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Debra DiGiovanni

June 2014

 

What did you want to become when you were a child?

Nothing ‘normal’, I went thru phases and they usually only lasted a few weeks. A few were: tap dancer, a fashion designer, a Charlie’s Angel (old person reference). I bore very easily. 

For years, my mom referred to my comedy career as just another one of my ‘phases’. ;)

 

How did your friends/family react when you told them you wanted to be a stand-up comedienne?

My family was –and still is- horrified (they do not like what I do). My friends were the ones to push me into it, so they were relieved and happy to see it finally happen. And, if I bump into someone from high school- they have that ‘of course’ kind of reaction. 

 

What has been your greatest accomplishment so far:

Sticking with comedy for 14 years? Trust me. That’s a huge accomplishment. 

 

Who inspires you in the industry? 

People that just get it done. I love Amy Schumer. She’s inspiring. So is Broad City. It might be the perfect show. (started as webseries) 

 

What made you decide to move to Hollywood?

I really had no reason not to- I have a US working Visa and no husband or children to worry about- it was just the next logical step. ALSO- a friend really pushed me towards the move as well with some much needed tough love. 

 

What aspects of your job do you like best/least?

I’m rarely bored with comedy. I love how I control what comes out of my mouth- (most of the time) and it’s still fun to me. It’s my favorite outlet- I love making people laugh. I know that’s lame sounding, but true!! I still love performing as much I did when I started. I get to travel and meet people and I laugh all the time. It’s pretty terrific. 

The bad side is not too bad. It’s kinda hard not knowing what’s coming next… anyone who works freelance can tell you that! And, sometimes, on the road- it’s lonely. When a show goes badly- it’s horrid. It’s personal, so it hurts me- and usually takes a few days to recover. Um, there are some jerks too…in my industry- like everywhere- but in entertainment, there seems to be a surplus of jerks. 

 

I know how much fun I have watching you on Video on Trial, how fun is it to do the show?

I LOVED doing that show (it’s done now, btw- I haven’t recorded an episode since 2012) it never got old to me. It was just fun and easy and a pleasure to do. Though, the studio was a small room with me, a camera-person and the producer. I think the audience thought we were all in the same room together (the panel)… 

 

What makes you happy? 

WHOA! Deep. Um…what makes me happy? A good show puts you on top of the world. I love a good, long- almost painful laugh. Animals make me happy. My best friend Robyn makes me happy. Music. Sunshine. A pedicure. Game shows (watching people win). The smell of lemons. Deep conversations. Christmas carols. Bright colors… 

 

What is your favorite song at the moment, and of all time? 

I’m loving that Hannah Georgas right now. Robotic. Amazing. 

I’d say my fav song of all time is Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield. I think it’s from 1981 and it still makes my stomach flip when I hear it. 

 

What are some of your favorite movies? 

American Beauty, Magnolia, Almost Famous, Big Fish, Little Miss Sunshine, Tootsie, Young Frankenstein, Clue, Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, Clue, The Color Purple, Rear Window… 

 

What is your biggest guilty pleasure? 

Ha! I don’t think I feel much guilt about anything!! Um… romance novels? My porn is definitely still reading old erotic novels. That’s shameful!! I also love terrible horror movies- the cheesier the better. And, I could eat a jar of pickles in one sitting, and possibly drink the brine too. SHAME! 

 

Describe yourself in 5 words: 

Funny, insecure, introvert (yet loquacious) kind and pogonophile 

 

Which living person do you admire most? 

Carol Burnett and my best friend Robyn are tied. 

 

What do you most value in people? 

Honesty. The ability to laugh at themselves, doing something they love. Kindness. Loyalty. 

 

Name 2 things people don't know about you:

I’m a super duper introvert. 

I’m scared to drive, but I love muscle cars- anything from 1954-74.

 

What is your motto? 

I don’t think I have one. But I do repeat a mantra to myself often (it changes frequently) right now it’s: ‘Perfect is the enemy of good’. In my high school yearbook, I (mis) quoted Whitman: ‘May life be a powerful play, and you contribute a verse.’ LOVE that. 

I used to create mottos per year, with my friends. But it was always silly. For example- in 2003 I broke up with the worst boyfriend ever and so the year’s motto was “ ROB FREE IN 2003!” 

 

Any advice for those wanting to become stand-up comics? 

Get on stage. You can only become a stand up by doing stand up. A LOT. 

 

Any last words? 

Gosh, I hope so!! ;)