was very, young, those formative years, and my grandpa, someone who was very, strict in Great Depression, World War II, and that was extremely formative.

Like I think I’m recreating those moments in my adulthood. if I, no one can get mad at me and I’m safe if my hands are clean and I’ve washed this twice and everything’s. in order, and then I’m safe. So I think even sometimes I’ll notice men from my past, after they leave, I clean.

And it’s that’s a hint Beth. it was the whole little joke about wash that man on my mirror, throw their shit out clean. No, wipe everything down. Like they touch this or they mess this up or whatever it is. And I actually don’t live in a museum. Like, my stuff is, it’s definitely a take off your shoes place, but it’s not If you came over, there’s a trust aspect, my best friend will come over, sleep on the couch, she has a toothbrush in the drawer. it’s not that I’m like, you can’t touch this. It’s trust. If I feel safe with you, it’s you can come in and please take off your shoes. Yeah. But, lay on my couch, use whatever you need in my cupboard, whatever it is.

it’s always a little hint that I’m probably with the wrong person if I’m cleaning a lot or I feel that up, uptick. But, I guess the not great answer is even when things are extremely abusive for someone, they sometimes, there’s, I forget what the stats are, but they go back many times or it takes them this many times to leave.

So that’s the hardest part. I think in my past, I’ve waited for something good enough to leave. Something bad, I should say. I’ve waited for something bad enough that it’s a good enough excuse to leave. Yeah. even they know I have to leave. Yeah. And that’s not good advice. You know what I mean? it’s not advice.

[01:00:20] Gabby Reece: It’s you’re sharing your experience.

[01:00:21] Beth Stelling: Yeah, it’s I’m looking like that’s happened. Yeah. I’m like, you said this thing and they’re like, you’re right. I’m like, I gotta go. Yeah. And I’m like, you’re right. And then I’m like, thank you. Yeah. Like, I, can’t be here anymore and you know it. Yeah. but I’ve, I am very much especially if I love someone another chance and believe them and here we go again.

And sometimes people are dealing with stuff greater than them that they can’t control and they might mean saying that they’re going to change and they just are capable of it at that time. Yeah. And I think. Al Anon was helpful to me. I still need to it’s another, it’s a thing you got to keep up with.

And I was, I will say this, Al Anon helped me leave my last relationship and stay out.

[01:01:03] Gabby Reece: What are, what would be the practice? what is the inner practice that sort of keeps you a mental checklist that it’s you’re checking and it’s yeah, no. Keep your distance. what are, some of the lessons that come out of that, that help you stay tuned up?

[01:01:21] Beth Stelling: Yeah. I would say if I catch myself changing my own plans or not scheduling something in case they do want to do something with me. And it doesn’t mean I need to book up my whole week and tell them I’m so busy. Like I think no games and straightforward has been really helpful and honesty. Obviously that’s what I have been living.

I would say seven months of this year, it was just. What I said to you earlier, it was like hockey and friends and travel and get back to me. No interest in dating whatsoever. Then I was, met this person at a 4th of July party and I really was pulled towards them in like a Disney wind way. That’s what am I going to, And I’m like, even then I had to go, is this the bad part of me? drawn towards this, not bad part of me, is this that unhealthy thing that’s drawing me towards this person? Or is this the universe been like, you’ve had enough! Yeah. Go towards this man, he’s kind, or other people who are kind too. I just mean go towards this person.

Yeah. So I’m still a little, I’m still. Trying to do my best to stay on top of it and not let my emotions overtake me. And we’ve spent time getting to know each other and checklist wise, it’s the scheduling thing. It’s making sure I still have things for myself and it’s making sure I’m not doing, for lack of better terms, manipulative things to control the situation.

So I’ll, the baseline would be, what do I have control over? My own life. And I can’t be living it for someone else or. Give everything over to them to show them. I love them like oh to prove

[01:03:03] Gabby Reece: you have to prove it Yeah, do you what about instincts?

[01:03:08] Beth Stelling: I think I really Messed with those on my last one to the point where I was struggling trusting myself And you know I think gaslighting is a term obviously everyone’s probably heard a lot of in the last few years As well as like trauma and trigger.

There’s a lot of Yeah. But I would say my instincts were barking and I just wasn’t listening. And if, I did, I would say something and that person would unfortunately lie to me and I would say, okay, I love them. They must be telling me the truth. But it’s I knew it’s like I, you, do know.

So that’s, I’m recalibrating on that, which is why the Disney wind where I’m like, am I ready? Am I ready to trust me? I hope I am. I hope I’ve done everything to this point where I’m choosing.

[01:03:54] Gabby Reece: I think the physical practice is good though. Like you’re out there, you’re running around, the ball’s coming, you have to move.

When you’re in a physical practice, from your instincts. Yeah. You’re assessing, but you’re also staying. And I think there’s something really primal and great. I believe we are given that, when you talk about going back to your essence. I think we all are given, especially females, even an extra bit of instinct.

So I’ll be interested, maybe we can talk in two more years. And I’d love to see Yeah, I hope we talk sooner than two years. No, I want to talk as a person. I just wouldn’t drag you through.

[01:04:34] Beth Stelling: Through this again, I’d love to come back into your check. And we’ll be good.

[01:04:38] Gabby Reece: Actually, seriously, you think about having a family, do you, yeah, I was joking with you in the sauna that both, no one is more surprised that Laird and I are still together than Laird and I, because, I think we were both in different ways, dedicated to something, for me, it was sports and I lived a pretty clean life and Laird is, has a true dedication to being in the ocean. But neither one of us, I don’t think if you’d asked us when we were like 18, but thinking like you think you could be in a long marriage, right? And, and so it’s, the idea of family never occurred to me until I met Laird.

