This week, Jake goes out with comedian Keara Sullivan. The two discuss their favorite seasons to go out, the crossover between 9/11 and Jake’s parents’ divorce, and their completely opposite sleep schedules. Tune in for more.
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Jake Cornell: Sorry, I forget that people sometimes sleep in. People just sleep in.
Keara Sullivan: I do think I have a thing called long sleeping disorder.
J: I’ve never heard of this in my life.
K: It’s because I come from a family of long sleepers.
J: What is — okay.
K: Apparently normal sleepers need seven to nine hours of sleep. Long sleepers, their body wants 10 to 12 hours of sleep.
J: You think that’s you?
K: I can sleep 12 hours easily.
J: I think I’ve done that once.
K: I once got something called an oversleeping hangover, which is when you sleep so long that you get low blood sugar, and so you wake up feeling really tired and you’re like, “I just slept 17 hours, how am I still tired?” When that happened, I was like,”Mom, can you make me a quesadilla?” Then she did. Then I was fine.
J: That’s so crazy. What’s the longest you’ve ever slept?
K: Probably like 18 hours.
K: Long sleeper disorder, if your body doesn’t get the sleep it wants, it will make up for it.
J: You don’t have an official diagnosis. This is a self-diagnosis.
K: This is a self-diagnosis.
J: I think if you slept 18 hours once without illness involved, then that’s a disorder. That seems really crazy to me.
K: No. Oh, absolutely.
J: Your day today would’ve broken me. Being late to everything would’ve broken me.
K: Well, number one, the two times I’ve been on shows with you, you’ve been so lovely. There’s early-
J: Thank you so much.
K: -lovely, respectful. Then I ran into Annabel Meschke, and I told her what’s happening. She was like, “That’s so bad because Jake’s always early to the show. He’s so lovely and he’s so great.” I was, “Yes, I know. That’s why I feel so awful.”
J: What’s crazy is that — I have always identified as someone who’s like really on time, I’m punctual as f*ck. What’s funny is that it used to be — I was never late. If I was late it meant the trains had a meltdown, cataclysmic meltdown. Now I would say I am late to maybe two things a week.
J: That to me makes me feel like I’m a late person.
K: I was late to two things today. Actually, I completely missed one thing. I usually am a lot better at it. I don’t want you to think that this is the real me, that I am a late person all the time. I’m not.
J: No, I don’t think you are.
K: It’s just today something foul is in the air.
J: No, it’s bad astrology today. I think that’s a thing.
K: There are conspiring forces in the universe that are trying to break my brain today.
J: I get that. I appreciate you getting-
K: I knew you’d understand.
J: Yes, I’m totally fine. I’m glad and I appreciate you getting here in spite of all of that. You did not go out last night?
K: No, I did not go out last night. I worked a lot this weekend.
J: Do you work in a restaurant?
K: No, I work at a retail store.
J: Okay. Which one?
K: Yes, And Other Stories.
J: Oh, yes, yes.
K: Yes. I work there. I’m so stupid. When I work a few days in a row in my brain I’m like, “Wait, I can’t work today. I just worked yesterday. There must be some mistake. I’ve done my work.” I was scheduled four days in a row and in my head I was like, “This is wrong. I think my body just wanted to catch up on sleep.
J: Yes, that’s valid. I worked in restaurants for years and years and years and years. Then I recently started picking up shifts again just for the past couple months because of when I got back from Fringe, I had some time and I called the bar I used to work at.
K: I want to hear all about that as well.
J: Oh, totally. I didn’t realize how much my body had built up a tolerance to working in the time that I had done it. Not that I had other jobs, I just didn’t have physical labor like restaurant jobs for a year.
J: I was like, “I actually can’t do this three days in a row.” Like, on day three, I reached a breaking point. I lost my stamina, and I felt shameful about it. I’ve built it back up
K: I want to see “Man and Woman” so bad.
J: Nice. You can go to Philadelphia or D.C. next week?
K: I am from D.C. I will totally go to D.C.
J: No, but tell all your friends and family to go.
K: I will. It looks amazing.
J: It’s perfect. It’s very fun. We’ll probably do it in New York again at some point.
K: Please let me know.
J: I will let you know. It’s a very fun show. We’ve done it in New York many times now.
K: That’s so cool.
J: Oh no. Okay.
K: Oh no, a seam.
J: Here’s why it’s bad, when I pulled it, I felt it in my knee. That thread goes up this high.. Not something for the podcast. Listen-
K: A key thread.
