LISTEN ON YOUR FAVE PLATFORM: Apple Podcasts | Spotify
Coral is the best hype gal you could ever ask for. She got me through some deep, deep stuff— including my engagement ending. She was one of the first people I called. She’s truly the best.
The Year of Living Coral and Camp Climb
In 2018, Coral lost her Dad. After a challenging year, 2019 was declared, “The Year of Living Coral” by Pantone. She took it literally— dying her hair, going to India for her 29th birthday, spent 3 months traveling through Europe, and so much more.
She knew she had talent and a story to share, but she didn’t know how exactly she’d do that. Which led her to a creative community for female entrepreneurs. Which is how we met! We were surrounded by women with successful businesses, authors who had published books, and there sat Coral who wasn’t sure how to share her gifts.
Emma Hicks is the founder of Camp Climb and is an inspiration to so many people. She built a community.
I went with Lizanne (who was a previous guest— check out episode 3!) and we were totally out of our element. The camp is rustic. It’s hosted at Camp Liberty which is Girl Scout camp in Iowa. There are around hundred women who are there to get and be supportive. It’s overwhelming, but in the best way. You walk away with confidence and a group of women who want to see you succeed.
Side Note: My most vivid memory of Coral at Camp Climb was in the pool. She was jamming out to High School Musical. In that moment, I knew everyone needed Coral in their life. Not their own Coral, but this Coral. She was rockin’ a $12 striped swimsuit that she bought before camp at Wal-Mart. But in the pool, she dove right in. She was in her element, completely uninhibited.
A Comedian from Iowa
“Do as I say, not as I do. But also, do as I do because it’s working out in some ways…”
Comedy for Coral was divine timing. She’s done theater, acting, she played her guitar at the Kum & Go on the corner. She had always been drawn to stages and performing. But around the campfire at Camp Climb, she said, “I just want to share my story and make people laugh. Thank you for coming to my Netflix special.”
Three months later, Teehee’s Comedy Club opened six minutes from where she lived in Des Moines.
It terrified her, but she went opening weekend, didn’t wear makeup, didn’t plan to do much— and closed down the bar.
She started going to open mics. Whether it’s poetry, music, improv, hula hoop dancing— if there’s an open mic, go. If there isn’t one, start one. There will be so many others who crave that just like you are.
“Start before you’re ready.”
Coral went to a lot of open mics, but never signed up. She was in her head about it and after sitting in the back for 2 months she finally went on stage. She walked off stage, to the back alley, and immediately broke down crying at the impact it made on her. After that night, she signed up for stand-up glasses and the week before their graduation showcase, the pandemic shut everything down.
After a handful of shut-downs, Coral had an idea to do a show called, “Tits Up” after the Amazon show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She loved the message of bringing everything on stage with you or keep it behind the curtain, but either way the show must go on.
She spoke with the owner, someone who believed in her even when she didn’t, and the first show sold out in 27 hours. She now has monthly sold out shows— even expanding to two shows!
Being Unapologetically Yourself
Coral embodies being herself.
It’s a big thing of knowing yourself, who you are, and what you want to be. It comes from therapy and reading Untamed (by Glennon Doyle) 5 times…—Coral Thede
Knowing yourself and knowing what you can handle, but knowing within that strength also requires asking for help.
Halfway through her 3 1/2 months in Europe, Coral gave herself permission to not feel guilty about being on the trip, to not do the touristy things (she did laundry and made avocado toast), and to give herself grace with grief. She let the good things come to her with ease. Because when you’re doing what you love and not hurting others in the process, there’s no wrong in doing so. When you lift others up and doing you, that’s even better.
Being a light is something Coral doesn’t take lightly. She’s always been someone who thought she was “too much”. Her laugh, her loudness, her boldness, if she enters a room it’s known. But being intentional about not apologizing for that was something she owns.
She knows she’s too much, but she shows up anyways.
For The Girl Who Needs Permission
First and foremost, it’s okay if you’re too shy, too stuck, if you feel like you’re not there yet but you want to be. Start small, start in ways that are serving you. Buy flowers, get the manicure, those materialistic steps will help you go after things. If you’re talking about something big, surround yourself with whatever inspires you. And if someone is trying to stop you, let them go. It’s not worth the time or energy. Believe you’re right where you’re suppose to be. You get to attract and manifest that life that you want.
