After leaving her hometown of Hudson Valley, NY to take on the role of improvising in Chicago’s comedy scene, Candy Lawrence is now jumping on the fast track to stand-up comedy success. Starting off 2014 opening for the likes of Kyle Dunnigan and performing at Epitonic’s own Deep Freeze Festival, Lawrence is primed for a great year of spreading her quirky comedy style. The day after her opening slot for Dunnigan, Epitonic spoke with Lawrence on her inspiration in comedy and her plans for the new year.

What inspired you to start doing stand-up?

I had always wanted to do it for about ten years. I started off improvising and I did sketch with a partner of mine and she moved to LA. So I was kind of stuck alone, not knowing what to do and honestly, I got really drunk. Some guy was like, “Hey, do you want to do stand up?” And I was like, “yeah, I’ll fucking do stand-up.” And I did. I just kept going. And I could’ve been horrible, but I had a really good time.

It was at this gay nightclub called Berlin at 7pm, and there was like five people there. I love that I was like, “I love this! I’m going to continue to do this!”

Who are your biggest comedy influences?

I love Maria Bamford. I love Pete Holmes, Amy Sedaris, Carol Burnette. I love Eric Andre. There’s a lot of them, but those are my main squeezes.

A lot of your comedy, seems to be based on truth. Is that the case for the most part? Or is it a mixture of fact and fiction?

Yeah, a lot of it is based on truth, but it’s exaggerated. Some of it’s just ridiculousness. I give myself goals like, “How many times can you mention Edible Arrangements?” I’ll throw in some fun stuff like that but a lot of it is based on truth.

Are there any big plans for 2014?

I just opened for Kyle Dunnigan last night, which was awesome. I’m hoping to open for a lot more people. I have a couple things in store that aren’t solidified just yet, so I don’t want to mention them. But I’m hoping to be touring a whole lot more. I just got back from Denver and a couple other places. I have my main motivation for 2014 to be opening for people and to be touring a lot.

Comedy is an art form with a lot of men in it. What’s it like being a woman in this art form, as well as being a gay woman?

I think that I myself am a very unique individual. I mean, just being a gay woman is unique, but on top of that, I’m just so completely different than anybody else. That question has been asked time and time again, and I just don’t put too much thought into it. If you’re funny, you’re funny. It doesn’t really matter if you’re gay, if you’re black, man, woman, you’re funny. That’s it. That’s all that matters to me.

How would you describe the style of your humor?

I always say in the beginning of my shows, “are you high? Because if you’re high, this is going to make a lot more sense.” I have always been a very eccentric person. I’m really just off-the-wall. I feel like a lot of people laugh, and then they’re like, “I don’t know what I’m laughing at.” For instance, the best thing that happened to me last night at the Kyle Dunnigan show; this woman came up to me and said, “Oh my god you’re so funny! You made me so uncomfortable.” I said, “Oh, thank you so much, can I put that on my website?”

So, I’m a show pony. I’m very weird and eccentric. I think the best thing about me is that I truly enjoy what I do, and I think people have so much fun because I’m having so much fun. It’s really cheesy.