J: My jeans are falling apart. You went to NYU
K: Yes. University in and of the city.
J: You’ve been going out in New York for a minute, even though you are young.
J: How has that been for you?
K: How has that-
J: Are you a going-outer? I don’t know this about you.
K: Yes. I would say that. I’m not a party animal, but I would say that, yes, I’ve been going out consistently in New York for six years now, which is crazy to say. It also depends on the season. In the summer, everything’s weirdly dead, but then in the fall-
J: Wait, you feel like everything’s dead in the summer?
K: I feel like everyone’s — I also hate the summer because I’m someone who–
J: You and I are different. I sleep like six hours a night and I love the summer.
K: We’re at different sides of a different coin.
J: Yes. You’re like a ero and I’m like a pound.
K: My psychiatrist actually noted that we usually need to up my meds in the summer, and he was like, “I think it’s because there’s less structure in the summer and that makes you anxious and gives you anxiety.”
J: That’s crazy.
K: Everyone’s doing other things. Even if your schedule’s the same, everyone else’s schedule is different, and that throws me off. In the fall, me and my friends have this understanding that once, we’re going to be going out every week.
J: Well, I guess that makes sense if your structure was built up around the school year for the first four years.
J: Whereas, that’s completely foreign to me.
K: That actually makes a lot of sense.
J: That’s probably what it is. That’s so interesting, because right now we’re entering the part of — I’m a little bit of a scrooge, and by that I mean I fully don’t like Christmas.
K: My God, humbug.
J: I don’t love this time of year. I don’t like that it’s cold. I don’t like that you can’t walk around — December’s not bad. It’s the knowing that January, February, and March are coming. Similar to what you’re saying, I hate that there’s weekends that are getting lost to holidays, that everyone leaves town. I like being in New York for the holiday seasons because it’s so dead. It’s fun. It’s so quiet and that’s really nice. I hate right now that if you and I were to be like, “Oh, let’s get drinks,” it’s like we’re doing it in January. Do you know what I mean? We’re coming up on that part of the year where that’s happening. I hate that.
K: I completely agree. I would also say that I don’t like winter. I’m not one of those people. I am like you in that sense of I don’t like this time-
J: You’re a spring, fall-
K: Spring, fall, yes.
J: I think that makes — Those are the most level-headed based seasons.
K: When someone says winter or summer is their favorite — would you say summer is your favorite?
J: Probably. Fall is up there, too. It’s like summer, fall. I think the joy of summer for me is knowing how much time now there — when it gets nice in May, and now we got June, July, August, September, October, November, December-
K: That’s so true.
J: I guess less December, but May — that feeling in May, June of like, “We got six months of this,” is really huge for me.
K: That’s so true.
J: It feels like the world is wide open. We’re starting to dwindle down, but fall’s also like my — I actually do really enjoy the fall and the summer. It’s really just that dead of winter. I will say I’m curious about this winter, though, because winter 2021, I would say was one of the most depressing times any of us have ever experienced.
J: Like so bad. Winter 2022, not as bad, still bad.
K: Still bad.
J: You know?
K: I completely understand.
J: I’m very curious what 2023 will bring for the winter.
K: I completely agree. In terms of going out — because I know this is going out.
J: That is the name of the show.
K: I feel like, in college, me and my friends have gone through so many phases of going out to different places. Freshman year was us going to Bushwick to hear these Clive Davis boys make noise in a warehouse. Every night would end with us at 2 a.m. being like, “Why did we come to Bushwick?” Then that was kind of that phase. Then we swore that off and we were like, “Never again.” There was one year where we went to a Beauty Bar four weeks in a row. Then we were like, “We cannot do this anymore, guys.” A lot of it has just been phases of different places.
J: In my four years of college, definitely each had a phase. Freshman year was — there was one specific fraternity we always went to. Sophomore year I was abroad. Then junior and senior year had their own bars. For sure.
K: Different vibe.
J: What was the transition from when NYU’s finished into now being a small adult going out in the world?.
K: That’s actually the perfect way to describe me, a small adult. I was wearing something the other day. It was this, but then a cute little dress, like a pin of four dresses over it. My coworker was like, “You look like a tall baby.” I was like-
J: That’s rude.
K: That’s how I feel. She, like, meant it in a good way. She was like, “Oh, you look so cute. You look like a tall baby.” I was like, “Okay, great. That’s exactly what I was going for.”
J: Not the goal I was intending on in the morning.