And then I thought, and like I said, I, he, I had an instant daughter. Yeah. And I remember thinking when I met him, cause it was instantaneous and I wasn’t like that. are you, can’t just date this guy. You’re going to end up being like, you have to be a parent too. And she has a mother.

My, my daughter’s mother is like my other wife. but it was like, no, this isn’t a game. Like at 25, like he’s cute. This is no, you, this is a real thing. Yeah. And so I remember thinking it’s not ideal. I never thought about having kids and now that I have a family, I’m like, Oh, okay. But do you think just sometimes I think when you come from a wonky childhood, you think, Oh, maybe I don’t want to do that.

Or do you go, huh, that’d be maybe fun.

[01:06:04] Beth Stelling: I think it’s a little immature to say, I don’t want to do that in some ways. Yeah. you I’ve experienced either through friends or personally where it’ll be like, someone will say I can’t do that. Or I deal with this cause my dad left or whatever it is.

[01:06:18] Beth Stelling: And it’s you’re a grown person. So when are you going to stop using that as an excuse?

[01:06:21] Gabby Reece: It’s like after 27, I think they say it’s a no go.

[01:06:24] Beth Stelling: Yeah. And this, yeah, exactly. that’s not going to work as an answer. So I think, I have spoken, of course, and I make jokes about not having kids. I definitely lampoon marriage in a lot of ways and I’ve, as you should.

Yeah. and I do think it’s a little antiquated and. I also think I’ve said to myself where I’m like, I’m, never the person who’s I’m never getting married. It’s so stupid. Like I have been to weddings that have moved me to tears. Weddings aren’t marriages, puppies aren’t dogs. Or a partnership.

[01:06:59] Gabby Reece: Yes. Even a partnership.

[01:07:01] Beth Stelling: Sure. I definitely would like a partnership. Sometimes I feel like I’m, I don’t know, I’m going on a tangent because I got this one life map reading once, which I’m not even like into. And she was like, You’re gonna have many relationships over your life. And that just felt like PE at peace to me.

Yeah. I was like, nice. Yeah. So I resigned myself to that in a way. where I was like, no, that would be nice. Like people coming into my life. Yeah. but I’m like in your position actually just 10 years later in the sense that like, when it’s happening to me, ’cause the person I’m seeing does have kids.

So that is an interesting thing where I go, wait, is it. And maybe not out of my body, but I will have a family. Those things are coming into my mind as options. And of course I have grown to care about them through him and we’ve been open and talked about what that means because we’re trying to take it slow and, but also enjoy each other, which we have been like this.

He really delights me. Like I would describe it like that. There’s things we have in common that seem meaningless, but are so like, is, this what it. means when you have a person type thing, which I never really felt was a thing. that being said, I’ve looked at someone I’ve dated in the past who’s extremely unhealthy and said, I want to have your babies, like in my head.

So it’s you can have those feelings and be like, I want to have babies. I want to make a baby with this person. It’s not right. But yes, I, think I, I do want a family. It’s hard for me to answer if I want to have my own because I think I do, but I feel scared to say that because it requires so much of someone else.

I can do it on my own. If I find some sperm laying around on the table. Yeah.

[01:08:42] Gabby Reece: We’ve had some visitors today. There’s a couple dudes hanging about that would be great.

[01:08:45] Beth Stelling: Candidate, cute. Yeah, absolutely. so yeah, I mean I, if I was like dead set on having a kid, yeah, I’ll, I can do that I suppose. But I would like a partnership.

I want something real and there is something to be said about having it with your genes. So I definitely, the answer is I think if I had to be, and not think about it too much in the reality of it, I’d say, yes, I want to have a baby with him. like I want to have our own baby, but I don’t know the reality of that.

[01:09:18] Gabby Reece: But in a way, I think at this point in life. if you’re with somebody, it should feel like that’s even in the possibility, the realm of possibility. Yeah. It doesn’t mean it has to happen. It doesn’t mean that’s not going to change. I think at this point you’d be like, Hey, I’m a busy person. I tour, you’re gone three, four days.

You’re going to the Pan American games. you have things you could be doing. So for me, it feels like that would be great. I will say this just as somebody who is a step parent, there can be something. really beautiful about being an alternative person to love children because also you don’t annoy them the way that your, their parents do.

Like I annoy my younger two way more in a different way than my older one. and so there’s, and I was raised for five years that by a couple that I wasn’t related to in any way. My aunt who recently passed away was five feet tall and very overweight. And and my mother who is blonde, 6’2 if they both walked into the room, in so many ways I’m more connected to my Aunt Nourette.

So giving love to a young person, you can’t believe how rich it is. And by the way, I birthed my kids, I nursed them. Do I remember any of it? Yeah, But, Yeah. Yeah. It’s just about the relationships.

[01:10:36] Beth Stelling: And I think I do, I am drawn and excited by the possibility of that. I think in the positive ways of being like whatever we’re referring to it as, like an alanonic person, I feel overflowing with love that I want to give him and his kids.

I feel like all I want to do is not in a, loving with an open hand, but I just mean I feel like I want to just give them so much. So that is maybe could be considered negative if I’m not checking in with myself, if I’m not having some sense of self still, but I do feel that, like I would want to be there for them and be a safe person in their lives for sure.

And I’m still getting to know them. It’s very early. Yeah. So it’s

[01:11:20] Gabby Reece: But that’s a great possibility. Yes. You never know. Let’s talk about the creative process. there’s people who they write, it takes, it’s, they sit down, it’s a disciplined act. There’s other people where they have walking around with a notebook.

For you, is it, how does it work? How do you put together material?

[01:11:38] Beth Stelling: I think of something and I’ll either type it in my notes app or write it in one of my notebooks. I still am very analog like I, you write too, like I like writing, and I’ll try it on stage. So I’ll write the kernel and then I’ll say it into the microphone.

