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Life & Work with Janell Banks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janell Banks. 

Hi Janell, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I walked into being stand-up a comedian on a complete dare, however, I knew at the age of 9 years old that I wanted to be a comedian. I can remember classmates at the age of 9 telling me I would be on the television show Comicview. I am not fully aware of the things I could have been saying at the age of 9 but I knew I was pretty hilarious. Fast forward to 2012 where I was sitting at an open mic with a co-worker who dared me to perform, of course, I obliged and hit the stage. It felt completely natural, in fact so natural I began to perform every week at this open mic. Eventually, I was able to proceed with booking opportunities which have led to endless possibilities in the realm of comedy. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road I am sure has been paved with good intentions… or whatever they say however I can’t say it has always been smooth. I have encountered some very sleepless nights, spiritual and financial hardships, as well as moments of complete fear sprinkled with a tinge of doubt. Investing in yourself to travel across the country, taking the time off from work, missing important family engagements and holidays also play a massive part in struggling and balancing being a stand-up comedian. However, with all the bumps in the road, I would not change the journey at all. Those experiences, the good the bad, and the dramatically ugly have all made for an amazing journey. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a stand-up comedian who wears many hats. By day I am a conflicts and compliance assistant for a law firm and by night I perform across the country. While in between time I am also a graphic designer, officiant, radio personality, and producer, as well the world’s greatest auntie according to my niece. I am most proud of being able to balance all these things while still having a sense of humor. 

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
My favorite childhood memory would have to be traveling with my grandparents. I have had some pretty amazing experiences and have seen some very cool things as a kid. One of the funniest moments would have to be running through a butterfly garden because of a fear of flying insects. My grandfather thought this would be the perfect trip for a little girl, however, my experience was that of being in a haunted house. I think we also learned on this day I may be slightly dramatic. 

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