K: It’s weird because now I have people from my high school who have moved to New York who are in a very different friend group than me in high school. I feel like the places they’re going out, because sometimes — when I run into them it’s very weird, but sometimes if I see them at the same place, I’m like, “I feel like I shouldn’t be here.” I know that’s like–
J: Really? Because it’s too nice or too silly?
K: It’s just a different vibe. I don’t know if it’s NYU or just the fact that me and my friend group is a very women and queer friend group. A lot of the places that we go out are not necessarily gay clubs, but places with a lot of queer people. One of my friends had a friend in town and she took us to this place on the West Side, and we walked in, and me and my friend Caleb just clutched to each other and we were like, “This is all straight people?”
J: It’s upsetting.
K: It was like the vibe was rancid. Everyone was just standing, and we were like, “This is a weird vibe. I do not experience this side of the city often.”
J: I know. It’s crazy, because that was where I was going out for a lot of my early New York days.
K: That’s not the introduction to New York.
J: I know. I was a late bloomer in terms of that and it was pretty tough, but I made the mistake. It’s because I was doing UCB Comedy, do you know what I mean? I found queer people through that, but it was like you were just in a heterosexual dominance space. Ultimately that was true. Do you know what I mean?
J: Before that I went to a straight college.
K: Where’d you go to college?
K: Oh yes.
J: Profoundly heterosexual.
K: What is that, zero on the Kinsey scale?
J: It’s like a 0.5. There were some people there, but it was — from what I’ve heard, UVM has become a literally completely different school than when I was there, and I wasn’t there that long ago.
K: Maybe that was your impact.
J: It was my impact. Because apparently, it leaned really hard into the sciences. Now it’s, like, for nerds. When I went there it was a party school.
K: Wow, okay. The party to nerd pipeline.
J: The party to nerd pipeline. I think it’s just they were like, “Partiers don’t make you money,” and nerds become — make medicine or whatever.
K: Sorry, this is so funny. That’s like a Christmas photoshoot happening behind you. For the listeners, it’s a glass of some cider and a candle and there’s some–
J: Then there’s like a wreath with light.
K: There’s some holly and a wreath and it looks beautiful. I can’t see it. I just see the flashes going off on your face.
J: It’s really stunning. What was I going to say? Have you ever worked in the restaurant industry in New York?
K: No, I haven’t.
K: I basically worked all throughout college, because I got a really good deal with NYU where I worked in the housing office. Not as an RA, but I answered phone calls from angry parents like 20 hours a week. Then they paid for my housing.
J: Oh Jesus. That’s incredible. You were getting paid, like, $1,000 an hour.
K: No, literally if you did the math. Also because I worked there, I got a single room and stuff, so if you-
J: Who did you kill to get that?
K: My mom’s best friend Willie, who was the original Miss Saigon on Broadway.
J: Okay, great.
K: I don’t know why I added that. His husband Andrew is the head of NYU housing and he was like, “If she wants to work here,” and my parents were like, “Yes, she does.”
J: That’s insane. That’s such-
K: I didn’t have time to do any other job because–
J: Did you do that all four years?
K: Yes, basically.
J: Did you live in student housing all four years?
K: Yes, which is the thing that sucked, because NYU everyone gets apartments starting sophomore year.
J: You’re living off Union Square for free, it’s like everyone gets it. I’m sure you were like, “I want to live in a hobble in Bushwick.”
K: I want to be with my friends 40 minutes away. I’m glad that my parents were like, “You’re doing this.”
J: Yes, no, that’s good. Then where do you live now?
K: I live in Williamsburg. We just made the change. This actually perhaps relates to going out, because I think after five years of living nine months of the year in the East Village, I don’t know what happened but me and my roommates were all like, “We’ve had enough. We need to go to Brooklyn. We need something new.” We’ve been going out in Brooklyn more.
J: Where have you been going?
K: We went to like Nowadays, which was in Ridgewood. Have you been there?
K: We’ve been going there, and then my friend who’s lived in Williamsburg longer has been showing us places. I feel like most of the places I’m going out right now are to comedy shows.
J: You’re in that phase of it?
K: Yes. I’m like in that phase of–
J: How long ago did you start standup?
K: The timeline is weird because I started standup, and then I was doing it my junior year of college. I was doing it for a year, then Covid happened and shut everything down.
K: Since then, I’ve probably been doing it for two years. Well, no, because the pandemic was two years. I started for a year. There was a big break, and then I feel like I just got back into it this past year.
