"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.

BYLINE:

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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