"Andi Smith says stand-up comedy is about finding your voice, not a joke." - Interview

“Last Comic Standing” gave notoriety to many comedians. One comedian, or should I say, comedienne, didn’t really get the same exposure from the show. And that’s OK. That’s because, Andi Smith is making a name for herself. All without the help of the NBC reality show.

Q – Real quick, tell me how you got into stand-up.

A - I used to go to open mike nights on Tuesday’s just to watch. I thought it was entertaining to watch other people publicly fail. One of the bouncers asked me if I’d like to go up on stage and I said, “yes.” I later found out he didn’t think I would and was just hitting on me.

Q – What were you doing before stand-up?

A - I was a Creative Director for and interactive firm. I made a lot more money than I do now. :)

Q – I used to think stand-up was a lost art. Now it seems as if everyone is doing it. Do you think there is an oversaturation of comics?

A - Yeah, I think everyone with a Twitter account or a video camera is trying their hand at it. I started before “Last Comic Standing” and YouTube even existed. We’ll see if it lasts. :)

Q – Is it harder to get gigs now?

A - I don’t know. I don’t try very hard. :)

Q – I heard that your father wanted a boy and only ended up having one child – you?

A - Yes, I am an only daughter. Instead of Girl Scouts, I was an Indian Princess. I won a wooded placard for archery one summer but that was a boyish as I got. I think my Dad still has it.

Q – How was it like growing up knowing that your father wanted a boy?

A - I didn’t really think about it. There wasn’t much I could do to help him out.

Q – With the history of stand-up going back many years, how hard is it to maintain individuality when it seems that every joke or idea has been done before?

A - I think it’s about being yourself. Sure, there may be a thousand jokes about camping, but that doesn’t mean that mine can’t be new and funny. It’s about finding your voice, not “a joke.”

Q – Which comedians did you grow up watching?

A - Bill Hicks (we had the VHS and played it all the time), Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and the line up of “Evening at the Improv” on A&E. :)

Q – What’s your favorite road story, whether it’s embarrassing, dirty or awesome?

A - One of my favorite stories is the one about performing in Houston for the first time. I came into the club the first night and said “Hi, I’m here.” They started showing me around the kitchen and asking me if I was certified. I finally figured out they thought I was a new waitress, not a comic. They apologized but I think I should have started taking tables.

Q – Any projects you working on?

A - I’m working on a couple writing projects for shows and, as always, trying to think of funny things to talk about.


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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