Cara Connors Goes Straight for the Funny Bone

March 1, 2022

Photo Credit

Sela Shiloni


Valerie Lopez


Valerie Lopez


Cara Con­nors thinks through every­thing. That’s what I’ve come away with after spend­ing an intense week get­ting to know this week’s fea­tured guest.

A native of Chica­go, she enrolled in Sec­ond City standup class­es seek­ing a change of pace to take her mind off of the intense demands of grad­u­ate school. She took on more class­es and got so much enjoy­ment out of it she stuck with it. Standup per­for­mance was where she thrived and what she threw her­self into. Con­nors grew up per­form­ing, but more along the sports route. An accom­plished water poloist (polo-ee, polomist, we’re not sure, and we have to wait a few years for the next Sum­mer Olympics to research this), per­form­ing on stages was­n’t some­thing she’d ever pur­sued.

With her new­found ded­i­ca­tion to standup, Con­nor’s adven­tures took her Toron­to, which coin­ci­den­tal­ly also has a Sec­ond City, so she could con­tin­ue per­form­ing and learn­ing. She was achiev­ing her own lev­els of suc­cess and decid­ed to make a move to LA. For her the deci­sion to move to LA as opposed to New York was easy. I felt like there was more poten­tial to do things In LA ver­sus New York.….I felt like I would­n’t be too much just on the stand up track ini­tial­ly but also I lived in New York when I was in col­lege and it’s a very mis­er­able place to work com­e­dy for how­ev­er many years until you get to the point. I think I’d rather do that on the beach.”

I lived in New York when I was in college and it's a very miserable place to work comedy for however many years until you get to the point. I think I'd rather do that on the beach.
Cara Connors

And some­how in the course of that move, she land­ed a role on E!‘s Dat­ing #NoFil­ter, a com­men­tary show with a rotat­ing pair of hosts. Aside from the odd place­ment of the hash­tag, it proved E!‘s astute sen­si­bil­i­ties. The audi­tion process for Con­nors was mad­den­ing­ly brief. If you know the audi­tion game, you know it’s a con­stant grind with many more nos than yeses. But Con­nors was bub­bly, ener­getic, and well-suit­ed for the cam­era. She was a nat­ur­al choice. This opened the door for oth­er oppor­tu­ni­ties includ­ing land­ing a com­e­dy inves­tiga­tive show Cara Takes on Com­e­dy by OutTV.

Have we not men­tioned that Con­nors is queer? She came out as queer late in life. She was married.…to a man, she quips on stage in one of her most famous lines. And in the process of divorc­ing from the tra­di­tion­al mar­riage, she real­ized that it was time for her authen­tic queer self to come out. She explores the absurd par­al­lels between straight cul­ture and queer cul­ture on stage. Being queer informs a lot of her choic­es as a per­former. Her month­ly LA show­case Straight for Pay fea­tures LGBTQ+ comics. And as she pre­pared her Straight for Pay tour, choos­ing queer-friend­ly cities and venues was very impor­tant to her, as was select­ing local queer open­ers. More on her Austin choice in a bit. What moti­vates a suc­cess­ful stand up com­ic, actress, and pro­duc­er to hit the road? For Con­nors, it was a rather sim­ple moti­va­tion. She notes I felt like I got to the point where I knew that I can go out on my own and like I nev­er had a desire to go out on the road.”. We’re glad she did make that jump.

I got to the point where I knew that I can go out (on the road) on my own
Cara Connors
Straight for Pay Tour - Austin Show Review

Her Straight for Pay tour is span­ning the entire coun­try and Austin is her sole Texas date. She’s nev­er been to Texas, so she pre­pared for not only her hour­long per­for­mance, but enjoy­ing BBQ, and as her Insta­gram reveals, mechan­i­cal bull rid­ing.

You lose the feel­ing that you’re watch­ing some­thing tru­ly spe­cial when you’re see­ing it at one of the best small the­aters in Austin, the Fall­out The­ater. I had to remind myself that her Austin show is the ONLY Texas show and the fact that she chose Fall­out gives you insight into the astute choic­es that Con­nors makes. From the gueril­la self-made mar­ket­ing machine that she’s been in sup­port of this tour, (not only did she reach out to us, she reached out and land­ed a fea­ture arti­cle at the Austin Chron­i­cle) to the choice of the­ater, to the choice of open­er, Con­nors takes great care with every sin­gle detail.

As I set­tled in to the packed and sold out show, the music pip­ing through the the­ater was high ener­gy and sing-along wor­thy. Giv­en Con­nors’ impec­ca­ble atten­tion to detail, I’m sure this was her choice as well. High ener­gy was the theme of the evening. Austin com­e­dy dar­ling and high ener­gy mas­ter Angeli­na Mar­tin opened the show with her delight­ful non-stop obser­va­tions on life as a poor per­son who recent­ly had to quit weed. Each time we’ve seen Mar­tin late­ly, we fall­en deep­er in love with her tal­ents — find this quick­ly ris­ing star before LA or NYC steals her away. After her fre­net­i­cal­ly paced set, we final­ly get to meet the star of the Straight for Pay tour, Ms. Cara Connors.

If you’ve been to Fall­out The­ater, you are no doubt famil­iar with the faux wall and win­dow that backs the stage. There’s a small gap behind that faux wall and the real wall. It’s bare­ly deep enough for some­one to stand in. But what we did not know is that Con­nors sat crouched behind the wall, hid­den from view, dur­ing Mar­t­in’s entire set and when it was time for Con­nors to come on stage, she lit­er­al­ly crawled through the win­dow, land­ing on her hands with her legs a tan­gled mess behind her. All to per­fect comedic effect. With­out utter­ing a sin­gle word, Con­nors announced her hilar­i­ous arrival to the stage. The show was a wild ride, fast paced at times, pep­pered with thought­ful pas­sages, and all with Con­nors mov­ing about the stage (and some­times off the stage) to engage with her sold out audi­ence. Her char­ac­ter work through­out the show was a blur of impres­sions — the chill white dude, the polit­i­cal activist, the 9 year old ver­sion of Con­nors, the mom chap­er­on­ing a school dance, and so many more. Con­nors gave it her all for her Austin audi­ence. Actu­al­ly, one love­ly tes­ta­ment to her pop­u­lar­i­ty was see­ing a cou­ple after the show who had trav­eled from Dal­las to see Con­nors. They men­tioned how big of fans they were and were so thrilled to have seen her tour date in Texas. I love a good pow­er­point pre­sen­ta­tion and I don’t want to spoil it, just tease, that Con­nors gifts us at the end of her show with a hilar­i­ous pre­sen­ta­tion. It’s like watch­ing the east­er eggs after the movie cred­its roll. Don’t leave the show until you catch it. If you live near a city of her upcom­ing tour dates, don’t pass up the chance for a non-stop evening of comedy.

And once she’s wrapped up her tour, keep an eye out for her upcom­ing TV appear­ances. She’s a ris­ing star and one we all need to keep an eye on.

Fol­low Cara

Cara can be seen and heard:

  • Straight for Pay Nation­al Tour 
  • Straight for Pay — Month­ly show­case in Los Angeles 
  • Dat­ing #NoFil­ter on E! 
  • Cara Takes Up Space on OUTtv 

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Cara Connors