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Going Back To Cali

Certain that the South Florida comedy scene helped develop her career, stand-up comic Kaycee Conlee prepares to return to L.A.

by Chuck king

BOCA RATON – Three years ago Kaycee Conlee didn’t think a move from Los Angeles to South Florida would benefit her comedy career.

Now, as she prepares to return to L.A., she’s certain it did.

“I’m taking a lot of confidence away – swagger if you will,” Conlee said. “It’s been really great. It’s actually making it kind of hard to move.”

Conlee’s wife’s job brought the couple to Sunshine State. It didn’t take long for Conlee to make an impact on the South Florida comedy scene,

Within a year she became a finalist in the Florida’s Funniest competition. She developed into a headliner – most recently on Thursday Night’s Sadman Comedy Productions producers show at Boca Raton’s Biergarten. She earned the coveted open mic host spot at Delray Beach’s Arts Garage.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the comedy scene, which I think ended up making it a lot easier to be around here,” Conlee said. “There was more camaraderie here than I ever experienced in the scene in L.A., and it gave me a lot of confidence.”

The scene also gave her plenty of friends.

“I think I’ve already got a list of people who want to crash on my couch when they come to L.A.,” Conlee said.

At a time when many Los Angeles-based comics are moving to South Florida in search of freedom and work, Conlee is doing the opposite.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Conlee’s wife’s employer allowed her to work remotely. She will remain a remote employee even after all restrictions are lifted, allowing the couple to return to Los Angeles.

Three years removed from performing regularly in the entertainment mecca that is L.A., Conlee isn’t certain what she’ll be returning to.

Los Angeles isn’t fully open – the city plans to lift restrictions on Wednesday – and it’s far from certain that transition will go smoothly.

“It’s been two-and-a-half years, so who knows who’s running what,” Conlee said. “And with COVID, a lot of the shows have probably ended, just like here, and new things have taken their place.”

Conlee is performing at a handful of shows prior to her departure – Saturday at the Box 2.0, June 24 at Kelly Bros., the following night at Gatsby’s – so there’s still time to catch her live before she heads west.

Nearly every show that included Conlee over the past month touted that night as a chance to say goodbye. Now, departure is quickly approaching.

“It’s the way to promote every show, now,” Conlee said, smiling. “It’s the farewell tour.”

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