Cast Spotlight: Heather Tolley-Bauer

by jana on April 24, 2017

Heather Tolley-Bauer is a wife-mom-comedian-cancer-survivor-straight-shooting-cracker-upper-of-audiences-and-encourager-of-women who believes there is power in hyphens. Obviously.

She started doing stand-up comedy after transitioning from the corporate and entrepreneurial worlds into one of the hardest yet most hilarious jobs there is: being a stay-at-home mom. Her observational humor is liberation and inspiration all rolled into one—not just for her, but for audiences who need a hall pass from the pressures of parenting, Pinterest and the PTA.

In the last year, Heather has found an even more important reason to laugh her butt off: her recovery from colon cancer. Now, more than ever, she’s determined to speak up and encourage women to genuinely embrace their stories, love themselves, and to remember it’s okay to eat a freakin cupcake once-in-awhile.

You can find more from Heather on Facebook. Search pages at @hyphenup or via her website,

Heather Tolley-Bauer

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a 47 year-old, stay-at-home mom whose supertalent is listening to my gut.

I listened to my gut when I agreed to go on a date with this guy who was 5 years younger than I and finishing his college degree. I was a grown up with a job and recovering from a bad breakup, but my gut told me it was okay to follow my heart, so I did, and we’ve been crazy-in-love for 21 years.

I listened to my gut when I took a comedy class and not a pole dancing class. Now I have a comedy career and not a broken hip.

I listened to my gut last year when my dermatologist strongly recommended I get a colonoscopy, so I did. I was only 45 and had no problems, signs or symptoms, yet I had colon cancer anyway. I was told this cancer would’ve killed me in five years, but thanks to catching it early, I’m now living cancer-free

These days, I’m also listening to my gut as I launch Hyphen Up, a movement using my comedy to encourage women to embrace their own gut feelings—those things we know way-deep down to be true but get lost on the way to our hearts and brains. Things like: “I deserve to like myself,” “Forgetting about the bake sale does NOT make me a bad mother,” or “Nobody’s face is going to fall off around here if I take a ‘me’ day.” Yep! Guts and hyphens—powerful stuff.

What’s your favorite piece of writing you’ve ever hit publish on? 

My wedding vows and this comedy set.

As a child, did you listen to your mother? When did you start realizing she may actually know what she’s talking about?

Did I listen to my mother? Ummm no, not even a little bit. I’m not sure when I first started to realize that my mom is awesome. I’m just glad we both lived long enough to see it. .

If your mother is still living, do you listen to your mother now?

Of course I do, unless she calls during the Bachelor.

If you have children, what are some things you hope your children take from you, whether you think they’re listening or not?

Choose laughter, be kind to yourself and others, but most of all – stay away from my Girl Scout cookies.

Tickets on sale now!

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