In Conversation with Leah Rudick: One Spiral at a Time

Article by: Robert Dean

If one thing shines through about Leah Rudick, she's super Ohio. 

But, like not in a bumpkin way, but more like her comedy comes from a place of self-introspection and clarity - what's present throughout her new special, Spiraling, Rudick riffs on her views of anxiety, experiencing the complicated world around her, while just doing her best. 

Oh, and a family psychic works out of a basement, too. 

If you don't know Leah Rudick by name, you more than likely know her from her skits across social media, the Love Coach, and the cringe but hilarious Wealthy Woman, who is a total character but is also someone we can entirely see in our heads, especially if you've ever spent any time around crazy rich people (seriously, I believe someone has never tried Taco Bell, along with the experience of going through the drive-through with the rest of us.)

Leah Rudick // Photo by Rich Photography

And through her skits and standup, Rudick has amassed a substantial social media following across all the platforms in the millions. It's pretty good for a self-proclaimed "weird girl" from Ohio. 

When speaking of her Midwestern upbringing, it's hilarious. "People are so nice. I have Midwestern energy. But when I go home, (after living in LA for so long) people are like when did you become a raging monster? There's a specific politeness." 

Rudick is candid when discussing the skits across social media: 

"Those videos just went crazy. people really responded to that character. (The Wealthy Woman) It gave me this platform. I've been doing comedy for so long. It's been super cool to have this opportunity for people to see me. I have a real audience. Some people think it's not a character, that that's me. I've lived in both New York and Los Angeles, so I've seen these people. I've always worked for these people. It's a conglomeration of all those folks." 

Having worked in comedy clubs from New York to Los Angeles, Leah Rudick has paid her dues. Leaving her hometown of Cincinnati years ago was something she had to do if she wanted to see her comedy and skit work flourish. 

"Leaving home allows you to get the experiences you need. My comedy is a description of what's inside my brain," She said from her home in LA. 

Speaking with Rudick while the rain was beating down outside of the Austin, Texas coffee shop where I was perched, one thing that comes across with Rudick is that she's whip-smart and immediately likable, which is probably a sub-psychological reason why her characters land so well and why she's so adept at skits along with her stand up. 

"I try to do both. (sketches and standup) I love both. My background is in sketch comedy just as it is in standup. I was doing all this character work in a comedy duo. I love both forms. I'm grateful that I had that background. That I had those skills. But I don't want to only do that. I love telling jokes, too." 

Her comedy is relatable in that there's plenty of that Midwestern nice that's also rooted in much weirdness that permeates the middle of the country. Rudick is fast on her feet with biting jokes and always lands because she's so relatable about feeling your heartbeat through your neck because of anxiety. Or when family dynamics dictate a world that none of you expected. 

Again, check out her Instagram for the psychic bit - Spiraling is a banger. 

Rudick has taken the long road of finally reaching the platform where she belongs, and like a few other comics, TikTok was the lighting that eventually made her career take off. 

"I got on TikTok during the pandemic, I wasn't doing shows. I hated Zoom shows. My brother kept telling me to get on TikTok, get on TikTok. I started messing with characters and it grew, it really popped off when I started doing to the wealthy woman. It felt like an overnight success." 

But, with almost two decades to show for her work, it's not something that bubbled up out of nowhere. 

And now, having that set of skills within doing pieces that introduce people to her brand of comedy, the rocket ship is taking off, and Spiraling is nothing short of a moment many can relate to, "I feel lucky and grateful. The timeline unfolded, I feel so ready for this moment because of all the years I put in. If I'd have popped off two years in, I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. It's been such an amazing ride, to find this success in a way that wouldn't have, otherwise. I'm so lucky." 

Watch Spiraling here.
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