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Make a living by making people laugh

Karin Wishan is a water skiing comedian


Sometimes life doesn’t go as expected, but that doesn’t mean you have to be down in the dumps on the mishaps. You can either look at the glass half full, or the glass half empty. Pessimists look away, but local funny woman Karin Wishan is your prototypical optimist. Now a comedian, Wishan has learned to make light of situations that others would sulk about.

“Life is too short to take things too seriously,” Wishan said.

She has always been attracted to comedy. It started when she was younger, while watching sitcoms like “All in the Family” and “MASH.” She would record the shows on her tape recorder and listen to them as she lay in bed, practicing impersonations of her favorite characters. Her family members would all laugh at her spot-on impersonations, begging her to do more. Wishan was especially good at impersonating Flo from the show “Alice.”

Stand-up comedy was also one of Wishan’s interests, as she frequently watched the “Johnny Carson Show.” She decided to take a stand-up comedy class while living in San Francisco, and had a blast. After moving up to Oregon, she called Comedy Sportz Portland to ask about the comedy classes they offer. Unknowingly talking to the owner, she nervously decided to enter one of the beginner classes.

“That was in ’04, so they haven’t been able to get rid of me since,” Wishan laughed.

Wishan still works shows every weekend at Comedy Sportz, and also performs in “Murder Served Hot,” which is a murder-mystery dinner show. The interesting thing is, she didn’t plan to become a comedian. Wishan actually received a degree in animal science earlier in life.

“I’ve always debated in my life if I was going to work with people or animals ... wondering two legs or four legs?” Wishan said.

She also thought about going to chiropractic school, and even had a massage practice while living in the Bay Area. Wishan’s career path is far from normal, but she has found what she loves to do, and gets paid for it. That is a goal that all of us want to accomplish.

Wishan finds happiness in bringing laughter to all, but she also loves water-skiing, even performing in the Antique Water Show in Lake Oswego in August. Although it’s just a hobby for her, she has been skiing on the water since she was just a child. You can expect to see her on the water for future shows out on Lake Oswego, because she had a blast at the last one as a flag holder. Wishan and her husband even skied together dressed as a bride and groom; top hat, flowers and all.

“It was really cool to have seen that when we first moved here,” Wishan said. “Now I feel like a part of the community in a whole different way. ... It was really an honor.”

Wishan has become the poster child for doing what you love, and loving what you do. It is something that all of us can be envious of, what all of us hope to be able to say one day. Wishan may not have planned to be a water-skiing comedian for her career, but you can bet that she is glad that things didn’t go as planned. Making people laugh is what she strives for, and it’s a blessing for her to be paid for it.

“Comedy saved my life in a way... It helped me not take things too seriously,” Wishan said.

If things in your life don’t go as expected, don’t sweat it. You might just find yourself doing what you’ve always wanted to do.

Contact Kyler Roberts at 503-636-1281 ext. 108 or KRoberts@LakeOswegoReview.com.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Karin Wishan combines her love of waterskiing and comedy.



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