Secrets to Your Success: Tig Notaro

"Good evening, hello. I have cancer."

It's been about nine months since Tig Notaro, a stand-up comedian, experienced life-changing events, but she says every aspect of her life, from her health to her relationships to her career, is better off for it.
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As a mischievous child, Tig says she always wanted to be a stand-up comedian, but thought people were just born comedians, comparing it to wanting to be the President of the United States.

After dropping out of high school, Tig moved to Los Angeles and was working in the music business when she decided to try stand-up. She has since slowly built her way up from open mic nights to headlining shows and television appearances.

But this past year, Tig went through four months filled with personal tragedies, including a bout with pneumonia and C. diff, her mother dying, a breakup, cancer, and a double mastectomy. In the middle of it all, she went on stage at Los Angeles comedy club Largo for a now-legendary stand-up performance.

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"When I first walked out on stage and said, 'Hi, good evening. I have cancer,' people were laughing so hard. I felt like we were all standing on a bridge, and only I knew it was about to collapse. They thought it was a joke, but the joke went nowhere."

Tig says she got different reactions from the audience; some were hysterically laughing and some were actually crying. News of the performance spread on Twitter and Facebook, and unexpectedly, comedian Louis CK was urging Tig to let him release her recording as an album. After some reluctance, she released the album, "Live." It's currently the top-selling comedy album on iTunes.

"What I had hoped was that the CD would be helpful to people that not just had cancer or lost somebody in some tragic way or to some illness, but just in any part of life," says Tig. "I feel so grateful that I was able to put that out."

Today, Tig is cancer-free. She says, "I feel like I just really burst through this wall. I don't have a complaint in the world."

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