How To Be Awesome According To Tig Notaro

The comedian has been catapulted into the spotlight not for the series of misfortunes that have plagued her personal life, but for the awesome way she responded. She is pretty much everything that you should strive to be in life.

Kate Lacey for The Daily / AP

When her mother’s death, a serious breakup, and breast cancer rocked her world in the same year, Tig Notaro made it into comedy. After starting her comedy routine with “Good evening! Hello. I have cancer. How are you?” Notaro launched into a 30-minute performance that immediately became legendary in comedy circles.

Comedian Louis C.K. described the performance: “One of the greatest stand-up performances I ever saw. I can’t really describe it, but I was crying and laughing and listening like never in my life. Here was this small woman standing alone against death and simply reporting where her mind had been and what had happened and employing her gorgeously acute stand-up voice to her own death.” The performance is now available as an unlikely live album via a $5 digital release by Louis C.K. In just a week, it’s sold more than 60,000 copies.

Let’s take some notes from Tig on how to be completely awesome under any circumstances:

1. Never forget to laugh.

Victoria Will / AP

2. Be present.

3. Always RSVP in person.

After being invited to President Obama’s 2009 inauguration:

4. Be kind.

This note was posted to Tumblr with the following caption: “Sometimes you get your dream job in New York City, and then your friend Amy lets you stay in her ridiculously nice apartment while she films her new TV show, and when you get there there’s a very nice note waiting for you from Tig Notaro.”

5. Use what you have.

On Conan, she had the audience cracking up just by moving a stool around the stage for 10 minutes.

6. Whenever you have the chance to be “almost” making out with Bobby Lee…take it.

7. Own your bad hair days.

#TigWig was born.

8. Be SO awesome you make Megan Mullally uncomfortable.

9. Take things literally.

10. Be mysterious.

Maybe record videos with only the top of your head showing. Why not?

It keeps people guessing.

11. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions.

12. Live for the moment…

13. And always channel your inner Streisand.

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Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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