"Debra DiGiovanni lives the wild stand-up life by getting hit on by cowgirl lesbians." – Interview

Don’t think a stand-up comedian’s life is only entertaining on stage. For Debra DiGiovanni, who appeared on the 5th season of “Last Comic Standing,” not only is she funny and entertaining ON stage, but she manages to find entertainment OFF stage.

Q – You’ve been doing stand-up for about 10 years. How do you think you’ve grown from when you first started stand-up?

A - I definitely trust myself more and that's allowed my persona to really solidify. I used to write out sets in almost a monologue style but now I write on stage a lot and don't feel the need to memorize a script. At about 18 months, I threw the notes away and everything changed from there; it became more fun and people really began to respond. So, now, I kinda just let it happen.

Q – What were you doing before comedy?

A - I was a receptionist, complete with a phone headset and bitchy bosses! At first, I went to school for art and quit that pretty fast, and then I moved on to the glamorous world of answering phones, until I got the guts to do stand-up.

Q – You were on the 5th season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing (LCS).” How has your career changed since being on network television?

A - That was pretty huge for a Canadian girl! Just being on NBC was a gift - that's the ‘real TV’ you know? Not just a local station. I think doing that show finally made my parents realize what I was doing is actually a legit career and not a hobby. And, it's really opened my audience up. People still comment on the show and it was aired in 2007.

Q – You’re from Canada. A lot of great comedians came from Canada – Howie Mandel and Jim Carrey to name a couple. What’s the stand-up market like there versus Los Angeles from what you saw while on LCS?

A - There are fewer of us that's for sure. Toronto (my home town) is probably Canada's comedy hub and it’s the starting point for most of our greatest comics. The scene seems a little less competitive, which may not be a good thing. It's a real community of friends, and I know, that is such a Canadian thing to say.

Q – Do you do any shows in the states?

A - I'm working on it! I've done some clubs and I taped a Comedy Central "Live at Gotham" special in August 2009. Right now, it seems to only be NYC and LA. I hope to get to a Dakota very soon!

Q – What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on the road?

A - Ooh-um, lots of stuff! From getting into an accident with a crazy prop comic, getting hit on by cowgirl lesbians, partying in the back of a pick-up truck with teenagers (legal drinking age in Canada is 19) or simply getting snowed-in in various small towns - it's always an adventure. Sometimes it's fun and sometimes it's horrible but it all makes for great material.

Q – Any stalker fans you’d like to talk about?

A - I do have a few of those Facebook fans who comment on every single thing you do online. And, I have groups of teenagers who come out to every show I do in their home town but as of this moment, I have no stalkers. I think my ‘real life’ is generally pretty dull so I doubt there's much to watch.

Q – People think comedians work a couple hours a night and then do nothing the rest of the week. How exactly hard is it in terms of promoting and traveling?

A - Yeah, my mom is always, “What do you do all day?” but I actually stay pretty busy. I'm always working on stand-up shows, as in booking them, setting up tours etc. and I do voice work. I work on our music station and I'm hosting award shows or I'm punching up scripts or going to terrifying auditions.

Q – What projects are you working on?

A - I am writing a sitcom with a fellow comedian/friend and planning world domination thru stand-up. It takes up a lot of my time! I'd really like to tackle the UK too. I think the Brits might be a challenge and I like to keep things new and scary.

Q – Anything you wanted to add?

A - I'm single and have very low standards.


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.

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