Recently graduated from an affluent high school and faced with the daunting prospect of paying her own way through college, Melissa watches her rich friends head off to Ivy League schools to become doctors and lawyers. Not able to afford their path, she chooses to spend the summer after her senior year with her brother Robbie (Ivan Sandomire) and his boyfriend Miller (Kane Manera). It's not long after she's moved into their SoHo apartment that Melissa falls in love with the vitality of New York life and a certain resident in particular named Kevin (Michael Mosley).
Melissa soon finds work at Perlman's comedy club where the owner (Jerry Adler), a veteran comic himself, takes her under his wing. Over the coming days and weeks, Melissa hones her act while she waits tables, watching and learning from other professional comics including Donnell Rawlings (“Chappelle's Show”) and Kevin Corrigan (The Departed, Sick in the Head). With the help of her eclectic group of downtown friends, she finds the bravery and tenacity to take the stage herself.
This is only the "first stage" in her journey to success and happiness. Melissa realizes that in order to embrace her future she must first face her past.