Talia Reese is a comedian and former attorney from New York City. As a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and ("moral") bankruptcy lawyer, it was unlikely that her comedy career would start off in bar basements and midnight open mics, but that's where her soul was redeemed. Talia's set is high-energy and autobiographical, and The New York Post recently featured a nearly full-length article about her life and comedy, calling her a "Hot Ticket". In addition to opening for Caroline Rhea and Nick DiPaolo on the road, Talia is a regular "comedic" legal contributor to the Anthony Cumia Network. Newsday Long Island has also taken notice, calling her a "rising star" and most recently Good Times magazine described her as "one of the best of the new breed of East Coast comics." Her affable stage presence and sharp wit have also garnered her appearances on The Wendy Williams Show, Spike TV and Lifetime Network. Talia just completed a residency at The Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City and continues to be a constant presence in New York's top clubs, as well as being sought after for Jewish and corporate events.
What do I do best?
I can always crack myself up and usually other people too. The best case scenario being when it’s on stage at a theater or comedy club. But I’ll take it in a department store or during a visit to my gynecologist. I’m not proud of this always needing laughter thing, but … oh who am I kidding I’m totally proud of my silliness. Also, I’m pretty relentless about setting and achieving goals. I’m not talking about finding a cure for AIDS or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - let’s get real here. But I do tend to throw myself into situations without fear, learn as much as I can, and plot my next move very methodically. Like once I had a boyfriend who was a lawyer and he said it would be cool if I was one too. So I quit my job, took the LSATs, went to law school in New York and then moved to Chicago to clerk for a federal judge. Then I moved back home in tears like, “What have I done!” but the big firm law money helped dry them.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I am the best version of myself when I am pursuing what makes me happy. I used to spend so much time working on realizing the visions of others. At work and in relationships. There is satisfaction to be gained by a job well done or reaching a compromise with a partner. But I am no longer dating the wrong person or working a job I don’t care about in the long term. I’m in love with my husband, focused on building my comedy career and raising a family - and that makes me a better person all around.
What are my aspirations?
Let’s face it, I want to be a more successful comedian than I am now so you all know who I am before reading this interview. Nothing thrills me more than performing for live audiences and although I’ve had the pleasure of doing some pretty amazing shows, I aspire to reach the next level in my career.
I also aspire to raise my two daughters to be kind, caring and respectful human beings. And to instill in them the confidence to reach their fullest potential in this world.
My Biggest Success?
There are several moments of my life that have the greatest significance to me: Opening my acceptance letter into the University of Pennsylvania; landing the coveted NBC page job; starting my job as an associate at Paul, Weiss LLP; marrying Cary Reiss of Winnipeg, Manitoba, giving birth to our two daughters, Isabella & Aliza; and performing a week at The Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City (my first big comedy gig).
My Most Challenging Moment?
I made a difficult decision to perform a gig in my hometown that my mom had initially forbade me to do. It was a gala Jewish event with over 300 people that we know slated to attend. My mother was terrified that if it didn’t go well she suffer intense humiliation. After much deliberation, she reluctantly agreed to support me in the decision to go for it, and it turned out to be a hilariously fun evening, and one of the greatest mother/daughter bonding experiences we ever shared.
“Life is a highway. I wanna ride it all night long.” I crave constant stimulation, and writing and performing satisfies that need. I meet new people every night and am constantly part of a new journey.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
I have always revered Joan Rivers. Her example led me to believe that a career in comedy, specifically standup, is possible for a married Jewish mother. Also Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Wendy Wasserstein, Nora Ephron, Ilene Chaiken, my mom, and Kellyanne Conway (HA just kidding!)
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I’ve always had a thing for Hawaii. Roadside coconuts, white pineapple on Lanai, Kona coffee, the outstanding beaches, drive to Hana, Volcano cigars…
I’d love to book a show to give me an excuse travel there again, and this time bring my family. That would be so special.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I love anything by Clinique, my favorite product being the level 3 facial exfoliate.
I’m in love with Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, roller ball.
Lately I’m really into rosewater. I add it to my beverages and baking. Sometimes I splash some on my face. If I could afford to, I’d bathe in it.
My Current Passions?
I have recently rediscovered the joys of lifting weights and body sculpting. After three years of working clubs every night and napping during the day, I have cut down on weeknight shows and am back in good shape. I just love the endorphin release. I guess it’s weird to say my body is my passion, but I’m really into other people’s bodies too. Like super into it.
My greatest passion, other than my family, is jokes. Writing jokes that kill, delivering them to an audience. Hearing a good joke I haven’t heard before, watching a good set. Nothing like it. The best.