And then I sometimes, I listen back a lot when I’m working on a set like this, I have a new hour that I’ve been touring with since September and it’s I’m still working through a lot of things. You saw me working on a story, which I can’t wait for you to see. What it turns into. And so I will think of something and then I’ll try it.

Like even for example, dating this guy, I talked to him cause I’m in a different place than I ever have been. You have to get permission don’t you? Yeah. So I was like, Hey, how would you feel if I had jokes about you? I was like, you got jokes. What are they? Yeah, Is it about they’re like, one of the jokes is like how much I appreciate, like I’m so attracted to him because he is a good dad.

Very sexy. Yes. and I say there’s like a bit of a double standard in that sense. Did I tell this joke for you? No. Where it was like, I think there’s less people out there saying she’s such a hot mom. She’s like really good with her kids. she’s like super busy, really frazzled and she’s got a lot on her plate and the possibility of adding to that is really turning me on, I feel like less is that is happening more like a hot dad situation.

So I say. I wrote a joke that’s just he’s a great dad. He lets me put all my trash in his pockets and he puts me up on his shoulders. we’re laying down, he’s facing me, but you get it, so of course he loves that joke. I’m not over here being like, and then sometimes we leave his ex wife to deal with it all, like that would be like, maybe we cut that one. So I think it’s that is, would be my process. I didn’t always ask permission. I haven’t always, because I dated comics for a long time. So it was a understood thing that we would be writing jokes about each other or if you wrote it, you’d be like, here’s the joke.

What do you think? Eh, I’m like, I’m telling it anyway. there’s just a courtesy. Yeah, I’m just letting you know that I’m doing that. so that was more of the take because that was, I think, understood. Like he was doing the same thing to me. So yeah, I definitely had a relationship where we were East Coast, West Coast.

[01:13:53] Gabby Reece: You said something that I feel comfortable bringing up because it was, it feels agnostic, but you said that you have jokes that, you’ll, put in and they’ll get a laugh and sometimes you’ll put a joke in and it won’t get laughs and you’ll keep working and it won’t get laughs and you’re like, screw it. I’m doing it for me. And I was like, I love that.

[01:14:10] Beth Stelling: Yeah. And you know what? If it does make it in the special, like sometimes in the moment of a special, people are so happy to be there. It’ll roll over a little I can sneak it in or something. And then there will be one random person online that’s I love that line.

When you say this. They’re your people. Yeah. And it’s you’re the only one I promise, that’s for you and me alone. Yeah.

[01:14:37] Gabby Reece: But there’s something that’s such an important thing is as a craftsman. To be like, yeah, people, this is, I’m doing this for me. This one.

[01:14:45] Beth Stelling: Yes, because it might connect with one other person.

I’ve even, I’ve also had to fight to keep things in. I feel like HBO wanted to cut. I say, oh, I want to remember. Oh, I say something like, sometimes when I do an hour and move on, it’s like dead out of my brain. But it was something along the lines of oh, maybe it’s because we were brainwashed by hundreds of doctored images of women.

Since the time we could see and I go, it’s a little dark, but I keep it in. They wanted to cut as a little dark, but I keep it in. And it’s I don’t think you should cut that. again, it’s not like some massive fight, but I was like, keep that in.

[01:15:23] Gabby Reece: when you have a director, you said the same person who directed, one did the other.

What, is their job? Because you write it, you’re performing it. What is it? An objective eye? what is it? Is it only, is it technical? Is it lighting? How does that work?

[01:15:36] Beth Stelling: I think everybody has a sort of a different take on this. You’ll have people in the camp of Say a very famous comic is I directed myself. A director does nothing. It’s all about the DP, the director of photography who’s setting up the line. So some people will say director of a stand-up comedy show, you got a wide, you got a short, you got a, it’s a five camera shoot, who cares? So yes, that is one take. Then I chose and fought for, my HBO special, Payman Benz, who was just someone who really wanted to get into directing stand up.

I trusted him and I just needed him to look out for me in the sense where I was like, Can we make sure that it’s what I want, which was for that special in particular, I wanted to have everybody be close to me because whenever I was on a high stage, I found myself either sitting or coming down to the edge of the stage so I could just be among people because the subject matter to me required me not talking down on people, but like being among them.

So he helped advocate for me in that way. And then of course his knowledge of everything. But there’s other, there’s also systems he had to slide into, when there’s a multiple people on board, Team Coco, HBO Max, all these things. This last special I self produced, and Mo Welch is the director.

She’s one of my best friends. We started comedy together in Chicago. So she had expressed interest in wanting to direct. This would be her directorial debut. And that is a completely different relationship. So she’s coming to my show, she’s watching me, she’s giving me some feedback, which As a stand up comic, I don’t usually take you, I don’t need another comic unless I know them and deeply trust them to come up to me like, Oh, you should say this.

It’s actually, you should fuck yourself. like it’s, very much a lone wolf thing, like in ways of don’t tell me what to do because it’s my thing. And also, I don’t know where you got that and I don’t trust you. Would you read that off a Laffy Taffy? I don’t know where you got that.

It’s like an old guy coming up to you and be like, you’re going to have that one. It’s you can keep it, but with Mo it’s I do trust her. And She said to me at one point, we, you and I talked about this a little, which is she’s I love these moments when you do have action.

She’s cause you’re normally so subdued. So she said, let’s play into those moments a little bit more. Just be aware of them because you are that calm and centered person, but when you’re going big, she’s have fun with it. That was great advice. She. She’s also someone I would trust to give me a tag or two.

I, I missed one in the special, which still kills me, which is she gave me, I didn’t say it so you wouldn’t know it, but I say we were drinking when we went down to drink at UD as eighth graders at the University of Dayton. I say we were drinking, Milwaukee’s best. And then Mo said with Ohio’s worst.

