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"Don't Make Me Somebody I'm Not" - An Interview with Last Comic Standing's Tammy Pescatelliby Dale Sherman -- 11/17/04
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Tammy Pescatelli really put in a lot of the spice of Last Comic Standing 2, no doubt about that. Starting off with friction that was obvious between her and another of the comics on the show, being the first woman to beat one of the men in the weekly competitions, and striving to get the contestants to actively go out on stage instead of playing games to keep from being eliminated, Tammy proved herself to not be afraid to speak her mind. For some viewers, her willingness to stand up for what she believed in was a turn-off, as she wasn't fulfilling the stereotype that people expected of a female comic (or even a woman on television, typically); for others, it was an indication that we were seeing a person who wanted to not only win the contest, but wanted to win it by proving she really could be the Last Comic Standing.
Because the show introduced these individuals to many viewers, some may feel that the comics were fairly new to the field of stand-up. That was certainly not the case with most of the comics, and Tammy had already proven herself as a headliner throughout the country before appearing on LCS. She has also worked in radio and television, as well as worked with a variety of very wellknown comics in the past few years, and we recommend readers check out her official website at http://www.tammypescatelli.com/ for more details as to her career highlights and to where they can see her soon on tour.
Tammy was in Louisville, Kentucky on October 16, 2004 to perform a show with LCS2 winner John Heffron. Tammy sat down with me and my wife backstage at the Browns Theater once the show was over for an interview.
On a personal note, I want to thank Yvette, Robin, and especially Tammy for giving up their time in helping to arrange and do this interview. In writing for several years, setting up an interview is usually a painful experience for everyone involved. In this case, however, everyone was very happy in helping to set up the interview and it could not have been a nicer experience.
Reality News Online: First off, how is your dad doing?
Tammy Pescatelli: He's doing very well. Thank you for asking. It's been very nice. People have been coming up, even tonight and asking me, "How is your dad?" That's just the sweetest thing. He's doing very well. Thanks for all their prayers and concerns.
RNO: How did you get involved in all of this?
Tammy: You know, my agents told me, "Kathleen Madigan is going to do Last Comic Standing." And I said, "She is?" and I didn't believe it - and they made her call me to tell me that she's going out for the show. So that was it. My agents brought it up to me. Bob and Ross, the people who cast the show - and we all knew them from the Tonight Show.
RNO: How did you get involved in stand-up in the first place?
Tammy: Oh, stand-up, that's a lot harder. I grew up with all the boys. And my brothers were all bigger and faster, but I was quicker with my mouth. That was what saved me. And, I knew I was funny because someone always wanted to hit me! We were huge stand-up fans in my house. I know all those Rodney Dangerfield jokes and specials by heart, verbatim. I can quote Don Rickles, Andrew Dice Clay, Tim Allen. I just never knew that I could be a stand-up comic. I knew that there were women, but they were like, "sequins and face-lifts and their husbands," so I saw a woman on stage at a comedy club who was a working comic. I asked, "you could make a living at this?" So I did an open mike on a dare, and I won the little contest that was sponsored by a radio station. They offered me a morning show. Then I saw little Miss Madigan come through, and that's when I decided what I wanted to do for a living.
RNO: You mentioned a little bit into this here, but do you think there is a stigma against female comics? Even though several have gotten national and international fame, why do you still think that is?
Tammy: You know, I don't think that perception means change. Women are doing what's true for them. I respect them for what they do. I'm different. I have a mother who died when I was little, and I grew up with all boys. Even my female influence was a masculine influence - even though she was a wonderful, classy lady, she was raised by her father and all her brothers. So I'm just speaking for me, and Kathleen speaks of what she knows. Then we do stand-up that's not necessarily from a woman's point of view, but we're still women, so it's still a woman's point of view, isn't it? It's such a catch 22.
RNO: Lets talk a little bit about the show.
Tammy: Yeah, OK.
RNO: I wanted to ask you about the Laundromat thing.
Tammy: I have a problem with my vocal cords. My vocal cords are stretched - I need to take some time-off and have some surgery. As you can tell even now that my voice is gravellier now. In the mornings I can't speak. It's just that I wasn't prepared. You have to prepare for a show and they didn't tell me that there would be an impromptu show. So I just need to take some time off, but in order to do that I would need to take a month off, because I can't speak. Because I make my living by speaking - when I do a show I can't do any talking at least an hour prior to the show. Meanwhile, they didn't tell us we were doing a show and I needed to relax my voice. It's a physical problem and not an emotional problem. If it were an emotional problem, I wouldn't be able to perform the day with my dad. But, I'm OK, let everyone know that I'm OK. They are just stretched and it's a simple procedure - and it's just time-consuming. No one needs to worry.1 2 3 Next-->
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