Ivy Le is Making it Happen

September 18, 2022

Photo Credit

Riley Reed


Valerie Lopez


Gabi Montemayor


Grow­ing up in Texas, Ivy Le learned a thing or two about inclu­siv­i­ty — but back then they called it South­ern Hos­pi­tal­i­ty. . It’s more than just being nice or polite. South­ern Hos­pi­tal­i­ty is kind­ness, warmth, and mak­ing sure your guest feels not just wel­comed — but at home. It’s not about being accept­able to all, but accom­mo­dat­ing for the ones that you care about. Or as she puts it, there are no neu­tral spaces.” 

Ivy Le is a south­ern gal. The native Tex­an was born in Hous­ton and raised in Dal­las before her reck­less youth in Hot­lanta”, where she went wild and crazy… and start­ed per­form­ing spo­ken word poet­ry and telling sto­ries. Sto­ries like the one she told about sex­u­al­i­ty after child­birth, which made peo­ple laugh so much they assumed [she] was a work­ing comedian.” 

That reac­tion was all she need­ed to know that she need­ed to keep telling stories. 

I did not become a com­ic, I just con­tin­ued to do what I was doing … so com­e­dy moved to me.

You can’t hear an accent, but you can feel the unmis­tak­able Texas warmth and South­ern Hos­pi­tal­i­ty in every­thing she touch­es — from her love of peo­ple and par­ties, to pro­duc­ing spaces for folks she hasn’t even met yet. 

I did not become a comic, I just continued to do what I was doing … so comedy moved to me.
Ivy Le

Spaces like Tongue & Cheek, Austin’s only exclu­sive­ly-queer open mic. I’ve seen more than one com­ic go on stage at T&C, vibrat­ing with nerves — but after a shaky start they have an AMAZ­ING four minute set and close with a thank you and some ver­sion of this was my first time!” On a month­ly basis, Ivy Le (and co-host Aira Juli­et) cre­ate the set­ting for more aspir­ing queer comics to dis­cov­er com­e­dy, and to exper­i­ment with cre­at­ing art that they can feel proud of. 

Art like her cur­rent project: Ivy is cur­rent­ly in pro­duc­tion of sea­son 2 of her Spo­ti­fy-pro­duced-pod­cast FOGO: Fear of Going Out­side. Last sea­son, she braved the ele­ments and reluc­tant­ly went camp­ing. For sea­son 2, she’s jump­ing in with two Tex­an tip­toes and going hunting. 

Her pod­cast has been a long time com­ing — Ivy was one of 10 final­ists out of 18,000 appli­cants for the Spo­ti­fy Sound Up pro­gram that set a goal “… to cre­ate a space for new voic­es, sto­ries and per­spec­tives in pod­cast­ing.” Le went to New York City with oth­er female cre­ators for five days of work­shops cul­mi­nat­ing in a pitch com­pe­ti­tion, where the top three would receive grant mon­ey. While ulti­mate­ly she didn’t win the grant, it gave her what she need­ed to be her own showrun­ner and producer. 

I was going to make the show one way or anoth­er… my broth­er and I put togeth­er a Kick­starter cam­paign, and I raised enough mon­ey to get my equip­ment… I talked to a lot of dif­fer­ent net­works to pitch the show… and I end­ed up going with Spotify.” 

All of these projects are just a way for Ivy to take what she loves — sto­ries — and share them with the world. 

I’m older, I have more life experience, I've been writing for you longer than some of these kids have been alive…I really have no excuse.
Ivy Le

I real­ly love a plot arc, I love a three act struc­ture, and I find that audi­ences real­ly enjoy it too — it keeps them engaged, because the way that we, as ani­mals, store incred­i­ble amounts of very com­plex infor­ma­tion in our head is in sto­ries, so that we have the infor­ma­tion we need to act very quick­ly, in the blink of an eye… I think we’re very wired to be inter­est­ed in, and pay atten­tion to stories.”

Sto­ries come with expe­ri­ence, and Le has her fair share of it. Her age remains a mys­tery but just know that Le is some­where between old enough to care about my cred­it score” and about one and a half IUD’s away from menopause.” She has enough expe­ri­ence to know how to attack her goals, and didn’t let the pan­dem­ic, or oth­er obsta­cles get in her way. 

I’m old­er, I have more life expe­ri­ence, I’ve been writ­ing for longer than some of these kids have been alive … I real­ly have no excuse.” 

In addi­tion to host­ing her hilar­i­ous pod­cast, co-host­ing Tongue & Cheek at Swan Dive, and being a full time mom of two chil­dren under 10, Le is also a pro­duc­er on Austin Sketch Fest, and hopes to shoot her first one-hour show in 2025

Any­time I get a gig doing com­e­dy, any­time I get an audi­tion to be a fun­ny per­son in a com­mer­cial or short film, or any­time I get to write a script… as stress­ful as it is, I’m just like, I can’t believe I get to do this job. I can’t believe I’m not like doing nails… I can’t believe I actu­al­ly get to make art. I can’t freak­ing believe this is what I get to do.” 

With grat­i­tude and grit on her side, Ivy Le is just get­ting start­ed. And we get to watch.

Listen to the podcast episode to hear these words and more from Ivy

Fol­low Ivy

Fol­low FOGO: Fear of Going Out­side Podcast

Fol­low Austin Sketch Fest

Ivy can be seen and heard:

  • FOGO: Fear of Going Out Pod­cast — Sea­son 1 is out now, Sea­son 2 arrives in Feb­ru­ary 2023
  • Tongue & Cheek Open Mic — Co-host with Aira Juli­et First Thurs­days 8pm at The Swan Dive, 615 Red Riv­er St., Austin, TX 78701
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Ivy Le