Yeah. but I missed that tag, but that’s the benefit of that, like our relationship, her knowing me, she’s with me the whole time. And then as a best friend during that time of my life, she was really holding me down. as a friend and confidant and supporter. So her as a director of this last special was probably very different than any other director because she’s also learning on the fly too and she brought in a DP that she really likes and is friends with named Jordan Levy who does a lot of and has a lot of experience that he can share with Mo and then they can work together to make.

What ended up being, beautiful in that the theater is a theater I grew up going to Yeah.

[01:18:44] Gabby Reece: Field trips and the, the, bigger moments, the, it’s not that they’re jarring, but the first time you see it ’cause you’re so calm and you’re even your laughs like, ha it, you’re like, oh, it’s like, Oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah. It’s great.

[01:18:58] Beth Stelling: She’s a little freak. Yeah.

[01:19:02] Gabby Reece: I can’t imagine, this idea of you’re funny for a living at like the worst fricking times of your life. Yeah.

[01:19:09] Beth Stelling: Yes. Very strange to reckon with that. I remember having a bad time at my dad’s early days of standup.

Like I started in Chicago in around 07 and I had a bad visit with my dad. I was dealing with a lot of acne and I think I’d definitely gained some weight. And the minute I went down there, and I’m a grown person at this point, it must’ve been what, 22 or something, 23. The minute he sees me.

[01:19:30] Gabby Reece: Why are you still visiting your dad?

[01:19:32] Beth Stelling: Glutton for punishment. I didn’t know that no was a complete sentence at that time. Band that you get like from 1824 to be like, I’ve seen bye a few years .

See yet my wedding won’t have because of, Ew. I’m just kidding. that was a joke. Yeah. I think, oh, he said to me something like, about my acne right away I looked like a little boy going through puberty or something like that.

Yeah. And I just, it broke me. And I was like, really just sad. And I came back to Chicago, and I had a show. And I would call, I called, I don’t know, emailed? I forget, I probably, maybe it was a text, but it was like the

[01:20:12] Gabby Reece: Oh yeah, like 3 to 1.

[01:20:14] Beth Stelling: Maybe I had an iPhone, I don’t know. But I said, I can’t make it.

I’m just really low. And he is oh, you gotta be there. Which by the way, at the time I, was like probably bringing a lot of people and he needed me to bring people. And it was very probably selfish on his point. Imagine I need you to be here. Yeah. And he’s use it is what he said. I was like, no, I had a really bad time with my family.

I’m going going through it. I’m just low. I can’t, get up for this. Yeah. He’s you should come on stage and talk about it. Use it. And I just always remember that. ’cause I was like, you’re wrong.

[01:20:44] Gabby Reece: And that’s the trust thing too. It’s trusting. Yeah. that’s good.

[01:20:49] Beth Stelling: It was good. I did that.

Absolutely. it’s amazing. I did cause I said yes to many other things I shouldn’t have. But, so yeah, I would say there are times where as recently as a month or two ago, the S the situation was just wrong and I didn’t do well and. Probably 50 people in New Orleans saw me bomb, Like I just couldn’t get up for it. Yeah. Sometimes I’m a very sensitive person. I’m often sensitive, but in that particular situation, I was like. I can’t. And even I told you about Portland a couple weeks ago, I had four amazing shows in Portland at Helium, which is a great comedy club, the fifth show, late show Saturday.

The minute I walked out, I knew it was off. if they’re not laughing at that first little joke I pop, it’s Oh, we’re not on the same page. It doesn’t mean I give up. Yeah. Yeah. I’m just Oh, this is going to be bad. So here we go. I’m going to try. And after a while, it just was like, I, because I’m myself a version, I mean myself on stage and I talk about my real life and I’m not lying and I don’t have writers.

You know what I mean? this is me sharing myself with you and I’m not saying Oh, I’m such a martyr. It’s just unfortunately that’s the style and path I’ve chosen. So when I can’t get them after a while, I was like, guys, I gotta stop. Yeah. There’s only so many times I can like, it felt like giving a gift to a child and having them go, What’s next?

And I’m like, oh my god.

[01:22:16] Gabby Reece: Yeah, that was, I made that with my hands.

[01:22:18] Beth Stelling: I spent hours cooking that, years even. I went through a lot, I’ve got flour on my face. So I’m just I said to them like, I’m gonna cut it short and you could tell some, there’s pockets, like we just couldn’t gel. But there’s pockets, they’re like, no.

And it’s I’m not manipulating them like, who wants an encore? You know what I mean? I’m like, guys, I don’t have it. I can’t give you any more. This has been terrible. And so I still face them at the end. Sometimes I won’t go out after that. Like I, everybody’s always shocked that I will stand and sell my own merge afterwards.

It’s clearly a control thing. and. I did it. I made myself go out there because I was like, I know some of these people need to see me. So I did it. And it’s like, you said, a selfish giving thing because some of them came up to me and they’re like, we’re sorry that crowd was so weird. It was weird.

I’m like, yeah, it was weird. And this is why comedians sometimes are the way that they end up being.

[01:23:14] Gabby Reece: But the fact that you can handle it, we talk about, I never say it hermetic, stress, positive stress. It’s hard. It’s shitty. You’re not damaging your life by going through it, but the fact that you can meddle up and deal with it, I don’t know, there’s something really powerful in that helps us again and again that I, think it’s, Oh, it’s like one of those, Oh, it’s so hard to go through, but man, when you can do it and just take it and be like, that’s sucked. It’s so good.

[01:23:44] Beth Stelling: You’re right. And I think that is one of those. Yeah. Yeah. Cause I’m like, like you nailed it because it’s like the fact that I went out afterwards is that extra bow on it. Like I just did that. I’m going to face it now. I’m going to stand there. Yeah. It’s. Bye bye.

