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San Diego Faculty Performs First Headlining Comedy Show

By: Lauren Loeffler

August 22, 2017

When Jane Schmitz, a faculty member at The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago, doctors told her that she had only four to six months to live. Facing that news, Schmitz became determined to get moving on her bucket list and soon had signed up for a stand-up comedy class.

Thankfully, Schmitz has been in remission for two years since then, and her doctors call her “Miracle Girl.” For Schmitz, that cancer scare was a wakeup call to focus on living her best life, including finally doing stand-up comedy, which she’d been thinking about for years.

After teaching high school and college for over a decade, she’d already learned how to use humor to keep her classes engaging, especially when teaching something like business, which can occasionally be a bit dry. A serial entrepreneur, Schmitz herself has owned more than seven businesses in and around La Mesa, including a bakery, restaurant, tea room, coffeehouse, espresso carts, catering company, and other ventures. 

As an instructor in the 
Culinary Department at Ai California—San Diego, she draws on these experiences, often relaying funny situations she has encountered over the years to demonstrate particular concepts. In addition to being fantastic teaching material, her life experiences have also served her well as material for her stand-up routines.

After successfully completing a class at the National Comedy Theater, Dat Phan, winner of Last 
Comic Standing, singled her out during her final class performance and asked her to start opening for him at the La Jolla Comedy Store. For the last year, Schmitz has been opening for him and other acts in various comedy theaters across San Diego. On July 26, 2017, she performed her first headlining show at Mad House Comedy Club in downtown San Diego.

In the comedy world, Schmitz is considered a clean comedian, as she doesn’t use vulgarity or cursing in her acts. Her goal is to bring more clean comedy to San Diego and ultimately transition into corporate comedy. As a teacher and comedian, she says she has always viewed herself as a storyteller who makes sure every story delivers a punch line.

Jane Schmitz


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