#ImAGirlBoss: Traci Stumpf

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There is not a single female host in late night television.

When Jay Leno and David Letterman, respectively, announced their retirements, their positions were promptly filled by Jimmy Fallon (“The Tonight Show”) and Stephen Colbert (the “Late Show.”) And it’s not for lack of options. Ellen Degeneres, Chelsea Handler, Kathy Griffin, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler are all more than qualified, but yet, here we are.

Traci Stumpf reached out to me in early November to commend me for the #ImAGirlBoss series, and I quickly discovered that Traci is both a talented TV host and a [very] funny comedian. I wanted to feature her, not only because she’s a #GIRLBOSS, but also because female comedians deserve WAY more spotlight than is shone upon them in mainstream pop culture. So, aspiring comediennes — this one’s for you.

NAME: TRACI STUMPF 
AGE: 28
CITY: 
LOS ANGELES 
HOMETOWN: LOS ANGELES + SAN DIEGO
INDUSTRY: COMEDY + TV 
TWITTER: @TraciStumpf
INSTAGRAM: @TraciStumpf
WEBSITE: www.TraciStumpf.com

Tell us what you do!

I’m a stand-up comedian and a TV host.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

No. After high school, I wasn’t 100% sure as to what I wanted to do, and my very supportive parents encouraged me to go get a skill. So I did that. I went to “the Harvard of Hair” — Vidal Sassoon — and got my cosmetology license. Looking back, it was a good choice. I have a lifelong skill, no debt, and I’m living my dream. Granted my dream has nothing to do with that skill.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

I wish I could say, “I always knew comedic hosting was for me.” But that’s not really what happened. Growing up, it would change almost every day. One day, I wanted to be a pilot, and the next day, I wanted to be a pediatrician. The only thing I knew I never wanted to do was nothing. I never idolized Disney princesses. I always knew I was meant to do something out of the box.

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How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!

Well, I was a young orphan with a million-dollar smile, who was tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York. It was a hard-knock life until one day, a hard-nosed tycoon with a heart of gold took me in, and…. oh wait, that’s Annie. For me, there was no tycoon — just a LOT of open mic nights and days spent driving to auditions 40 miles away from my house. This is a tricky question for me to answer, because I have so far to go (or at least I think I do). I don’t think I can do my “E! True Hollywood Story” justice yet. With that said, I have made a big dent in my career, and I got this far with a lot of work and a great support system.

Any obstacles along the way?

So many — mostly self-inflicted. Everyday, I have to fight the mean voices in my head that tell me I’m not good enough, or funny enough, or pretty enough. I do believe we create our own obstacles. No one else is really in our heads saying those mean things to us. How to get on the other side of that, I’m not 100% sure yet, but you guys will be the first people I tweet when I find out.

Who is your idol?

Hmm, that’s tricky for me. I feel like the second you “idolize” someone, you’re bound to be let down when they don’t do what you expect them to do. At the end of the day, we are all just people trying our best. But I do love the idea of idolizing Ellen and Neil Patrick Harris.

What are three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are?

Being positive is huge for me (I can get dark fast). And being on time. And the ability to laugh at yourself.

Where would you like to be in five years?

I’m open to where ever life takes me. I try not to put too much pressure on the future, HOWEVER, my vision board consists of a six bedroom house on the beach, Kelly Ripa’s body with my face on it, and an Emmy (my own Emmy, not Kelly Ripa’s Emmy. She can keep hers.)

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words:

Waking up every morning, and showing up for your own life. And being nice. Just be nice.

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Describe your style/fashion sense:

Tomboy chic — I just made that up! I host a show every night, and they only shoot me chest up, so the bottom half of me is ripped jeans and boots (that’s the tomboy part), and the chic part is the top. I just really love classic looking things.

Fav clothing item/accessory right now?

A denim jacket.

What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?

Bobbie Brown mascara (makes my eyelashes look like Muppets) and a great blow-out.

Go-to nail color?

Dark red.

Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?

I love a good self-help book. My favorite at the moment is The Laws Of a Lifetime Of Growth by Dan Sullivan. Another great self-help book is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (ages 4-8). It’s about knowing your boundaries, and not letting people walk all over you, even if it’s just a mouse.

