Monica Pearson One on One: Myra J

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Whether she’s doing standup in a club, working on radio or writing for shows like “Meet the Browns,” Myra J loves to make people laugh.


“I was voted most humorous female of my senior class,” Myra J, who has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in education, recently told Peachtree TV’s Monica Pearson. “I went into social services because back in the day, for particularly minority women, even if you were going to be a professional, you were going to be a school teacher, a social worker, a library, and a secretary. I went to college. Nobody encouraged me to write; no one encouraged me to do comedy. So I became a social worker and working at the unemployment office. A guy says, ‘Do you want to go to a comedy club?’

“At the end of the night, he said, ‘How was it?’ It was like 12 white guys performing. And I said, ‘they’re all right, but I’m as funny as them.’ He said, ‘No, these are professionals. If you think you’re funny, every Monday night is open mic.’ I didn’t even know what that meant.”

That was on a Saturday night. Only several hours later, she went on stage for the first time ever to perform comedy.

“When I quit social services, I got the opportunity to manage an apartment building in Beverly Hills,” she said. “And all I had to do was come up with $200 a month to cover utilities. If I can’t come up with $200 a month, I don’t need to be a comedian. And that was the big flip. I’ve never worked a nine-to-five ever again.”

Myra J describes her comedy as observational. “I’m not so much a joke teller as I am a story teller,” she said, and added there are no subjects she won’t touch.

“As we just mature as people and as women, we get that ‘two drops in the bucket’ attitude. Like, what are you waiting for? What are you saving it for? Why are you afraid? Live your life. Live. Your life is short.

“For me as a comic, as you learn to work the crowd and stuff, I have learned to work my voice and as the crowd is laughing, I like to lower my voice and get very soft. Because then I notice the crowd comes down and the place is so quiet, I’m thinking I can take this audience anywhere I want to go.”

Myra J is still honing her craft.

“I always want to be better. We go on stage to make people laugh, to make people feel better. There is no better feeling than having someone come up and tell you, after the show and say, ‘I wasn’t even coming tonight. My friends made me come’ or ‘I just lost my mom or my dog just died’ or whatever. They say, ‘I laughed so hard,’ then I’m like, my work is done and thank you.”