I have had the pleasure to work with many comedians, and they are my heroes. Comedians open up about their lives and struggles in a way I wish I could, and it allows the audience to relate through laughter.  When a performer commits so fully to a crazy character or situation on stage, it breaks the tension and connects everyone in the moment.

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However, it can be hard for performers to be this open off-stage.  For this series, I spent time with each comedian in their home or another spot that they frequent in their day-to-day lives.  I chatted with each of them and asked how they are able to use their personal fears and struggles in their comedy.  These portraits are a vulnerable look at their off-stage lives, with no character to hide behind.

Carissa Dorson is a cinematographer and photographer based in Los Angeles.

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