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Conversations with Amber Swab

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Swab.

Hi Amber, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I think as most little girls did at one point, from the time I could walk I was putting on shows with my cousin, Reese, at every family gathering we had. Who am I kidding, we never really stopped doing them. On top of this, I loved watching SNL with my parents when I was younger.

It inspired and motivated me to begin posting funny videos online, and (despite my inconsistency with posting) the feedback I’ve received over the years proved to me that my passion was making people laugh. As a freshman in high school, my English teacher told us she graduated from SCAD, and my interest in higher education began to peak.

I always knew I wanted to do something relating to the arts, and the school itself was a perfect size. After touring SCAD a few times in high school, my heart was set on it and I committed right after I was accepted in the fall of 2019.

I’m now a junior studying dramatic writing [screenwriting] with a focus on comedy, and I am lucky to call Savannah my home. Since my first day at SCAD, I’ve learned so much about not only my craft but myself, and have felt so supported by the friends and mentors I’ve met here.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Hanging out with Reese and making up songs or skits for our shows were the best memories I can recall from my childhood, as a lot of it was anxiety-ridden. At the age of 5, I was diagnosed with panic disorder and was put on medication at 8. It was a blessing and a curse to be diagnosed at such a young age because although when I was younger I missed out on so much, I was fortunate to have had proactive parents who made sure to get me the help I needed so it wouldn’t hold me back my whole life.

Despite their incredible support, my panic attacks debilitated me and I never thought college, let alone an out-of-state college, would ever be in the cards for me. The lash back from people in high school from my videos online also wasn’t easy to deal with, and I was also very unconventional living in a snobby town. I struggled with severe depression and begged my parents to be homeschooled. You can only imagine how happy I was the last 3 months of my senior year when COVID hit and we were forced to do online school.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a comedy writer with a bit of a side hustle with an online presence. Being a female in the comedy industry is not easy- people always say “women aren’t funny”, or not being taken seriously because of a pretty face. I think what sets me apart in the comedy industry is that I’m a female. Every woman in this industry is set apart from men.

From the moment a woman walks onto a stand-up stage, there is a shift in the energy of the audience and you immediately have to prove to them you are funny. Us females in the industry aren’t afraid of crushing society’s expectations of being so perfect and ladylike.

There’s this idea that women have to keep their mouths shut, and obviously by being a comedian, we aren’t doing that; we’re not afraid of speaking our minds or saying what everyone else is afraid to say. Every female comedian is set apart because of that.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
My biggest supporters have been my parents. Cliche, I know. Truly, they’ve made great sacrifices and worked unbelievably hard to make sure SCAD was possible for me.

There were so many scary times for me at such a young age and I will forever be grateful that they understood my needs before I was able to. I also wouldn’t have made it here without the patience of my teachers and doctors throughout the years, and for seeing something in me when I couldn’t.

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Matt Gleason

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