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Arts & Entertainment

Because Amy Milton Proves That Nothing Is Funnier Than Honesty 

One of 75 reasons we love St. Louis in 2016

click to enlarge Amy Milton riffs on cults, drugs, family stress. You know, the fun stuff. - COURTESY OF AMY MILTON
  • Amy Milton riffs on cults, drugs, family stress. You know, the fun stuff.

While a few dozen stand-up comics work the local scene with regularity, not many have allowed themselves the chance to tackle a headlining-length set, especially one as uniquely challenging as "GOOD," the one-woman show that comedian Amy Milton recently performed for a trio of performances at St. Lou Fringe.

The show, a darkly funny, first-person reflection on her life, tackled many of the same topics as Milton's stand-up act, including her time inside a religious cult and, later, family battles with drugs. Though Milton is understated in her delivery, her material digs deep — very deep — and touches on the complicated family dynamics that most audience members can appreciate, even if Milton's family takes things to the next level. Telling those stories honestly can be a trick.

"There's always an overlap of experience, and it's not always easy to determine the line between your own life and another person's privacy," Milton, 29, says. "It's an age-old writer/artist problem, arguably heightened for comics because nuance in jokes is challenging and we're mean people."

"GOOD" was a neat summary of the same feeling that Milton brings to comedy sets. She guesses that about 75 percent of the show originated in her stand-up, although "'GOOD" is a little heavier on family and God than her comedy club work.

Milton moved to St. Louis from Indiana in the summer of 2010 to get a creative writing MFA at UMSL. "I first tried stand-up around a year later, so I just passed the five-year mark," she notes. "As I started in — and haven't abandoned — fiction writing, I've had to adjust to the difference between what works and makes sense on a page and what works and makes sense spoken aloud to a sometimes drunk-and-uninterested audience."

With several co-hosts, Milton serves up the talk show Fatal Bus Accident at the Heavy Anchor (generally on the last Wednesday of the month), a show that'll soon hit the road. She'll also host Contraceptive Comedy at Shameless Grounds on October 29 and Two Girls One Mic at 1900 Park sometime in November.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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