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How to Turn Adversity into Comedy and a Successful Career

Written By Nick Mendez | Mar 19, 2015

Jacki Sturkie is a copywriter, brand strategist and comedian in Portland, OR. She’s built her career, in large part, by staring adversity in its ugly face and laughing.

She turned a less-than-stellar childhood into the basis for her first book, Sass Mouth, and a wealth of stage material. Not only do audiences love to hear about other people’s pain, Jacki says, but a well-timed, self-deprecating joke can be a powerful tool to align a room in your favor.

When Jacki was diagnosed with cancer, she turned the story of her treatment into a one-woman show. Making fun of cancer made it seem less powerful, she says, and the fact that she kicked its ass stands as one hell of a living testament to that approach.

Jacki’s habit of turning her adversaries into characters, and her misfortune into jokes, has continually opened doors for her. It led to an early gig as a copywriter at a recording studio, where she wrote and produced an award-winning spot.

It’s also melted away any fears of speaking publicly, or pursuing a creative idea that might otherwise be deemed too risky.

Jacki’s book, Sass Mouth, is now available on Amazon.

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