[01:24:02] Gabby Reece: Yeah. So I, want to end in the In your physical practice, you’re an athlete.

[01:24:10] Beth Stelling: A little more lately than normal.

[01:24:12] Gabby Reece: That sounds like you’re reluctant. You’re in the right house, baby. Look at that. Who’s that? Oh, you’re a little black and blue. Yeah, I know. There’s one little spot right there.

[01:24:22] Beth Stelling: It’s probably from my own stick or something.

Earlier today we were like, what did you fall on?

[01:24:28] Gabby Reece: And he’s my cell phone. Yeah, One day we’ll tell that story. Spiderman, no, is, you sent me your app and you had some training, you have some intervals to do. Have you changed your eating? Have you changed, you have a nighttime job.

How do you do it? How are you keeping it together?

[01:24:51] Beth Stelling: I know. I fell apart a little last week, I would say, and I was supposed to do a show last night that I did cancel for my own being and well being. For field hockey? Yes. And I just said I never flake and I don’t like flaking, I don’t like cancelling. I was like, but I gotta.

Yeah, you got the pen and games baby. Yeah. Yeah. I would say on the road, this was the first time I feel like I, in a long time, that I was actively working out while being on the road. That’s crazy to me. To use a hotel gym, are you kidding me? I was in there running three miles on a hotel treadmill. That was a wild experience.

[01:25:23] Gabby Reece: What time do you go to bed if you’re on the road? if, are you in a, do you go to, when you go, are you in the same city for those like Thursday through Sunday kind of gig?

[01:25:32] Beth Stelling: Because the realm I’m in is I do comedy clubs around the country, which is Thursday, one Thursday, two Friday, two Saturday.

[01:25:37] Gabby Reece: And then, so you’re in the same city, but you go to bed at two or three, and then you, do you mill?

[01:25:42] Beth Stelling: This is what got me a little sick as of last week when I, I finally got through it, but I got whatever cold was going around, I think, and I have, I think a lot has to do with lack of sleep.

You think I’m around them all the time. I was trying to get the training in before I traveled, but then sometimes if I’m going to the East Coast for a show, it’s like that day’s gone. I have a show that night. Sometimes you have press at 7 a. m. on Thursday. Friday morning. Oh, like the shows and stuff.

They have, why do they do this to comedians? They make us, it should be noon. Yeah, so show up. So then after that I am up so I can do the training there and then I have two shows that night. It’s like the day really goes when you’re on the road and those weekends are so fast. Sometimes when I see comics like, and I went water rafting when I was in Denver.

I’m like only a dude I think. You know what I mean? Because I’m over here I definitely have the anxiety of like I have a show in minutes. that’s how it feels.

[01:26:42] Gabby Reece: I feel that way too. I feel that way. Yeah. if you have a competition, you’re like, my whole day is geared towards this idea that you’re doing something at night.

[01:26:49] Beth Stelling: Very much that. It’s my life. So do you take a nap or anything before you show? I definitely can sometimes take a nap. I want to listen to the set from the night before, which is an hour of work. You do? Hour plus of work because I did an hour. Sometimes I can skip through stuff that’s working, or speed up my voice.

But I riff a lot and if I’m having fun, speaking of, and feel safe and happy and people are there having fun and giving me energy, it creates so much fun for me and I’ll write jokes on the spot. Oh. So I’ll, write a joke out of not having anything and needing it in the moment. and that’s how I write pretty much now.

So I need to listen back to what I riffed so that I can put it in the act. Get it dialed in. What about I underestimate actually living it though. Cause sometimes I’ll go I didn’t listen enough and the special’s not where it should be. And it’s you lived it over and over again.

[01:27:41] Gabby Reece: Yeah. And then food. And are you, have you, are you buttoning that to eat at the club

[01:27:45] Beth Stelling:. Oh good. No chicken fingers or anything? Yeah. I’m eating less at the club. I’ll try to find a healthier place around town and order that to the club. Sometimes I’m not eating. Like I should like, I’m not starving myself, but it’s just all of a sudden the day’s gone.

I’m at the club and I’m like, what am I eating? And I’ll try to get something that’s healthy there sometimes. but yeah, I would say the diet thing is on the back burner. Like I don’t cook for myself often, although this weekend of training at Duke, I went to Whole Foods when I got there, got groceries.

And every day before training, I made myself an egg. Or a scramble with spinach and feta and some sourdough toast.

[01:28:28] Gabby Reece: Because you had to look in the eyeballs of your teammates, right? You’re scared of those girls, aren’t you?

[01:28:32] Beth Stelling: I wanted my barf to look cool. Yeah, no, I was like Look at that, veggies ladies. I hate veggies, can you see? Check it out. And by the way, barf meaning I worked out so hard I barfed.

[01:28:44] Gabby Reece: Anyway, I hope they got that. People, you guys know that. Look, sometimes people are No, we’re not, this is not a comedian’s podcast. These people know what’s up.

[01:28:50] Beth Stelling: Okay, good. So, I will say you need to do a little better about that. I’m heavy on bread and sugars. And things like that. More than I probably should.

[01:28:59] Gabby Reece: Do you think though you’re gonna, I mean of course you will. of marshmallows last night.

[01:29:02] Beth Stelling: Marshmallows? I know, people have been looking for that. Who the hell eats marshmallows? I do. I love them. I love Peeps. Yeah. But those are even too much for me. I will say the processed sugars.

I’ve found that as I’m working out, and this is an annoying thing for people to hear. You want them less. Who aren’t working out and bother you. I want them less. Yeah. Like I’m, less of a nerd rope reach these days and more of an orange. Like your body like is craves like the feel it needs.

[01:29:27] Gabby Reece: Do you laugh? Do you laugh at yourself when you hear it?

[01:29:29] Beth Stelling: I have so much backed up candy in my house. They always try to get me on healthy stuff at comedy shows.

