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.
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.