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Interview with Jessica Kirson of Last Comic Standing


by panndyra, goddess of chaos

You do a lot of great impressions and characters. Which ones are your favorites and why?

I love to do the big black woman, because I have always felt connected to them. I wish that I was a gospel singer. They have so much soul. I also love to do the confident ugly girl because it freaks some people out. It is so funny to see the look on some peoples faces when I do that. I’m like, “Let go already.” Some people are so uptight.

Where does the inspiration for these characters come from?

They come from real people. I have always been observant of the people around me. There are so many different characters out there. Some of them come from my family too. They are certainly interesting characters.

Okay. How did you learn to make faces as well as you do? I’ve got to say you’re just about as rubbery-faced as Jim Carrey.

Thank you so much. That is a huge compliment. I love him. I have always made faces. My mother used to get mad at me. She is a therapist. It was my one way of annoying her. Everyone else in the room would be laughing and she would look furious. Now I make a living from it.

Since your original intent was to become a therapist, I was wondering, do you consider comedy therapeutic more for your audiences or yourself? Could you explain a bit, please?

I find comedy extremely therapeutic. It is the one thing that truly makes me happy (while I am onstage). I say that because all of the other crap that you have to deal with makes the business really difficult. I can perform and not even do that well, but I feel much better. That is amazing. I get so much out of seeing people laugh. I have been so touched by audience members compliments. I’ve had people say to me that they have never laughed so hard.

You mentioned in an interview with Southern Voice that [Last Comic Standing] is “not your cup of tea”. Why?

I hate competitions. I think they are ridiculous. Especially with comedy. It is so hard to judge. I’m also not a huge fan of reality shows. I really knew that was not going to be the way that I make it.

Are there any reality TV shows that you enjoy watching? Which ones and what do you like or dislike about them?

I love watching CNN because it is so dramatic, but there is usually the same thing on over and over. I love watching old sitcoms because they are so light and refreshing and I love to watch sketch shows. There is nothing like a good episode of Saturday Night Live or Mad TV.
What is the best gig you’ve ever done? The worst? Why for both?

The best gig I have ever done is Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend.” The crowd was amazing. It was so exciting. The worst show? Wow! There have been a couple of rough ones when the crowd is out of control. I’d have to say my first road gig in Poughkeepsie, NY. They were horrible. I got into a screaming match with an audience member. He was so drunk. Another comic went up after me and ripped him to shreds.

Do you have any pearls of wisdom to share with young or aspiring comedians who might be reading this?

Always stay true to who you are no matter what people say. It is so hard to do but it pays off in the end. Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated and know that you have to work your ass off to be successful. You have to get onstage, a lot.

In light of your experiences with Last Comic Standing, would you consider trying out for a next season, if there is one? Why or why not?

I would think about it. I’m not sure yet.

In five years, where do you see yourself career-wise? What are some of your long-range goals?

I see myself on a sketch show. I just want to able to perform all over the country to audiences that have come to see me and really get what I am trying to say.

Do you have a CD of your comedy available? If so, how can my readers (and myself) purchase a copy?

They can visit my website at http://www.JessicaKirson.com. I am revamping the whole site, so It may take a few weeks.

— Remember to check out Jessica Kirson at a comedy club near you. She’s got lots of dates booked all over the country. Her impressions alone are certainly worth the price of admission and a few drinks!


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