About me

When I started “follow my bliss” in January of 2009, I wrote: “My name is Jen Curran. I have had some sort of desk job every year since I was 17. Today, I am 28. I’m on a journey to leave my desk job.”

A lot has happened since then:

I did quit my desk job.

I opened a bakery.

It was fun. It was also really hard.

I turned 29.

I did a 30-day yoga challenge.

I started writing a lot more. (I wrote this stuff too. And this stuff.)

I gained 10 pounds.

My sketch group Harvard Sailing Team got famous on the Internet.

I realized I wanted to do comedy things all the time.

I felt confused and frustrated and didn’t know what to do next.

I closed the bakery.

I started teaching comedy classes.

I turned 30.

I lost 10 pounds.

I kept refocusing. Things began to click into place.

I miraculously landed and eventually quit another well-paying office job that helped me continue to move forward.

Today I spend my days as the Managing Director at the Peoples Improv Theater (the PIT) in New York City, and the rest of my time working as a comedian, improviser, writer, actor, teacher, girlfriend, cat-mom and unlimited Metrocard carrier.

The goal has always been to pursue work I’m passionate about. I’m proud to say, I’m doing it.

THE SORDID BACKSTORY

I studied acting in college. I’d always always dreamed about being an actor, and at age 17, I moved to New York City to go to NYU. It was a thrilling time that quickly turned sour when I couldn’t get out from under some kind of depression. I didn’t want to go to class, or do my homework. I had an amazing new boyfriend, my first love, who was fun to be around, and my friends were great, but I was also exhausted and burnt out and unmotivated. Oh and I was fat. During my freshman year, I gained about 100 pounds.

The next three years didn’t get much better. I fell in and out of depression, I made a bunch of impulsive, crazy choices, I went to class sometimes, flunking some and acing others. I barely slid by. When my mother discovered a string of terrible grades I’d gotten and lies I told her, I dropped out of school. I was lost and floating. Then one night, after months of doing nothing but smoking pot in my gay boyfriend’s basement and making more crazy, impulsive decisions, I punched my boyfriend in the mouth. We were fighting, as we often did, and I snapped. I got kicked out of the apartment we shared and lost several important friendships.

At age 21, I was a college dropout without a job or a place to live. I’d hit my rock bottom. It was excruciating for me, a “good” girl from the mid-west. I sat on a generous friend’s apartment floor one night a few days later, $12 to my name, and made a list: Lose weight, Graduate college, Get a job, Find a place to live, Get out of debt.

It almost sounds ridiculous to say that something clicked in me that night. Does that really happen? Well, if something didn’t click, a culmination was reached. The timing was right. I sat there and stared at these incredibly tall orders on my plate. And I thought, I’m 21 years old. Either, I can succeed or I can fail. It didn’t really feel like a choice, it was time to get my shit together.

Over the next five years, I started chipping away at my mess. I went to therapy. I started Weight Watchers. I eventually lost 115 pounds, graduated college, got a job, and then another and another, and today my life looks nothing like it did ten years ago.

Now I do improv with the Baldwins & sketch with Harvard Sailing Team. I teach comedy acting & writing at the Peoples Improv Theater (the PIT) and I’m also the theater’s Managing Director. It’s incredible to realize I make my living entirely from comedy. In fact, I don’t appreciate often enough how lucky I am.

Likes: yoga, cats, baking, eating, serial killers, strawberries, rude jokes.

Dislikes: bugs.

(Wanna email me? Okay! : jenifercurran@gmail.com)


16 thoughts on “About me

  1. Pingback: the full story « follow my bliss

  2. Bravo for you Jen!
    I used to be a teacher, but after getting an abusive phone call from a parent one night, I told my husband… “I don’t need this s**t”. I saw out the rest of term and haven’t taught since.
    Now I design jewellery for a living. I get to work around my kids and family. And I’m doing the ‘creative’ that I love.
    I’ll be watching your blog – and wishing you every success with your journey.
    Cheers,
    Tasha

  3. Contratulations! You know the saying: When one door closes, another opens! I like that you not only say what you don’t want, but also what you do want. Knowing what you want helps you recognize it when it shows up! Good luck!
    Martha

  4. Im so glad I stumbled onto this site. I hope you find and follow your bliss soon. I’m 35 and still wondering around trying to figure things out. It’ll be a year this month since I was laid off and the only prospect of work is also that of an admin assistant (which I am sooo over).
    How does one figure out what one’s true bliss is? That’s been the biggest road block for me.

    • Hi Mari – Yeah it can definitely be tough to figure out what your “true bliss” is. I’m still working on discovering mine. For me, the best way I’ve found to weed out what I love and don’t is to just make sure I’m trying things on for size. Before I quit my job, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I truly love to do and brainstorming how to turn those things into careers. Some things made sense and some things fell by the way side. Some hobbies are potential careers and some should stay hobbies in my life. Good luck finding yours!!

  5. Wonderful blog – great post! I’m so glad to have found it this morning after reading your article on Gather about Heather Armstrong’s trip to DC this past week.

    Have you read Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation? It’s wonderful – totally affirming.

    Sounds like you’re definitely following your bliss!

  6. Hi Mari – Yeah it can definitely be tough to figure out what your “true bliss” is. I’m still working on discovering mine. For me, the best way I’ve found to weed out what I love and don’t is to just make sure I’m trying things on for size. Before I quit my job, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I truly love to do and brainstorming how to turn those things into careers. Some things made sense and some things fell by the way side. Some hobbies are potential careers and some should stay hobbies in my life. Good luck finding yours!!
    +1

  7. I bailed out of the corporate world in 1989 and never looked back. Unfortunately, I turned to independent consulting so while my time was my own and I wasn’t stuck in a cubicle I was still sucking at the corporatist tit. Amidst the near collapse of the economy (and my consulting gig), I wrote a novel (not published yet but in the hands of an agent)and started a second one. And also blogging, which is how I found you, Jen.

    Sounds like you’ve already been through the hardest part so just keep pushing forward. Resist all temptation to reunite with the walking dead no matter how much money they throw your way. As a friend of mine once told me, “once you’ve confronted the abyss there is no longer a reason to be afraid”.

    Best of luck.

  8. wow. you are awesome!

    sometimes i feel like up and moving away anywhere starting over but the one thing that holds onto me-my parents, i’m helping them out. but i’m only 22 so i still have time to up, leave, and start over. you are an inspiration!

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