30 Seconds with Comic Missy Grynkiewicz
The Middletown stand-up star discusses her on-stage—and off-stage—routines.
Photo by Luigi Ciuffetelli
Comedy is like therapy—even for the one on stage telling the jokes. Missy Grynkiewicz, 48, of Middletown, a relative newcomer to the comedy scene, says stand-up always gets her out of a funk. She draws material from real-life experiences, including relationships, aging, parenting, diet and exercise. Here she discusses her rise to comedic success and Airhead Bites, a favorite preshow snack.
DT: How long have you been a stand-up comic?
MG: I have really only been performing for about three years. Before, I was teaching full time as a middle school English teacher, driving to New York, Baltimore, D.C., then getting up and teaching the next morning. I also run Realize Studios, a movie and television studio.
DT: How did you get your start?
MG: I have always been an actor and landed a lot of comedic roles. Even as a classroom teacher people commented on my humor and told me I should try stand-up, so I did. The first time I did it, the people at Realize Records saw me perform and said I should come to a show and warm up the crowd. After the show people said I was so funny. Within that year I recorded and released my first album, “Miss Representation” (2012).
DT: What is your stand-up routine like?
MG: I talk about relatable stuff, including relationships, aging, parenting, diet and exercise—all the daily stuff everyone deals with. My show is not political, and I have done some dirty shows. People tend to say my overall sense of humor and delivery reminds them of Amy Poehler.
DT: You were the 2013 winner of the LOL competition at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington. What was that like?
MG: I had been doing a one-woman show, so I entered and was one of the finalists. The way the competition works is you have no idea who is judging because they were interspersed throughout the audience. They announced the first runner-up and the runner-up, so by that time I assumed I hadn’t won and was packing up my things. When they called my name as the winner, I was in complete shock. It was my Miss America moment.
DT: Your bio says you are also an actress and singer.
MG: Yes, my most recent acting job was in a feature film called “Days of Power,” starring Eric Roberts. It’s a thriller that was filmed in Middletown last year that should be released this June. I have also performed in a lot of musical theater and webisodes.
DT: What do you love about stand-up?
MG: It sounds cheesy but I love the connection with the audience. It’s like meeting a bunch of people at one time. I think it’s like the runner’s high that people talk about that I will never have.
DT: Where are your favorite places to perform?
MG: It’s always a thrill to perform in venues like Helium Comedy Club in Philadelphia and Comic Strip Live in New York because even people who aren’t comics have heard of them. My favorite local gigs are Elks clubs where people are totally ready to laugh. I also like Comedy Cabaret in Doylestown, Pa., and Lewinsky’s on Clinton in Delaware City.
DT: How do you prepare for a show?
MG: Here’s where I am horrible. I don’t plan anything. I know there is material that usually hits. I know how I am going to end but not how I am going to start. I don’t really like to eat or drink before a show, but if I have a long drive, I like to have candy in the car, like Airhead Bites. If I am craving chocolate, it’s Raisinets.