[01:29:35] Gabby Reece: Come around and you can give me tips. I already did.

[01:29:38] Beth Stelling: I already gave him his tips. You’re like, I’m your friend. Do you guys like me around here? I’m so great, huh?

Oh my goodness. So yes, the training I’m like, oh, and then I’ll get a really early flight out on Sundays to make it back here to train with my team here, Sunday 10 to 12. That’s hard. That’s what killed me. That’s hard. I want to say last Sunday. Yeah. It’s like I had the show Saturday night, which didn’t go great.

Flight was at six. I had to get picked up at four, 4. 30 or something. I didn’t sleep because I had to delete all those emails, which we talked about earlier. And then I landed and I was like, I slept for two hours on a plane. Yeah. I have to go back to bed. Yeah. So I did. And I missed field hockey. And then I woke up and my throat was a little scratchy.

This is last week on Monday. And then. I was like, it’s cause I’m not sleeping enough. And then I skipped training on Monday. So then I knew I was going to have to go to Duke that weekend. So by the time I got to Duke, there was a couple other girls that were getting over something too. Yeah. I think something was going around.

What you want. what I’m trying to do is I don’t want to know how I’m going to do in the game. If I’m a little sick, I don’t know how I’m going to do in the game because I’ve been training for six weeks. you know what I’m saying? So that’s the frustrating part. Cause I, I want to know, has the training been training?

[01:30:50] Gabby Reece: Yeah. You’re going to see, you’re going to, half of it’s mental half of the hours. Yes. You get in the rhythm. Yes. Use a couple of those pounds. So we’re moving and you’re lighter. But half of it is the brain is Oh, you’re allowed? Yeah. You can. You deserve it. You’ve been working. Let’s go. but I’m curious if you think you’ll use this time maybe to, this is like me giving you my wishful thinking for you.

Do you like it? Yes. springboard you into maybe a different lifestyle, even though you’re nighttime job. Yeah. Like less sugar. I feel like you said you weren’t really drinking on the road.

[01:31:23] Beth Stelling: I’ve never been a, I should say never. I think my college friends would be like. But I don’t drink a ton. Okay.

That’s good. Cause alcohol thankfully is just not an issue for me. I can have it or not have it. but it’s possible. Cause it already has, like we said, I’ve lost some weight, some, fat I do miss. Yeah. Yeah. you can get those girls.

[01:31:43] Gabby Reece: Yeah. Yeah. They’ll get jiggling again. Don’t worry.

[01:31:45] Beth Stelling: But I do find myself being like, what are the possibilities? If, so I’m pushing myself for the Pan Am games cause I want to represent the country and I want to. Not disappoint my team, most importantly. Yeah, you’re scared of those girls.

[01:31:57] Gabby Reece: Yeah. That would be too. They have sticks too. And your nail polish.

[01:32:01] Beth Stelling: Yeah. You’ve got the red. I’m America. My toes are red, and I think it’s oh, I worked really hard. So I don’t have an excuse. so much is stand up can very much be a very I didn’t work hard anyway and I still did well. And that’s a relief. It’s what if you worked hard? What would happen? Yeah. Could you be even better? So it’s now that I’ve committed myself to being prepared for this as best I can without any excuses, I am like, how much further can I go and can I make it again next year?

Cause you have to try out every year.

[01:32:36] Gabby Reece: I think you’ll, I’m excited to see. Thank you. I have only one more confession and then I’m going to turn it over to Justin. I was thinking about this today when we were going to get into our conversation. As a female athlete, I have, as a mother of three daughters, as a great champion to strong and powerful and smart women.

And that you have been yourself. yes. I think, I was thinking about female comedians. And as athletes where it’s like, we ha we do have a different gauge of what we hear from women and what we hear from men. And I realized even as a female ear that like, when a woman says something, sometimes really harsh or really vulgar, maybe with the exception of like almost Rosanne Barr, because there was something almost where she could be both energies at the same time. I was like, Oh, it’s so interesting that me as a female, even sometimes it’s like, Whoa. When it comes from a woman. Yeah. And it was almost like a bias.

I had to look at it myself where, I wondered, I was like, I wonder where that comes from. It’s also the same mechanism, why I’m more protective of a woman. And I, I want to take care and make sure she’s safe and hope, it’s a weird combination. So I feel like you’re in a field that’s so interesting.

And you. Are you do it in a way where you can say stuff, but somehow, I don’t know. It’s this knack of doing it as a woman from a woman’s point of view, but it feels universal. I don’t know if that makes sense where. I feel like you haven’t abandoned your, the feminine perspective, but it was something I needed to look at myself.

I was like, Oh, you judge them differently too.

[01:34:26] Beth Stelling: Sure.

[01:34:26] Gabby Reece: I hear all of that. Do you ever have that? Like where you hear a woman say, I’m a guy could say it and you’re just like, Oh, whatever. it’s if he’s Oh my dick, I know if she’s like, Oh my pussy. And I’m like, Whoa, So it’s an interesting thing sometimes just to even have that pointed out.

[01:34:42] Beth Stelling: Yeah. I appreciate the, again, I appreciate the reflection. It’s always interesting to hear how you’re perceived because I, like I can get a laugh, but I don’t know exactly how it’s being perceived. So it’s I am very conscious of those things, and how I am and my goals and what I’m trying to do, there are some ways that yes, I just want to make people laugh and there are also ways where I’m like, how can I bring us together? what’s the pill on the peanut butter? And I’ve noticed that Two things that I’m very proud of. One, I like being a comics comic. And two, when I leave a comedy club, the staff always says, we love your crowd because I say this a lot, but your words are a magnet and that’s who comes to you.

