The Power of Laughter & Making Breakups a Little Less Sh*tty
In this edition of Empowered Women Empower, join us for a peek inside the feel better world of Natasha Pearl Hansen. Stand-up comedian, actress, writer, producer, and founder of My BreakUp Registry, Natasha Pearl Hansen has created and performed dozens of comedic shows and essays and is a powerhouse at offering up laughter as a cure for heartbreak. Using aspects of her personal life as the focus of her humor on-stage and in her writing, including her own failures, her family, and her engagement, Natasha’s work becomes oh so relatable making it that much more fun!
Meet Natasha Pearl Hansen
The comedic career of Natasha Pearl Hansen began in 2006 at Second City Chicago. And in 2010, she found her love for stand-up and never looked back. Since, she has curated and performed sold-out shows around the world, produced and co-starred in the show ‘Assistants’, wrote countless articles incorporating comedic photography for Men’s Health Magazine, and has won numerous awards for her comedic work.
2019 was a poignant year for Natasha. She started her podcast “Future Role Models”, a concept based on a series of books she began creating at age 14 and will eventually publish! During that year she also self-produced “Future Role Models LIVE” as a Las Vegas residency. Then her wedding was called off after a 9 year relationship and a 3 year engagement.
Being the type that likes to find silver linings and being locked into a venue contract, Natasha decided to record and self-produce her first comedy special on June 15, 2019, the day she was actually supposed to get married, titled “I Was Supposed To Get Married Today…”. The special was shot at her contracted wedding venue in Madison, Wisconsin near where she grew up. Recorded in front of a live audience of her family, friends, and wedding guests, she performed only one take of the special to a sold-out room and turned the entire evening into an all-encompassing “wedding” experience for her guests.
Sparking a niche in comedic heartbreak relief, Natasha’s social media audience began to turn to her for help and guidance. So she came up with the idea for My BreakUp Registry, a crowdfunding, item and experience registry platform as well as a resource center for people going through breakups.
Inside the Empowering Feel-good World of Natasha Pearl Hansen
Love Happens: As our name, and the tagline of our publisher KOKET denotes, at ‘Love Happens’ we are firm believers that you cannot achieve any level of success without love. When did your love affair with comedy begin?
Natasha Pearl Hansen: I was a storyteller from a young age, but it wasn’t until my early years at Second City Chicago that I realized how important stories and laughter truly are. I remember doing a mediocre improv set while in a conservatory, and a couple came up to our team after and said they’d recently experienced a tragedy, and this was their first time out of the house and they hadn’t laughed like that in a long time. That really stuck with me.
Comedy could be that healing? When I discovered standup I was in a really bad relationship and found it was healing me as well. That’s when I realized my true love of comedy. It had the power to make people feel something, and that something was better.
Lh: Tell us a bit about your story to date?
Natasha: I worked my butt off to be good at comedy and hustled in as many of the right ways as I could. After years of producing my own tours, filming projects, submitting to film festivals, founding production companies, and nearly selling a number of half-hour pilots, I started working in a unique way as a creative to partner with brands and startups.
All this time and effort built me to the point of being able to write, self-produce and film my first comedy special on my canceled wedding day, and gave me the business sense to found a company, My Break-Up Registry, as a sequel to my special. I’ve built a really cool lane for myself that spans entertainment and entrepreneurship, and I get to make deals happen by day and let my creativity fly by night. The hustle has really landed me in a special space that I don’t take easily for granted.
Lh: What empowers you most?
Natasha: As a kid, I was prophesied over by an elder in my church that “one day people will be surrounding you asking what the secret to your success is,” and honestly, that’s kept me going at any rough turn. I love creating opportunities in order to live life on my own terms, but I feel most empowered when I get to tell people my secrets, both personal and professional. I feel empowered by collaborating yet going against the grain. I feel empowered when I’m affecting other people in the best possible way and by building things that make others feel a sense of belonging or community. I also feel empowered when I wear a killer jumpsuit.
Lh: Tell us about the biggest hurdle you have overcome in life or business?
