"Sarah Tiana was influenced by Roseanne Barr, Jerry Seinfeld and Mitch Hedberg." - Interview

Originally from Calhoun, Georgia, stand-up comedian, Sarah Tiana has been a working comic in Los Angeles since 2003. In addition to appearing on “Reno 911!” and in the documentary film, “We Love You Mrs. Bevins,” Sarah recently released her album, “Commodity.” She’s also currently touring the country and performing her charming, yet edgy act, on stages across the United States.

I recently had the chance to ask Sarah some questions about her new CD, life on the road and dating challenges stand-up comics face.

Q - How did you get involved with stand-up?

A - I started stand-up on a dare. I was a DJ at the time (not a cool DJ, a wedding and bar-mitzvah DJ). My friend Poetri told me he wouldn't be my friend unless I tried it. I had never even thought about it before. I wrote my first joke while watching the news and decided to try it at an open mike. After being on stage one time, I got the bug and I haven't gotten off that stage for 8 years. I still use that first joke I ever wrote.

Q - Can you describe your style for those unfamiliar with your work?

A - My style? Well I like jeans and tennis shoes. Oh, and my jokes are described as racial, provocative, and relatable from a sassy, southern female perspective. If you don't like smart jokes and sarcasm, stay home. I'm not for you.

Q - You have several bits about your hometown of Calhoun, Georgia. How do your friends and family back in Georgia react to your stand-up career?

A - I think they're pretty excited about being on the map. I'm extremely proud of where I'm from, and I think my fan base in Georgia is a direct result of the love and respect I give to the South.

Q - On your new album, “Commodity,” you talk a lot about dating. What are some of the challenges that stand-up comics face when it comes to dating?

A - Well, I have excellent timing when it comes to joke telling, but in the dating world my timing always sucks. It's hard to meet people because I work late at night, in clubs and bars, and all my friends are dudes who are nationally recognized as being funny. That's pretty intimidating to most men. Most men like to be taller, stronger, more successful and funnier than the woman that they are with. When you take one of those away immediately, men tend to feel insecure. I'm looking for a guy that can beat me at arm wrestling and still laugh when I accuse him of cheating. Know anyone?

Q - You’ve performed for the troops overseas several times. Tell me what that experience was like.

A - Performing for the troops is always the most rewarding thing I've ever done. I still keep in touch with the guys I have met over there and I do a big fundraiser every year where I send care packages full of comic merchandise overseas and to hospitals. I'm from a military town and my uncle is a two-star General, so I have a lot of respect for the soldiers of America. Plus, they all look hot in those sexy uniforms.

Q - While you’re on tour, how do you occupy yourself when you’re not on stage?

A - One word, “Sportscenter.”

Q - Who are your favorite comics, and who influences you?

A - Roseanne Barr is my favorite comic. I practically grew up on her show because "Becky" and I were the same age. I know I'll never be as funny as her, but I hope to sing the National Anthem to my utmost potential one day. I'm also a huge fan of Jerry Seinfeld and Mitch Hedberg. I love the attention to detail in their jokes. I'm a big fan of never raising my voice on stage. Comedy shouldn't be forced. People should pay attention, because they might hear more than they intended.

Q - What’s next for you? What can fans expect from you in the future?

A - I'm constantly writing and creating projects. I just finished writing my first movie and I'm working on a children's TV show now. My biggest wish is to stay on TV as a character actress (much like my character Carmen on “Reno 911”). I've always loved the idea of people being "surprised" that I am a comic. My dream is not that people come and see me because I'm on TV, my dream is that people come back to see me because I'm funny. I'm looking to sell that second ticket.


Kate Brindle is a stand-up comedian from Ann Arbor, MI. For more information and for tour dates, visit her at http://www.katebrindle.com/.
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