So what you say absolutely matters and is going to reflect you in some capacity to some extent. You can’t control everybody who shows up. But I do have a lot of men in my crowds. I do have a lot of women. I, it’s not, just one homogenous group. And I’ve had beautiful conversations with people after, which is sometimes why I force myself to go out.

I remember in Indianapolis a couple years ago, a guy brought his son and he’s about to head off to college and he’s I brought him here to see you for a reason. I really like how you talk about stuff, so thank you. Yeah. And he was in the realm of consent in that particular hour and, many other things.

But that meant a lot to me. I had a, I also have women coming up to me saying stuff like, I’m buying a hat, because I’m getting an abortion later. Yeah. it’s these things where I’m I’m glad I can be there whether I’m there or not in these ways. I think I agree with you.

I can be more judgmental. In my early days of standup, I said, I’m not going to talk about sex. Cause I don’t want to be another woman talking about sex. And then I completely threw that out from my hour three years ago cause I was like, no, I can talk about whatever I want as long as I make it funny. And of course that can be subjective to a lot of people, just like music.

You don’t like it all. You’re not going to like all of comedy. But to me, I’m making it as funny as I possibly can because I still sometimes will watch comedy and I am particularly sometimes harsh on women and I’ll say. It’s in the realm of what I call, that’s not helping.

[01:36:41] Gabby Reece: I know, but it’s so tricky as a female and one that I’m like all for it. I, when I see it in myself, I’m like, Whoa, why are you, why does that land on you?

[01:36:51] Beth Stelling: Harsh? part of me thinks for many years we watched men on stage and men dominate the arena of standup and the realm of it. And women sat, we’ve watched countless women sit in a crowd and go laugh while they’re called.

The. Yeah, battle axe or a bad wife or all the crazy stuff she does or my wife, the old golden chain and we’re like And the minute there are different people That aren’t reflecting, a lot of these dudes that comment on my Facebook stuff. They’re not seeing the mirror that they’re used to seeing. I don’t like that.

It’s oh, interesting for you to, is this your first experience going through the world and not seeing yourself reflected back to you? Because Wow, what a life you’ve had. we’re used to being like, oh, that’s not for me, and oh, that’s poisonous. Or I’m not, I’m gonna pick through the poison, ’cause that’s not for me. I know not everything’s for me. So it’s but we live in a patriarchal, capitalistic, racist country. built on those things. Not like we’re a bad place. I am so grateful to live here. I’m just saying those are ingrained in what we’ve come up with. So you are going to have that in your head too.

[01:37:59] Beth Stelling: And I think sometimes when men are hearing it from a woman. She’s not allowed to talk about that. That’s not her place. We have control over that realm. We’ll tell you what to do and what we like or don’t like. So the minute there’s feedback or notes, I think there’s plenty of men in a crowd that can say, Oh, that’s interesting, or I’m safe in what I do.

I know I’m happy in my relationship, but. Man, I can’t believe people are doing that.

[01:38:22] Gabby Reece: Or laugh at it. You somehow maybe are the next iteration, because you’re, maybe you’re young enough where you don’t also have to be angry, you’re just saying it. And for me, this is what’s important. That’s possible. So for example, if I’m coaching or working with men, I’m not trying to bend their will or bend them my way.

I’m just giving them information. Yeah. And that comes from, you’re not then fighting for them. The power. You’re right. You’re simply going up and going, here’s my experience and I’m sharing it because there’s enough room and space now to go ahead and say it. You don’t have to hammer it down. You don’t have to yell it.

You don’t have to. So it’s an interesting tone shift. I think that maybe your group gets to do.

[01:39:10] Beth Stelling: That’s very possible. And because of the people who have come before me and either done it right or done it wrong or just forge the path and had those words be said out of their mouths into a microphone. Yeah. I’m able to do it in a different way. Yeah.

[01:39:23] Gabby Reece: So I thought that I was like, Oh, that’s really interesting. Cause it’s still saying the things, but it’s inviting everyone into it instead of taking a lot of big group that’s going to go, Whoa, and pushing them out.

[01:39:34] Beth Stelling: Yeah. I think it is important to me too. Like I, I remember also first time reading like, the will to change by bell hooks and which was very meaningful to me and what I learned from it. It’s I do love men. I want to bring us together. I need men. It’s not about you’re wrong and you’re so stupid and you don’t get it. It’s like I do want to bring you and I want to share with you and I want to know more from you.

But that doesn’t mean I, every woman is like me. Women are out there. No, it’s one perspective. People with patriarchy as well. Sure. So when men are hurt by women too.

[01:40:08] Gabby Reece: that’s it. I mean we never ever, no one ever talks about the manipulation, all these other things, right? what are they? What did somebody say?

A prerequisite a lot of men say to be with someone is like, Oh, I’d like her to be nice to me. Where women are like, he needs to be this tall and make this much money and dah, So

[01:40:25] Beth Stelling: I, get it. And those kinds of things make me cringe. I have trouble accepting a drink from someone at a bar because I’m afraid I’d have to owe them something.

[01:40:34] Gabby Reece: So it is happening. Of course. I always say that half the best people I know are men, but I, just mean within these other conversations that women want to further, you do an artful job of dropping it off and going, let’s take a look at that instead of, it’s just done in a, different way.

So I really appreciate that. Justin, do you get your? Do you have a… Get the one.

Have you found any parallels between what’s probably two of the most opposite things, team sport, field hockey, and then just you up there on your own? And does it feel the same?

[01:41:20] Beth Stelling: I would say I recognize some things that are interesting things I discovered about myself this past weekend, which was that little that desire in me as a people pleaser to be liked and not willing to show up and be like, I’m the clown, like I don’t show up like that. I’m not like, ha I’m always on. Yeah. So I didn’t feel the need to be the comedian. this weekend. I did still feel that deep thing within me that’s I do want to be liked. I want people to like me. More importantly, I think I want people to respect me and I want to feel like I belong, that I’m not letting people down.

