“New York made me better faster,” says standup Sean Donnelly. While he could have started in Long Island, where he grew up, and worked his way toward the city, he didn’t see the point. “I could go up several times a week in the city and audiences can be tougher there, so you build that muscle faster.” Being in New York, one of the nation’s most expensive cities, meant still having a day job six years into doing comedy. At first, he talked about standup with his co-workers. “I’d tell anyone that would listen, because I wanted them to come see my shows.” He stopped that practice at his final job, as he became annoyed with all the same old questions and requests to tell jokes. “Now when I travel and I get in a cab, I lie,” he says. “I lie my face off. I tell people I’m in insurance. No one wants to ask you questions about insurance.” 18+; 21+ later shows.