Charging What You’re Worth
As a Midwestern woman (so weird to say, it’s not 1954), we’re sometimes super polite surrounding money and finances. Coral has always been outspoken, but when talking about dollars that are attached to her contributions it can be exhausting.
Before she dove into comedy, she would undersell herself. Don’t attach your worth to that currency or dollar amount, but also understand that you can charge a dollar amount.
Ask others around you what they’re charging. If you’re the only one, start high. You can always lower your offer if needed, but why not start with what you deserve? Honor that. You’re also honoring those around you by creating and being paid for what you deserve.
Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Do things on your own. Go to the bar, go to dinner, go to Spice Girls Live in London at Wembly Stadium just because you want to. You’ll meet others there who are like you. Move to Nashville, Colorado, Wyoming… be okay with being different from everyone around you.
Is it something you want or is it something you’re upset about because you don’t have it? Is it something they have and you’re simply envious? Coral’s Dad was only 52 when he passed. He worked his entire life for a beautiful retirement, but that was taken from him.
Start before you’re ready. Live the beautiful life that you deserve. Stop trying to spend the entire time trying to figure things out and just go for them. When you put yourself in uncomfortable positions, you start to get comfortable. You get used to pursuing those things.
How you live your life attracts what happens next. That doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen, but when you live your life full of joy, you attract people, moments, memories that are full of joy. Walking into a night with a bad attitude, you’ll probably have a bad night. Who and what you surround yourself with matters.
Manifesting Your Dream House (No, really!!)
Coral took French in middle school and became obsessed with the Eiffel Tower.
16 years later, she goes to Paris. Her Dad had written to her before he passed about seeing her in front of the Tower and wanting her to be there. She gets to Paris and it’s raining, she got off at the wrong stop, and her dream feels like it’s crumbling in front of her. Her hotel cancels on her, she goes to the nearest cafe and cries. She finds a guide on AirBnB who is having a concert.
She takes a chance and asks him if he has a place to stay— he does. They walk into the apartment and the Eiffel Tower is 2 blocks from his place.
Because of Roger and his amazing apartment, his family, his girlfriend, his hospitality— she stayed in Paris for 12 days instead of 4. She was playing his guitar and realized that she wanted a home she could share with others. She Googled homes in Des Moines, Iowa and found a little blue bungalow. It was exactly what she wanted.
She emailed the realtor, but due to her trip it was unavailable. Months pass and the house is for sale AGAIN.
Side Note: At Camp Climb around the campfire, she manifested the house by saying the address out loud. Long story short, the house came up for sale and she was about to own it. Two hours before the bank could confirm employment, she lost her job and the house. It was the week of Christmas and her 30th birthday. She. Was. Thriving.
But six months later, the house was her. It was a divine lesson in manifesting things and fully fighting/believing in something, but simultaneously letting it go. There was a divine knowing that the house was hers, but she felt at peace knowing it would all be okay.
Fiercely holding onto something, but in the same breath you’re ready to let go. And that was how the house came to be. It was the biggest manifestation of her life. So many things had to fall out of place for the house to fall into it.
Learning to Let Go
The biggest thing is going through loss in any capacity, you’re aware of the fragility of life and you see behind the curtain. You realize that so much doesn’t matter. You find a balance between what does and doesn’t, you find grace, and you unlearn beliefs that no longer suit you.
Finish each day and be done with it.
What Would Your Younger Self Think of You?
My younger self would say that she’s proud of me. What I’ve done and accomplished, 10-year-old Coral would think I’m cool and baller.
Imagine them watching you exist now. They’d be in awe of you.
It’s like the high schooler visiting your classroom and you think they’re so cool. Then you get to high school and you realize it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. In college we worry about classes and so much, but those are the prime years of not caring. We worry so much.
When did we stop doing, creating, being just for fun?
Biggest Piece of Advice You’d Give Your Younger Self
Worry less, have more fun.
Our younger selves are worried about the next step: college, marriage, kids, get the house. That’s a one-way path that people have adapted to. It’s not for everyone. Understand that there are unlimited options for how you want to live your life. Allow yourself to experience them.
Coral Thede is an inspirational entertainer. She doesn’t stray away from the darkness, rather she shines light on it. Through song, comedy, Instagram, and wherever else… she’s always trying to uplift others. Follow along to stay inspired and make sure to catch a show at Teehee’s.