Great Neck native and comedian Talia Reese is coming back to her roots for New Year’s Eve, hosting a comedy night and soiree at Colbeh, a Kosher Mediterranean restaurant in her hometown.
Reese, who has been featured on Comedy Central, Sirius XM and more, cut her chops as a comedy troupe director before making a move into bankruptcy law. Her passion for comedy, she said, made her presence a bit more felt than others on her legal team.
“I definitely had too much personality for a junior associate in my department in bankruptcy law,” Reese told Blank Slate Media.
Being a strong writer and researcher made the transition from comedy to law easier than one might assume, she said. While some skills seamlessly translated from the world of comedy to the world of law, she said, the tedium of her daily routine and long road to being a trial lawyer or partner nudged her back into comedy.
The transition from sketch comedy to stand-up performances, Reese said, was difficult in some ways, mainly because there isn’t anyone or anything else to work with. At the same time, doing stand-up shows and routines for almost the past 10 years makes her dread sharing a stage at the same time as someone else.
“Being alone on stage and having to pull in all the laughter without a scene partner, doing crowd work and doing a little improv were skills I really had to hone in on,” she said. “Now, I can’t even imagine having someone else. I’d be like, ‘Get off my stage, what are you doing?’ It’s crazy.”
Nearly a decade later after her switch, Reese said, her decision to pursue comedy was a wise one, getting steady work on Long Island, especially due to her knowledge of the area. Being an Orthodox Jew, she said, also gives her more niche material that she’s able to expound upon in certain areas.
“I have my regular club material and then I have more niche events where I can talk about Jewish rituals and traditions and I’m able to poke fun at the religion or being married to a really observant man,” Reese said.
Being a native of Great Neck, she said, it’s a great feeling to know a lot about a certain area when performing because the jokes can be relatable to much of the audience. The politics of local elections and heated school board debates surrounding curriculum are some of the aspects Reese said she loves to tailor sets around for local audiences.
“Instead of people debating issues, I want them to come together and laugh,” she said. “I think in this community, we have more in common than we don’t and that’s what’s so great about comedy.”
Poking fun at both extremes of a certain topic or heated debate, she said, is key to having the entire audience engaged and laughing at what’s going on. Not pitting one group of people against another and acknowledging the ridiculousness of both sides, Reese said, leads to everybody enjoying the set.
The event begins at 8:30 p.m., with all-inclusive admission costing $126 per person. Reese said she has worked with Colbeh before and attendees can expect a stocked open bar with premium spirits to go along with a night full of laughter and dancing.
Reese emphasized that the show is not just for Great Neck residents and hoped others throughout the North Shore and Long Island would spend the holiday with her at Colbeh, located at 75 N. Station Plaza. Other comedians featured at the event include Erik Bransteen, Eli Lebowicz and Eman Morgan. To register or to find more information on the event, visit: taliareese.com.