PaperCity Magazine

October 2018- Dallas

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BY LISA COLLINS SHADDOCK G enerally speaking, women are creatures of many dimensions — and comedian Iliza Shlesinger has given voice to all of them. In her latest Netfl ix stand-up special, Elder Millennial, the striking 35-year-old wears high- waist sailor pants, a crop top, and a blonde ponytail while crouched, hopping across the stage and imitating characters such as the Party Goblin, who is awakened by tequila, and the She-Dragon, who uses her talon to spear an entire tube of Oreos once left alone. Shlesinger swiftly maneuvers between bits like these and potent pops about double standards and equal pay with unapologetic intelligence and perfect comedic timing. While she loves nothing more than making people laugh, Shlesinger is aware of the power in her platform. "My comedy has come to serve as sort of a mouthpiece for those inner workings of our minds," she says. "It's important — especially in a time like this, when we all feel so divided — that people feel understood." Shlesinger grew up in Dallas and attended the prestigious Greenhill School. She always knew she wanted to be in the world of comedy. In 2008, she became the fi rst woman and the youngest contestant to win NBC's Last Comic Standing. Since then, she has produced four solo Netfl ix specials, published a book, performed countless stand-up shows, and will be seen next month in Paramount Pictures' Instant Family, starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne. This summer, she also married her longtime boyfriend; they live in L.A. with her pup, Blanche, who has her own Instagram (@blanchewaits). On November 1, Shlesinger takes the stage at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas — the same venue where she saw her fi rst live comedy show (Ellen DeGeneres) at age 16. "I know you're supposed to dream big," Shlesinger says. "But when I was 16, you probably couldn't have told me that I would be back there on that same stage with sold-out shows." Another pinch- me moment was when heartthrob Channing Tatum messaged her about one of her jokes: "I screamed so loud, I actually injured my throat." All of this aside, Shlesinger is the fi rst to say that her success was earned through talent and hard work in a largely male-dominated industry. "As women, we're taught to always smile and always be nice," she says. "But it's important to stand up for yourself, even if people take offense." Her advice? "Be kind, work hard. Don't take any shit." FUNN FUNN FU Y NNY NN IRL IRL Y IRL Y

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