J: You’ve been doing it for two years split?
J: Good. That makes sense if you’re a year into your reboot that that’s when-
K: That’s exactly what it is.
J: You’re into your reboot, but it makes sense that that would be where it’s your whole life. Here’s my question, are you enjoying being out at comedy shows?
J: Because I’m in an interesting place where I’m trying to do as many shows as possible. I don’t know, it feels like it’s funny to — sometimes, I’ll do shows — Because I’m 30, you are 25?
K: I’m 23.
J: You’re 23.
K: I’m young for my grade because I didn’t go to preschool.
J: I started preschool early, but I was also young for my grade. Wait, you’re a Libra, right?
J: Wait, so is it a late October situation? I’m November 3rd.
K: Yes, I was four turning 5 when I entered kindergarten.
J: You graduated at 17, high school?
J: Oh Okay, gorge.
K: Finally some common ground.
J: Not being 21 until senior year college was tough. Anyway, what was I going to say? My point is, it’s funny now because I will do shows — now if I do a show at Easy Lover or if I do a show at like — I’m trying to think of other places. I did Rachel and Tessa’s Morning show. Do you know?
K: Oh yes.
J: I did that this weekend. It’s funny because I’ll go there, and it’s funny because it’s like — oh I’ve said it’s funny nine times in the past 10 seconds.
K: The thing is, it is funny.
J: I haven’t said what’s funny yet and it’s actually not that funny. I will show up and it’s like, oh — everyone’s 22 to 25, and I’m like, “Oh, this is the next class.” They’re all friends, and they all know each other, and I’m not part of this, which is fine, I have my version of it, but it’s funny to see — I’ll talk to them and it’s like, “We’re doing this show tomorrow and this show tomorrow,” and it’s like, “Oh yes.” That’s such a time of your life where you’re just like, “I’m doing shows all weekend.” My social life is seeing these people at these shows all the time. It’s like, that’s so fun.
K: Well also, I would say it’s like you’re doing so many shows, because you’re so booked, you’re so good at standup.
J: Well, thank you.
K: You have been on my show. We loved you.
J: Thank you so much. Your show was so fun.
K: Oh, thank you so much. I was so excited when you had me on. I was like, “I can’t believe I get to be a friend of the pod. Oh, Mr. Jake Cornell.” I feel like I’m not in that stage. Well, also it’s funny that you say it is funny. That you say this is the new class, you have your own — I always feel like I’m not in whatever class there is.
J: You never will. No one ever does. You never will. No one ever does.
K: I think also part of this comes from a little bit of a weird insecurity complex from NYU because I started comedy so late, my junior year and then I did standup. Everyone in the NYU comedy scene was really good friends with each other from improv.
K: Even when I joined I felt like an outsider and was like, “Oh my God, these people are all best friends. This is their primary friend group.”
J: That’s how I felt when I started doing standup after I was an improviser for years. It was the flip, but I felt the same way.
K: It’s like the same thing of like — I have friends from comedy, but my primary friend group is from college. Whereas, I meet people, I’m like, “Oh, your primary friend group is other comedians.” I feel like I perpetually have that complex from college, even if it’s not true.
J: Everyone has a complex about something. I actually really relate to you because I similarly — well, it’s like I’m not insecure about this because I’m very thankful for it. I have a group of best friends. It’s the three of us. I’ve known one of them since I was 17, one of them since I was 12.
J: We are old friends at this point. We moved to New York together, we lived together for three years. We’re all best friends now. They are not touching the comedy scene at the 10-foot pole. They’re not involved, they don’t give a sh*t. If I have a big show, I’ll invite them to come but, otherwise, it’s like they’re chilling. I sometimes do that thing where I’m like, “Oh yes, other people, their version of that are other comedians.” I wonder what that’s like. I don’t think I would like it more or less, it would just be so different. Because the problem is like, as you get more successful — the best version of success is when you’re successful with other people. “Man and Woman” was so fun because I was doing it with Marcia. If you get successful and then you, I don’t know, level up, the people then you start working with are above you, and so you will always feel like you’re the outsider. It will never go away.
K: Which is crazy. That’s actually on one hand, like, “Oh, it will never go away, there’s no hope.” Actually, it’s very comforting to hear. .
J: It should be. I think it’s comforting.
K: Because I do look at you and I’m like, “This is someone who’s so funny at the top of their game.”
K: It’s true, I’m not selling you any lies. You’re so established. To hear you say that actually is bringing me so much comfort on a day where I was flopping so hard.
