‘The Durham Stage is My Favorite Place to Be’

‘The Durham Stage is My Favorite Place to Be’

Not only is Lauren Faber 'Carolina’s Funniest Stand-up Comic' 2016, but she's also committed to advocacy issues near and dear to her heart

Photo by Maria Brubeck

The Port Jefferson, New York, native has slowly worked her way down the East Coast, living in Maryland before attending Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia, and then most recently living in Washington, D.C., before moving to Durham in 2014. When she’s not on stage, Lauren Faber can be found auditing classes and working as a research manager at a local university or volunteering in group therapy at Central Regional Hospital in Butner. She has two cats, Stetson and Kennedy.

When Lauren first moved to the Bull City, she intended to make a name for herself in comedy, and she set her sights high. “My big goal was to win the Carolina’s Funniest Stand-up Comic Competition,” she says.

She started taking classes with Andrew Aghapour at DSI Comedy Theater in Chapel Hill. After several appearances at open mic nights and showcases, and working part-time at local businesses like Alley Twenty Six, she quickly became an integral part of Durham and its comedy scene.

“Every show I’ve put Lauren in has ended with rave reviews,” says Erin Terry, who started the Eyes Up Here Comedy Showcase to spotlight women comics in the area. She attributes Lauren’s rapid success to both her commitment to her craft and her advocacy for issues that are important to her, like LGBTQ rights and economic equality. “She is consistently hilarious as well as informed and knowledgeable,” Erin says. “She’s one of my heroes on so many levels.”

Two years into her stand-up career, Lauren took the 2016 Carolina’s Funniest title with ease, winning round after round of audience votes. “I knew instantly Lauren was going to be good,” says Eric Trundy, a Greensboro-based comedian who has been doing stand-up for six years. “Comics like Lauren keep me working hard because if I stop for a second, she’ll close the four-year gap between us and pass me in a blink. She’s that good.”

“The stage is a funny, cozy place,” Lauren says. “Usually you can see the first row and talk to them, enjoy them. But if there’s one face that’s not having a good time, that’s the only face you see when you leave the stage. Sometimes I walk onstage and my gender presentation is very upsetting [to some in the audience], and I have not yet found the magic bullet for overcoming that personal opposition, so those are the hard shows; I don’t have them in Durham. The Durham stage is my favorite place to be.” Lauren’s advice for other artists who want to make an impact is to find a way to share their unique story. “It’s the one thing you have that no one else does – use it.”

Morgan Weston
Durham Magazine freelancer Morgan Weston is a North Carolina native who loves exploring the Triangle's diverse food, arts and craft beer offerings.