Theater & art

Rise

Lillian DeVane’s goal: not to end up as a 40-year-old salty waitress

Age: 29

Hometown: Polk City, Fla.

Think of: A broader “Portlandia”-style perspective. DeVane dissects what’s hip and trendy from a place firmly planted in that culture.

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What caught our eye: Performances as herself and in character at The Gas!, at the Comedy Studio, and on Ken Reid’s “Member’s Lounge.”

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Light bulb moment: DeVane used to watch stand-up comedy as a kid, but never really considered it as a profession until she saw a local alt-comedy show run by Rob Crean. “There was just like, a lot of weirdo people like me, my age,” she says. “They were just getting onstage and just saying things that they thought of that were funny, that was funny about their life, or stupid thoughts they had. And I was like, I have those! I say that to people all the time, trying to make people laugh. So I can just write it out and say it into a microphone.”

Biggest thrill: She gives a somewhat cryptic, one-word answer: “Uppers.”

Biggest surprise: “Becoming friends with the guys who used to tell rape jokes,” she says. “And finding out they’re not horrible monsters. It’s awesome. And you’re friends now, they don’t tell rape jokes anymore.”

Inspired by: A diverse slate of comic performers including Amy Sedaris, Paul Reubens (a.k.a. Pee-wee Herman), Kids in the Hall, and Maria Bamford, but DeVane feels they all have something in common. “They have this sort of irreverent but sort of, like, multilayered intellectual aspect,” she says. “So it’s like, really silly, but there’s a lot going on underneath the surface. And they’re just weird. Weird and dark and silly, and also smart at the same time. It’s a tricky combination.”

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Aspires to: “I aspire to just lead a life that’s fulfilling, creatively, just so I’m not like a 40-year-old salty waitress. That’s my only goal, is to not have that happen to me. Could. Could happen. But hopefully it won’t.”

For good luck: “I actually burn sage. I’m not like a weird hippie, but I have like four crystals and I have a huge sage stick and I burn a ton of sage as a little ritual, pretty much every day, which is kind of weird.”

What people should know: She was comfortable performing early on from her experience as a high school drama geek and a competitive public speaker in college. And she’s hard to pin down: She does stand-up, occasionally does a character or two, writes for the humor page of the indie Boston Counter Cultural Compass paper, and is a two-time local winner of the “Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction” show. When “Member’s Lounge” pops up, she gets to put her old competitive public-speaking skills to use playing an officious lecturer giving a presentation. “I’m also sort of that woman anyways, so it’s not that much of a stretch,” she says. “The PowerPoint humor cracks me up.”

Coming soon: DeVane is a regular at the Friday-night show The Gas! @ Great Scott, and at the Comedy Studio, where she’ll be May 13. She’ll also be releasing an album on vinyl in June of sketch and live comedy for the local indie label pRIMORDIAL sOUNDS.

Links: www.lilliandevane.com

www.twitter.com/lilliandevane

Nick A. Zaino III can be reached at nick@nickzaino.com.