J: You weren’t flopping. It’s so true. Confidence and success and all that is not real. It’s so subjective. I was trying to explain to someone — how do I say this in an impartial way where I don’t reveal anyone’s identity? Someone was trying to explain to me, a friend of mine, they were essentially saying that, “This person probably felt this way because you’re this.” I was like, “That’s not how I feel about myself, and so that’s not real.” They were like, “It is to them.” I was like, “That doesn’t make any sense.” That was so bad. I just didn’t actually want to reveal them.
K: I saw the wheels turning in your mind.
J: It was really hard for a second there. The worst part about this whole industry and — it also is true of I just think going out when you’re even not a comedian, making new friends and stuff and being socialized, it will always — before it becomes really established, before you start to get actually really close with people, it will always feel a little high school-y where you’re like, “Do they actually want me to be here?” You know what I mean?
K: Yes. It was actually the perfect time for me on this podcast because I feel like I am trying to be in my going out era. Because also I have been wanting to go to more comedy shows, and then I got managers in August, and one of them was like, “Keara, you need to be going to three to five comedy shows a week.” I was like-
J: “Oh, I’m f*cked.”
K: I literally was like, “I can shoot for two. I can shoot for two.” Then I called my other manager, who I love. She is a short, strong, bossy woman from Philadelphia.
K: She has my back 100 percent, I would kill for her. If I could choose my fighter, it would be her, and I told her that. I went to one show, and she was like, “Well, three to five, it’s just what we’re shooting for. That’s fine.” She was so nice about it, but-
J: That’s so funny.
K: They really were like, “You need to be going out more and connecting with other people more.” I was like, “I don’t know if I have that stamina.”
J: It’s also like-
K: I also don’t want to think about it in that way.
J: If you have that energy of like, “I’m here to meet people, and my managers told me to network.” It’s like, like, “No one wants that.”
K: It’s weird. It’s a foul energy.
J: It’s a rancid energy. It’s a really rancid energy. I also think going to one show that you’re actually excited about and coming with that energy is probably more productive than three, where you’re like, “I’m here for work.” Do you know what I mean?
K: Yes, exactly.
J: I think you’re fine.
J: That’s true of, like, going on a general shoot. It’s like doing the plans that you’re actually excited about versus just being like, “I need to gamify this.” I think it’s bad when you gamify truly anything.
K: Exactly. I think that would break my brain.
J: Oh, 100 percent.
K: It would truly make me a villain.
J: As an NYU graduate, what were the hidden gems of trashy-teen going out?
K: This is now closed, but there was this club called China Chalet. It was a dim sum restaurant by day, and then once a month, it would turn into a club and it would be — I think Kim Petras was there. She was DJ’ing there once.
J: Oh, my god.
K: It was this thing where if you were in Tisch and you were in the music school or the film school, you would go there. It was once a month and it would be Beyonce versus Gaga night, and you would dress really crazy and go. During the pandemic it closed-
J: That’s devastating.
K: -and that was a really sad day for-
J: You had some good nights at that?
K: We had some great nights at that. That’s one of those places where I remember being at 4:30 on the dance floor about to fall asleep, and I was like, “Guys, are we ready to go home?” They were like, “Just 30 more minutes.” I was like, “I can’t do this anymore.”
J: That is so funny.
K: That’s such a typical — that closed and we lost it during the pandemic, RIP.
J: That’s, damn. What were your underage spots? Were you guys going to underage a lot? What was the-
K: Yes, because also the weird thing about NYU is it’s such a going-out school in, like, there are no — not really house parties, it’s you go out with your friends. Which also, I think is the reason why NYU has so little relationships and dating and hooking up in general. As I was talking about my friends who went to state colleges and stuff and where there’s local bars or places where everyone’s going to be like, if you have a crush on someone, you know. You probably see them on the weekend somewhere.
J: 100 percent.
K: Whereas at NYU you don’t have that because you just go out with your friends. If you have–
J: In New York, one in millions.
J: That makes sense.
K: If you have a crush on someone, you’re not going to run into them. You’ve got to invite them out with you.
J: That’s tough.
K: Which is so weird to do. It’s very tough. The bright side of that is that we ended up going to a lot of cool places. We went to China Chalet so much, we went through a phase of Planet Rose doing karaoke dance.
J: God bless.
K: God bless Planet Rose. We went through a phase of Beauty Bar and the bouncer still knows me there. Oh, shout-out, Nate. I don’t even know how we found out about these places, or if these really qualify as hidden gems.