Natasha: I’m a self-starter. I’ve never had a single connection in any of the lanes I’ve jumped into, so I’ve had to lean into my openness, social skills, and existing network to navigate my way. There’s a lot of self-trust involved in this kind of risk-taking.
There’s also a blessing in starting from scratch because there aren’t rules. You’re allowed to not know things; you can be honest that you don’t know something, but make it clear you’re willing to learn and listen.
In stand-up you’re fully responsible for how you present on stage and for your outcome, and it’s the same in business. I’ll own it when I fail, but I’ll also own it when I pivot and succeed. Hurdles are tiring, but you get in shape real quick.
Lh: Who is Natasha Pearl Hansen the Woman?
Natasha: She’s a life-long learner who values experiences, finds joy in little things, cares about people, and owns her imperfections along the way. She’s a fun-loving entertainer who loves to be in the spotlight, yet loves to share the spotlight with others. She’s all about meaningful connection, laughter, values, morals, and integrity. She works hard but will never turn down the chance for an adventure. She cares deeply about people and wants to have the people around her feel valued, and know that their insights matter. She tries to leave people better than she found them, and if she doesn’t, she tries to do better next time. She looks for silver linings in life’s BS and loves her family and friends more than life (which she loves a LOT). Authenticity and transparency are paramount to her. I’d say she’s a Boss.
Lh: Who is Natasha Pearl Hansen the Comedian and founder of My BreakUp Registry?
Natasha: My comedy and my company are extensions of me. I carry a throughline in both my personal and professional life, based in authenticity, vulnerability, joy, and transparency. I’m an open book to my audience and want to make people feel like they have a safe space to be their real selves. In my business, I’m really leaning into mental health, wellness, and healing after a break-up, and showing people that asking for help in a hard time can, in fact, allow you to get the things you need. With both, I look to highlight what good can come from a seemingly bad thing.
Nothing is more empowering than feeling like you matter, and I make people feel like they matter.
Lh: How do you empower others?
Natasha: I actually genuinely care about people and want them to succeed. I’m always thinking of how I can provide value or opportunity, and I try to encourage connection and grit. Nothing is more empowering than feeling like you matter, and I make people feel like they matter. I’m always making time for people, and I never forget people I’ve met along the way. I love to encourage others, and I truly feel happy when people around me feel fulfilled and successful.
Lh: What three pieces of advice would you give to someone starting their career in comedy?
Natasha: It’s going to take time, you will be disappointed, and you must focus on the good and on getting good rather than getting ahead.
You can’t control much of anything, but what you can control is what you present, so focus on performing and doing the work. You have to do the work to be ready for opportunities when they come and to appreciate those opportunities.
Gratitude, self-awareness, and being competitive against nobody but yourself will go a long way. Get one percent better every day any way you can. Recognize that someone else’s win doesn’t affect you, it only means that the opportunity is out there and available, meaning it can be yours too. There’s room for everyone and you’ll find your own way.
Bonus advice: get good at using a camera and you’ll make friends real quick.
Lh: Do you have any mottos you like to live by?
Natasha: How you do anything is how you do everything. Everything you touch, do it to the best of your ability, even if it’s not your favorite thing. Be grateful for where you are. Do everything with the thought “I GET to do this” instead of “I HAVE to do this” and you’ll see a shift.
Lh: What’s next for Natasha Pearl Hansen?
Natasha: Finally selling a TV series, the expansion of My BreakUp Registry, and continuing to build my highway as an entertainer and entrepreneur. I’m working on my new hour of stand-up, and as a founder, I want to use my comedy skills for larger public speaking events and even a Ted Talk one day.
Honestly, it’s more of the same thing I’ve been doing, which has always been different and new and never the same… I’m so open-minded yet clearly focused that new opportunities will find their way to me, and I know in my gut if it’s something to jump into or not.
I continue to grow, learn, pivot, and be open to new experiences as long as I’m staying true to myself! I know my brand and voice inside and out, and I’m planning to build that into an empire.