No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?

Internet stalking — I can go into such a rabbit hole! It’s so bad, but I’M SO GOOD AT IT! Oh, and M&M’s.

Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?

At the moment, Taylor Swift and her new “1989” album. Holy smokes! So good!

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.” I feel very inspired whenever I can roll my windows down and sing a random 90s song. 

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“Just keep swimming.” – Dory, Finding Nemo

Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?

“Be more interested than you are interesting.” -My dad

Advice to future girl bosses:

Be nice to people. And not because of “karma,” or because they might have something to offer you later in life, just do it to be nice. 

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Follow Traci’s #GIRLBOSS journey on Twitter + Instagram

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11 Summertime Woes for Women

I hate to complain about summer, because it really is great. But sometimes, warm weather nostalgia and longing to wear flip flops get the best of us during those harrowing winter months, and we forget the inconvenient realities and sticky situations that summer brings.  The following may have served as Lana Del Rey’s inspiration for “Summertime Sadness.”

1) Shaving your legs. Every. Day. 
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2) Frizzy humidity hair.
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3) Sweating your makeup off.
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4) Sweating in general.
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5) Sweating on the subway, which is its own breed of cruelty.
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6) Summer dresses + wind.
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7) Ice cream dates on those really, REALLY hot days.
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8) Short shorts.
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9) Bikini season.
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10) Bikini wax.
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11) Wedges.
They’re a lesser evil than heels. But still.
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Some Realities of Living in New York as a 20-Something When You’re Not Loaded

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I love New York. I love it even when I really hate it.
I love it in the rain. I love it in the summer. I love it during the day, and in the middle of the night. I love it for its loudness, and IDGAF attitude. I love it for its beautiful people, and even more, for its intellectual people. I love it for its culture and its energy. And I really f**king missed it while I was in LA. That being said, as spectacular as it is, it can also be gritty, and lonely, and cold, and can make you feel smaller than you’ve ever thought possible. That being said, I think what I love most about New York is that it teaches you not to be entitled. You only deserve what you earn. The city isn’t everyone’s idea of paradise. But it’s my twisted paradise. 

Here are some of the realities of living in New York in your early twenties.

Whether it’s been a lifelong dream, or you’ve just recently caught the bug — start spreading the news, YOU’RE LEAVING TODAY.

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When you arrive, you’ll think you’re instantaneously a New Yorker. (Said I’m from Brooklyn, WHAT IT LOOK LIKE?)

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You’ll try in vain to avoid it, but you WILL make the mistake of doing something super touristy. And New Yorkers will judge you.
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At first, as a single in the city, you’ll feel super Carrie Bradshaw about it.
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But New York is FULL of couples. All the time. Everywhere you look. Year-round. You’ll ponder how it’s possible that everyone and their brother has a significant other… except you.
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Soon, you’ll start to wonder if they’re all plants, and THE CITY HAS BEEN RIGGED AGAINST YOU, AND IS ENJOYING WATCHING YOU SUFFER!
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But then you’ll fall in love, and love LOVE, and become part of the couple conspiracy.
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And then you’ll break up, and be lonely again. It’s a vicious cycle. 🙂
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Sometimes, you’ll be walking down a seemingly nice/safe street, and see a woman who seems a bit off, but you can’t quite put your finger on it, and then you’ll realize…
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Sometimes, you will be mistaken for a hooker. Especially if you make the mistake of walking to the club wearing a trenchcoat and heels. Oops. Won’t make that mistake twice. 
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Unless you’re loaded or famous, you’ll probably live in at least one utterly ridiculous apartment. It’ll be small, outrageously expensive, and won’t look anything like the ad on Craigslist.

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But it’s all you can afford right now, so you sign a lease. Reluctantly.
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The lease signing will be an excruciatingly stressful process that may leave you temporarily insane.
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Then, you get to move in! If you don’t live in an elevator building, it’s gonna be a REAL PARTY getting that furniture up four flights of stairs! WOO!
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After moving into your new crib, a multitude of problems (maintenance, pests, noise, smoke alarms going off at 3 a.m.) will arise, and you’ll come to the horrifying conclusion that the broker totally swindled to you.
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But you’ll eventually make the space your own, and it’ll become charming. Unless you can’t afford furniture, lolz!
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Starting out, you’ll almost never have enough money to go shopping.
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You’ll eat some really awful frozen meals from Trader Joe’s, because you either can’t cook, or can’t afford anything better.

