Lauren Ansley '02

Name: Lauren Ansley '02
Residence: Charlotte, North Carolina
Degree: Business administration (marketing concentration)
Occupation: Marketing, P.T. International

A Charlotte magazine has named Lauren Ansley '02 as a comedian to watch, but after bombing her first comedy open mic early on, she almost quit one of the things that gives her the most joy.

Ansley discovered comedy after searching for a hobby that piqued her interest. She enrolled in a weekly stand-up class at The Comedy Zone in Charlotte. On the final night of the class, which is also graduation night, she and her comedy classmates performed in front of a live audience that included several family and friends.

“It was one of the best nights of my life!” Ansley recalled. Later, following another performance at an open mic, she had a vastly different experience. And she quit comedy for three years.

In May of 2017, she decided to give it another chance and took the stage again.

“I have been going strong ever since. I encourage anyone considering comedy – and this goes for any hobby or passion – to learn from my mistake and keep going. One bad night does not define you, just like one good night doesn't,” said Ansley.

So far, her sense of humor has taken her to comedy clubs in Charlotte, Greensboro and Nashville, and a number of other venues - her mom's church social, a movie theater and a friend's backyard - in Virginia and the Carolinas. CharlotteFive recently named Ansley among 11 up and coming Queen City comics to know. You can catch her at a number of venues soon.

“For me, comedy is a new-found passion and an incredible creative outlet,” Ansley said.

She uses that creative time to attend comedy shows and special events in the evenings and most weekends. By day, she still manages to utilize her wittiness – and her business administration degree, she happily reports – as a marketing specialist with P.T. International.

Ansley wasn't sure what she wanted to study at Winthrop, after falling in love with the campus during a tour.

“I visited a few other school campuses, but when I toured Winthrop it just felt like home. It was the right size and had a good selection of programs, which worked well for me because I didn't even pick a major until my junior year,” she said. “It was fun how many times people confused pre-major with pre-med and how many times I didn't correct them.”

She still remembers, as a Winthrop freshman, the three flights of stairs in Margaret Nance Hall, class projects and presentations in Thurmond Building and walking across campus with friends to all the cultural events.

As an upperclassman, she used her resources on campus, like the National Student Exchange program, to learn more about the world around her. She also interacted with Career Services to land a co-op during her senior year at the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce, which later became her first “real job” after graduation. Ansley said her background in marketing and sales has been helpful in her comedy pursuits. For now, she is content with merging the two worlds.

“I enjoy marketing and I love comedy. My goal with both is to be open to where the road takes me and enjoy the journey in the meantime,” Ansley said.

She has similar advice to Winthrop students, encouraging them to take advantage of their college journey by joining clubs and getting out of their comfort zone. Her most profound advice to students: “Do not go home every weekend! You'll lose your parking spot!”