MAMARONECK, N.Y. — A 23-year-old Mamaroneck comic has already made it to Dangerfield's stage.
Kaitlyn Murphy, who performed at the renowned comedy club Wednesday evening, decided midway through her senior year in college to make a bold career choice.
With her family’s encouragement, the 23-year-old focused on stand-up comedy as her career path.
Murphy celebrated her one-year anniversary as a comedian in early August, having worked at clubs in New York City and Westchester.
She earned a degree in education last year from Marist College, but also knew this was the best time to launch a stand-up career.
“If I end up down the line being a teacher I won’t be miserable,’’ Murphy said. “I just knew that I had to try comedy. I had to go for it, and this was the best time to do it. My parents and family were all behind me.”
Murphy did improv while attending college and discovered a love for comedy. Her first comedic gig came in front of MTV cameras, which she landed with the help of her friend and biggest fan, James Gisante. She also performed at open mic nights in the region.
Ironically, her biggest break came from the woman for whom Murphy baby sits. Lisa Perlman, a Rye resident, helped Murphy get a gig at Gotham Comedy Club in New York. Since then, Perlman has helped Murphy land more gigs and her two children, ages 3 and 7, provide a source of material for her babysitter.
“She gave me a lot of confidence,’’ Murphy said. “We just clicked right away. We have a unique relationship.”
Perlman, who also pursued comedy after graduating from college, saw a lot of herself in Murphy.
“I knew without even seeing her perform that she was right for stand-up,’’ Perlman said. “She’s so smart, and she’s from a different generation. She can be clean, she can be dirty and she’s responsible at the same time. The first couple of times we spoke, I told her she’s going to kill it on stage. She doesn’t get nervous.”
Murphy says Perlman, Amy Schumer and Kristen Wiig of "Saturday Night Live" are some of her comedic influences. One of Murphy’s strengths is her comfort on stage, honed in part by performing in productions with the Rye Neck High School drama department. She also worked on productions at Marist.
“I can already see her on Saturday Night Live,’’ Perlman said. “She’s not afraid of any situation. When I was young, I would mull them over in my head. She’s automatic with that. She has talent, smarts and sophistication. She grabs every opportunity to get on stage, whether it’s at a club in the city or a bar in Westchester County. That’s what you have to have. It’s called pounding the pavement for a reason.”
Murphy said her parents gave her a year to prove herself as a comedian when she launched her career. They have been solidly in her corner since the outset. Her mother, Karen, father Ken and brother Kenny have attended many of her gigs. Her extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends also frequently visit Kaitlyn's shows.
Her comedic brand delves into topics of young men and women, such as relationships, work and differences between women and men. She is working to broaden her base to relate to all age groups. She has performed at several Westchester County venues in addition to the city, and has a gig coming up in September in Newburgh.
While many of her friends from college have outlined their career path, Kaitlyn is following a path that is far less predictable. “I hope to be headlining and touring, building up my name and getting more well known,’’ she said. “I know that I’m not meant to do a 9-to-5 job. I’m happy for my friends who have figured it out, and I know some people who are still figuring it out as well. I know it’s crazy and unpredictable for me, but I also know what I have my heart set on.”