J: I mean, it’s funny because it’s also just like — it’s like can anything be a hidden gem in central Manhattan, like-
K: Also, what I will say is that the best nights of going out that I have had have always been not in big groups, but it’s like me, my best friend, Jackie, and maybe one other person.
K: It’s always a very small group that ends up being the most fun random night.
J: That’s pretty much true of everything. That’s true of a dinner out. That’s true in general, I think. Has it been an interesting process now that you don’t live in Manhattan exploring other places?
K: Yes, it is, because now when someone’s like, “Come out in Manhattan,” I’m like, “I don’t know.”
K: Oh, I can’t do that. I’ve got to go home.
J: Oh, right because you have to get 12 hours.
K: Because as you know, I’m a long sleeper.
J: Wait, so if you’re a long sleeper — wait, genuine question: If you’re out till 3 a.m. are you f*cked? Will that f*ck you for the next day?
K: If I go to bed at 3 a.m. and I don’t set an alarm, I’ll wake up between at 1 p.m. or 2 p.m.
J: That’s so tough. That’s really scary in the winter, too, because sunlight.
J: You’ll lose it.
K: I have tricks to wake myself up.
J: Like what? Are you also a deep sleeper?
J: Is it hard to wake up?
K: I’m a deep sleeper. Like my dad, I had a big snoring problem when I was a kid, and my bed was right next to his-
K: Yes, wall. I think I just learned to block that out so many times-
J: Oh no, so alarms don’t work essentially?
K: Well, they do work, but I don’t — Sleepy Keara is a menace. Sleepy Keara, when she wants to go back to bed, will — the first alarm–
J: You’ll turn it off.
K: Yes. She doesn’t obey the laws of man.
J: When you say she — is it because you literally don’t have a memory of waking up and turning off the alarm?
K: No, it’s like I do it, but when I’m sleepy, I lose all discipline. Sleep comes first. One of my tricks is your body will naturally start to wake up if it gets hotter. After my first alarm, I press snooze and then I put on my electric blanket and I turn it up to high.
J: That’s crazy.
K: I have to turn it up to high. Then by the next alarm, I’m cooking and I’m ready to go.
J: This is so crazy.
K: That’s how deep a sleeper I am. I have to basically bake myself until I wake up.
J: We are physically opposites.
K: Physically different creatures.
J: I would say on average I sleep six hours a night.
K: That would break me by day five.
J: I am up at 7:30 naturally most days. I don’t–
K: I am so jealous of you. I wish I could be Cornell.
J: I also love to do this thing, something I do — this has been a newer development, and I feel like some sleep scientist is going to tell me I’m dying. Basically, it’s this thing that me and my ex would call “second coma,” which is you wake up — sometimes I’ll wake up at 5 a.m. fully awake, and it’s just like I’m awake at 5 a.m., which is not ideal. Then I’ll dig around on my phone in bed for an hour. Then the second you catch that you’re feeling a little sleepy again-
K: Go back to bed.
J: -you just roll over and then you get a half-hour. I’ll sleep for another half-hour, 45. Something about that, it’s like — we call it the second coma. That half-hour, 45 for the second sleep is worth double points. I wake up from that and I’m like, I’m ready to face the day. That little nugget of deep, deep — I don’t know if it’s hard — I don’t know what it is, but I feel so refreshed from it.
K: That’s so interesting that you can wake up and feel alert. I wake up naturally so late. Let’s say I go to bed at a normal hour, I’ll naturally wake up at 11 a.m. One time randomly, in the middle of the week, I just woke up at 8 a.m. Just woke up. I was alert and I almost had an anxiety attack because I was like, “Why am I awake?”
J: That’s so funny.
K: I like didn’t know what to–
J: If I went to bed before 3 a.m. and I woke up at 11 a.m., I would feel sick.
K: Yes, it’s I think-
J: It would freak me the f*ck out
K: Whenever your sleep schedule is disrupted — I woke up at 8, which is totally normal for most people, but I didn’t know what to do with this liminal time I had between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., and I was like-
J: Time of the day.
K: “Why am I awake? What’s going on with my body? Why does it want me alert?” I was really freaked out.
J: Does this make dating hard?
K: Does this make dating hard? Do you mean that I’m always so sleepy?
J: I feel like I would have a hard time dating someone who slept till 11 a.m. If there was a period of time where they were in my bed for three hours when I’m like-
K: I’ve only ever had one relationship but usually, we meet in the middle if we will-
K: Oh, 10 a.m.