But you’ll also eat a lot of illogically delicious New York pizza, because it’s 99 CENTS, WHAT?!?!
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Fortunately, if you’re a girl, you don’t need money to party. #ClubPromoters
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But use discretion. Some promoters lie.
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Once you find the solid promoters, you’ll LITERALLY have the time of your life, rivaled only by that one night in Ibiza. (Jk, I’ve never been to Ibiza.)
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No city has more to do at any given moment than New York. The city is ALIVE.
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Sometimes, you’ll get a burst of courage, and rashly decide to go explore neighborhoods in other boroughs that you know absolutely nothing about, and as soon as you get off the subway…

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City transit — particularly the L train — will make you extremely, extremely angry.
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But, at the end of the day, you’ll acknowledge that it is, by far, the most sophisticated public transportation system in America. Plus, there’s no telling who you’ll see!
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No one will question why you dress the way you dress, why you do what you do, or why you love who you love the way they do in the suburbs.
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Instead, you’ll have a delightfully honest gay BFF who will tough-lovingly keep you on the straight and narrow.<3
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Oh! And summer in the city is either the best.
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Or the goddam WORST. 
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So be sure to buy dat A.C. unit.
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You’ll have moments where you feel so Sex and the City
fabulous with your besties, YOU CAN’T EVEN DEAL.
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Especially when drinking cosmos. Which, in reality, will probably happen, like, twice. Cuz you’re poor and stuff.
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Eventually, if you’re a hard and dilligent worker — and don’t get lost in da club scene — you’ll start making it in the world, and money will no longer be a cruel myth.
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But avoid a corporate fashion job, if you can. They really are that bad.
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And gradually, you’ll become effortlessly fabulous, and will realize you’re slowly, but surely, taking over the world and doing the coolest shit EVER. #blessed 

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Times will still be tough here and there. So always remember:tumblr_md7f1v7gFG1qlyey2

The Signs and Symptoms of a Quarter-Life Crisis

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Quarter-life crisis — we’re all kind of having one. In college, your professors, parents, mentors, and advisors tell you you’re going to TAKE OVER THE WORLD when you graduate, because YOU ARE EXTRAORDINARY. They put on a KILLER show at the actual graduation ceremony, and it’s all verrrrrrry convincing.

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Then, you find yourself a year or two out of college, and you’re one of three things: 1) unemployed, 2) between jobs, or 3) grievously employed. Enter quarter-life crisis, frustration, and extremely low sense of self worth.

You might be having a quarter-life crisis if…

SIGN #1: You’ve been out of college for a while, and have yet to attain the success/self-fulfilment/glory that was promised to you as an undergrad.You-Could've-Been-Somebody[Photo via]

SIGN #2: You’re working a soulless job that is entirely unfulfilling, and makes you feel dead inside… and out.

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SIGN #3: You’re living at home with your parents, and you’re really, really NOT DOWN with suburbia. BUT WHAT IF YOU’RE STUCK IN THIS SMALL TOWN FOREVER?!?!?
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SIGN #4: You’re unemployed, and the agony of the job search has made you feel so low, you feel nothing at all.
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SIGN #5: You’re contemplating career choices you never would have before out of shear desperation stemming from financial distress.
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SIGN #6: Nobody said it was easy, but like…
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SIGN #7: You want to crawl back into your mother’s womb. Because it was warm and nice.
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SIGN #6: You think joining the circus isn’t such a bad idea after all. Britney made it look pretty glam. #gypsylife
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SIGN #7: You wonder if grad school is the answer, but then you’re just like…
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SIGN #8: You watch more Netflix than you ever thought humanly possibly, and form sincere bonds with the characters.
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SIGN #9: You wonder why you can’t just be like the Kardashians, and experience a meteoric rise to fame just for being YOU.
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SIGN #10: But, at the end of the day, you remind yourself that you’re still a spry little whippersnapper, and YOUR DAY IS COMING!!!
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