And I need a little bit of feedback, which I got from a couple people. They’re welcoming, supportive, Even one specifically probably noticed this about me or something and was like, I just want to make you feel welcome and you belong here, like which was so appreciated. It was another teammate of mine.

And, so as I’m joining this team where I’m used to being a lone wolf, only responsible for myself, something I have noticed even just. Pick up games in the last couple years. I am a defender. I’m safe in that it feels right like you can’t get past me like of course sometimes you will do but You know my teammates.

It’s your family refer to me as the brick wall, right? And so I’m like that is what I take pride in I that’s so comfortable to me and then I go Then I just flick it away and it could be a turnover. It’s like, how do I carry this forward and deliver it to the next line of my team? So I think there’s ways that I, can, I’m still like reactive, like we talked about, like I need to wait, for their mistake, to not jump, to not, go out and then not be able to recover.

[01:42:47] Gabby Reece: But it’s pretty new, like you, you’re not, hello, give yourself a little break. You’re right. It’s a little new. You’re like me saying I didn’t go out and kill. And you’re like, dude, you’ve been on the stage for 12 times. Yeah. You know what I mean?

[01:43:00] Beth Stelling: Yeah. So I think I’m like, I want to be a little less defensively minded, even just as a human being like defensive.

Because that’s how I built up my career. No one knew me. And when I had to show up to the comedy club, it was like. It’s literally put on your armor because you’re about to go to war and you have to prove that you’re funny and make these people laugh. And now it’s Oh, you’re not, you don’t have to fight.

Like just show up.

[01:43:22] Gabby Reece: And more comes out of not proving more comes out of. Just doing your thing. Yes.

[01:43:31] Beth Stelling: Very much. Very much.

[01:43:32] Gabby Reece: Yeah. I would, I just want to mention, of course, people can see your special on Netflix.

[01:43:41] Beth Stelling: Yes. And my name is Beth. And it’s called If You Didn’t Want Me Then.

[01:43:46] Gabby Reece: Which is, the story around that’s very cute. And also I want to just toot your other horn that you write. You perform and you do stand up so you obviously have a lot going on. I got some stuff cooking.

[01:43:59] Beth Stelling: I’ve got a couple things on the burner. Thank you

[01:44:02] Gabby Reece: I’m, really, excited to continue to see and then we’ll sit here. You can come here anytime you want, but we’ll catch up in a little bit in what, 18 months.

[01:44:11] Gabby Reece: What do you think, Justin? Okay, 18 months. We’ll catch up.

[01:44:15] Beth Stelling: I got it penciled in. It’s like your dentist appointment.

[01:44:17] Gabby Reece: Beth Stelling everyone.

About Beth Stelling

Beth started stand-up in Chicago where she became a member of Chicago Underground Comedy and hosted a Sunday night variety show with her best friends (The Puterbaugh Sisters) called Entertaining Julia (Julia was the bartender) at Town Hall Pub. After just three years Beth was named “Best Stand-up Comedian in Chicago” by The Chicago Reader in 2010. Before leaving Chicago Beth took improv classes at The Annoyance Theater. There she met Meg Johns who invited her along with three other women (Maari Suorsa, Mary Hollis Inboden and Thea Lux) to devise their own characters in the summer hit Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche. These five performers’ long-form improvisation went on to be scripted and is now performed around the world!

Beth was selected from a Chicago showcase to be a New Face of Comedy in Montreal’s renowned Just for Laughs Festival and then moved to Los Angeles. Within her first year in L.A., Beth made her late night TV debut on CONAN and appearances on Comedy Central’s @midnight, Chelsea Lately and The Pete Holmes Show.

Beth was asked to do stand-up on Jimmy Kimmel Live after Jimmy saw her perform at Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles. That year Beth filmed SXSW Comedy with W. Kamau Bell in Austin, Texas as well as her her first half hour comedy special “Boner Appétit to You” produced by Comedy Central in Boston, and Vulture named it one of the “Best Stand-up Specials of 2015.” She then released her comedy album “Simply the Beth” which The Interrobang and Splitsider named one of the Top Ten Comedy Albums of 2015. Beth’s second half hour stand-up special was filmed in L.A. and produced by Netflix for The Standups series (Beth can be found on season 1, episode 5). Her performance left Paste Magazine, “wanting to now see a full hour from Stelling.” HBO Max answered their call with Beth’s first hour stand-up special “Girl Daddy” produced by Conan O’Brien and Team Coco. The New York Times named it “The Best Debut Special of the year,” adding, “It’s a virtuosic performance, conversational while dense with jokes.” Her new hour special “If You Didn’t Want Me Then” was filmed in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio at the beautiful Victoria Theatre and releases October 3, 2023.

Outside of stand-up, Beth writes for television and film. Her credits include I Love You America with Sarah Silverman, The Last O.G. on TBS, Judd Apatow’s HBO series Crashing, Another Period on Comedy Central, Apple’s new animated series Strange Planet and season 8 of Rick and Morty for Adult Swim. Beth is a go-to hire for punch-up on features, after getting her start as an on-set writer and Associate Producer for the hit summer film Good Boys written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

On the acting front, Beth had a recurring role on Peacock’s comedy Rutherford Falls opposite Ed Helms and Jana Schmieding. She can also be seen in season 2 of Amazon’s series Red Oaks opposite Jennifer Grey, as well as guest starring on Comedy Central’s series Corporate. Beth had an online talk show called Drinks of My Life with JASH and Thrillist that can be found on YouTube. She’s also enjoyed voicing animated characters on American Dad, Pickle and Peanut and Strange Planet. You’re welcome to listen to Beth’s podcast (hosted with her mom Diane) entitled We Called Your Mom which has two seasons on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.