J: Okay. Your side is in the middle.
K: Well, also because I’m such a night person. I don’t know why, my brain is just wired backwards because I love sunshine. I love the day, but I do feel like — I think of that as my relaxing time. I think I’m just a plant, an autotroph, I see the sun and I’m like, “Time to relax and eat and enjoy-
J: Do you work at night, too? Productivity-wise?
K: Yes, I do all my creative work at night.
J: Oh, interesting. I can’t do that.
K: When the sun goes down, I just think of it as I’ve enjoyed the day, now it’s time for me to work.
J: Oh, and I’m flopped. Coming around 6 o’clock, I’m like, “Oh, take time for social stuff. Time for dinner, time for drinks, time for hanging out.” It’s really hard for me to work at night.
K: Yes. Wow, we’re complete-
J: We’re really opposite.
K: We should have some song duo numbers that we do. Aren’t we an odd couple?
J: I really thought we were about to finish the other Sunday, but this also just shows how opposites we are. I was like, “We should do —” I was going to say brain scan, and see how different our brains are.
K: I was thinking of a cabaret number. We should see what our brains are-
J: I’ve always been this way. When I was a little kid I would wake up at 5 a.m. every day.
K: That is a little bit “American Psycho.”
J: My parents taught me how to use the television so that I could turn the TV on and watch TV by myself before they got up.
K: Oh my God, you were a little man already. You were-
J: I would watch because — This was in 2000, this was pre-9/11. This is-
K: Why did you say that?
J: Sorry, it’s because my parents got divorced right around 9/11.
K: Oh yes. It’s-
J: A huge part of my personality, Keara, is that in 2001 my parents moved me from Rhode Island to Vermont, and immediately got divorced, and then 9/11 happened.
K: Then 9/11 happened
J: It’s incredibly formative to me.
K: That was a huge year.
J: Really a deeply formative time for me. I guess that was actually two years after we moved to Vermont, but this — whatever, doesn’t matter. I’m placing the memory by being like, “Did 9/11 happen yet?” Do you know what I mean?
K: That’s how you mark time.
J: It’s a huge power of how I mark time.
K: That makes sense.
J: I think that’s normal for people my age.
K: Yes. Also, because society completely changed after that. That’s how you mark time in-
J: Yes, especially for me because my parents got divorced.
K: It’s also more important.
J: For me, I can picture what house I was in and then where my parents married and like, “Did 9/11 happen, and through that I can triangulate.”
K: You can figure out where the memory is.
J: That’s truly how it works. The only thing that would be on TV for me to watch it was either old infomercials that would be playing from the night before. Or on Fox, they would play “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “The Twilight Zone.” That’s what I would watch.
K: I love “The Twilight Zone.”
J: I would watch that at 5 a.m., and then my mom would wake up and I’d be like, “I watched a show that-
K: See, I have the complete reverse memory of me staying up and the “George Lopez” theme song coming on at 3 a.m., where it’s just this floating head going by in slow-mo.
J: The deep shame of waking up during the “Girls Gone Wild” commercial, was this part of your life?
K: Yes. Wait, yes, I did see those.
J: Yes, that was an intense,
K: Because I’m ’99, I lived through a lot of the — I have memories of a lot of 2000s TV. I remember I found out what a stripper was from watching the Paris Hilton Sofia Richie show.
J: Sofia Richie?
K: No, not Sofia Richie. What’s the other one?
J: Nicole Richie.
K: Nicole Richie. Oh my god. It’s a different person.
J: I was like, “What show are you talking about?”
K: Oh my god. The Nicole — You know how they have the best-
J: Yes, I know.
K: I found out and my mom was like, “How do you know what that is?” I was like, “I was watching TV, it’s Paris Hilton.” I have core memories of 2000s TV.
J: That’s so funny. Wow. ’99. God bless.
K: Good year, I think.
J: Yes. 9/11 happened.
K: 9/11 happened. Your parents hadn’t gotten divorced?
J: No, I think in ’99 I moved to Vermont. That’s the year I moved to Vermont. This is when–
K: What year were you born?
K: ’92, okay.
J: I turned 30 like three weeks ago, or no, a month ago now.
K: Oh my God. Happy birthday. How does it feel?
J: It’s not that different.
