Heather Land is very enthusiastic about the things she won’t do. Take Facebook birthday fundraisers.

“You want me to donate money in your name? I barely even know your name. If it wasn’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t know it at all,” says Land, in one of her viral “I ain’t doin’ it” videos. “I’m gonna start me a fundraiser: Stop Facebook birthday fundraisers.”

A couple of years ago, Land was working an office job in finance, raising her two kids in a small Tennessee town and coping with the aftermath of a divorce. With encouragement from her friends, who thought she was funny, she made some videos for Snapchat. With her face and voice wildly distorted for comic effect, she sat in her car and ranted about everything from kindergarten graduations and yard sales to unicorn pajama pants and millennials. At the end of each, she give she gave her final words on whatever the topic was: “I ain’t doin’ it.”

The videos went viral, and in 2018, Land began touring as a stand-up comic. This year, she’s continued to tour and appear on TV, and came out with a book titled “I Ain’t Doin It.” She’ll bring her unique take on things she’d rather not do to a show at the Port City Music Hall in Portland Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Comedian Heather Land performs Dec. 11 at Port City Music Hall. Photo courtesy of Heather Land

“I put the videos on social media on a dare, and I started getting thousands of messages a day from people who liked them,” said Land, 43, from her home in Nashville. “It’s just a lot of stuff women go through, children, home-schooling, divorce, relationships. ”

One of her videos is about being invited to a kindergarten graduation. In it, she muses about what subject the young graduate has mastered (“nose-picking?”) or what to get the grad as a present (“a nap?”)

One of her most popular videos is about people flouting how devoted they are to their CrossFit exercise routine by posting about it constantly on Facebook. Land thanks CrossFitters for “checking in at 5 a.m.” with her and detailing how much exercise they did before her feet ever hit the floor. “You’re better than me, is that what you want me to say?” she asks in the video.

Land grew up in Milan, Tennessee, between Memphis and Nashville, where her father worked for the electric utility and taught skydiving, and her mother was a homemaker. She grew up playing piano and singing and eventually became a worship leader – essentially, the music director – in non-denominational churches. She married, had two kids and worked in churches for about 15 years. In 2011, she recorded an album of Gospel music call “Pouring it Out for You.” After her divorce a few years ago, she and her children moved back in with her parents.

At her live shows, Land talks about a lot of the same types of things she does in her videos. But she’s self-deprecating as well. For a while, as a divorced single parent, she was home-schooling her two kids, now 13 and 16. She says that she was terrible at home-schooling, and that’s why her kids are back in public school. She won’t name her children, she says, “because they are embarrassed by the air that I breathe.”

Land says her comedy is geared toward women, and she doesn’t mind if women make up the bulk of her audience. But many of her comic bits are about things that are annoying in gender-neutral ways, from Facebook and Black Friday shopping crowds to road construction and long lines at the supermarket.

Besides her comedy, she also sings a couple songs during her live show. She’ll do songs from her recent country album, “Counting On,” which she says is about her own journey from “heartbreak to hope.”

During her journey, it’s been the heartaches that helped her find humor, which has given her hope – and a brand new career. She says of her own story, “Tennessee raised me to be a musician, but my divorce raised me to be really sarcastic.”

 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.