K: I told my little sister that — because she just turned 20, I was like, “A lot of your birthdays you have as a teen, when you turn 17, you look at yourself at 15 and you’re like, ‘I grew so much.’ Once you hit 20, that stops.” For me at least, I feel-
J: You’re 23. It’s not going to stop. I don’t think that’s true. I feel it’s crazy to be able to say — I can look back on my 20s now. I don’t have quite enough distance to look back on it, but I guess it was —the only thing that “felt different” was — it’s trippy to think like, “Okay, my 20s are like picture locked.” Like, it’s done. Whatever that was, it’s over and it’s official.
K: No more sequels.
J: It’s like there’s no editing, there’s no revising, that’s the final draft. That was my 20s. That’s crazy to think about a little bit. It’s also like my life just naturally changed a lot right around when I turned 30; I went through a breakup, I moved. My life is, all of a sudden, very different than my 20s was, because I was in a relationship for most of my 20s. It’s just like-
K: Oh, and then now you’re entering the 30s single.
J: Correct. I did enter my 30s single, which was–
K: New York City, watch out, Jake’s on the market.
J: I’m pitching to network, so we’re going to do a show. Sofia Richie is in touch. I guess that it is interesting to think like, “Oh, my 20s are done.” I guess that’s interesting to think about, but it doesn’t actually feel that different physically or like mentally or emotionally, if that makes sense.” Looking back on when I first moved to New York when I was 22, it’s like, “Holy sh*t, I’m different.”
K: I hope I feel that way.
J: You will. I think you will.
K: It’s also — I am interested to see what my 20s hold. Especially in relationships, I recently had — I always want to have a relationship, but I don’t know, it just doesn’t happen for me very often. I’ve only ever had one. I was having dinner with one of our — do you know Rachel Ordan?
K: Oh, she’s a comedian, but we went to the same high school.
J: Okay, cool.
K: She’s about two years older than me, and I was like, “How’s your love life?” I forget how she worded it, but she was like, “Don’t expect to get a boyfriend in the next couple years.” We’re so alike. She was like, “It’s hard for kooky girls like us.” That’s basically how she said it. Because it’s like you always think like, “Oh, when I’m 25, then I’ll get a boyfriend.”
J: Yes, totally.
K: She was like, “Don’t put your eggs in that basket.”
J: I didn’t expect to be someone who had a boyfriend for most of my 20s. That was not the plan, it just happened. I do think I’m the outlier, and I think it’s fine either way.
K: It’s just, “Oh, to have human connection.”
J: Sure, the cuddling is nice.
J: Either experience is going to make you grow. The thing is that like you’re going to — it’s growth either way. We’re growing. We love–
K: The season of growth.
J: Season of growth. I end my episodes by us making a plan to go out together.
K: Oh my God, yay.
J: What should we do?
K: What should we do? How can we take these two polar opposites, bring them together for one night out?
J: I know. Well, it seems like we’re pretty cohesive on a night out. Connection.
K: Actually, maybe that’s our common ground.
J: Is that we’re both, like, awake at night. I think I’ll show you a good Brooklyn restaurant if you’re new to Brooklyn.
K: Yes, and then I think we should go dancing.
J: Let’s go dancing.
K: I would love that.
J: I’ll take you to a fun, gay dance party.
K: That’s exactly what I want.
J: Okay, perfect.
K: That would be perfect. A lovely Brooklyn dinner?
J: Yes, and we’ll eat light because we’re going to dance so you can’t–
K: Exactly. Well, I might need the carbs for energy.
J: Well, I’m saying carbs that you can’t do, like, too rich-
K: Not having a tart cake, but fueling up for the night.
J: We’ll carbo-load lightly.
K: I like carbo-load for the night and then we’ll go dancing.
J: I think that’s perfect. Well, let’s be in bed by 2 a.m.
K: Because then I can get up by-
J: That’s what I’m saying.
K: -around noon. Then I think that would be perfect.
J: I’ll be up at 6 a.m.
K: Per usual. It’s a deal.
K: We’re going out. Thank you so much for having me. I had so much fun. I was so happy to be a friend at the pod. Bye.
Thank you so much for listening to “Going Out With Jake Cornell.” If you could please go and review us on whatever you’re listening to this on, that would be really gorgeous for me in a huge way, so thank you.
Now, for some credits. “Going Out With Jake Cornell” is recorded in New York City and produced by Keith Beavers and Katie Brown. The music you’re hearing is by Darby Cicci. The cover art you’re probably looking at was photographed by M Cooper and designed by Danielle Grinberg. A special shout-out to VinePair co-founders Josh Malin and Adam Teeter for making all of this possible.