Fortune Feimster bags are already packed for her first major theater tour, as the country went into lockdown three years ago this March.
So, like everyone else, the North Carolina-produced comic/actress series turned around. She has spent her time writing, preparing new material, and is married to her current wife, Jax. The latter now powers her second Netflix special, appropriately titled Good fortuneslated to drop on October 25. But first, Feimster has begun her hour-long journey, where she says audiences don’t just want to laugh, they need to.
On a busy day in mid-September, Feimster, 42, took the time to discuss the new special, which she executive produces with Adam Ginivisian and Judi Marmel and directed by Manny Rodriguez, the challenges difficult when trying to make a movie and her burgeoning position in the Hollywood platform.
This is your second special for Netflix. What do you want to say to the hour?
I finished a few hours ago, but Sweet & Salty was my first hour and I learned a lot. And with this, I really want to continue where that special place left off. I feel like I’ve found my voice with Sweet & Salty, and I’ve moved into a genre of storytelling that I really enjoy and I want to continue that, where I tell stories a little bit longer and about my life’s journey. I will tell Sweet & Salty a lot about finding myself and finding out who I am; this is about me trying to figure out how to be an adult, to be a mate, to settle into a married life and how I come across as imperfect. I am different from what meets the eye. That’s what I wanted to convey in this episode because that’s where I am.
You shot this movie at the Shakespeare Theater in Chicago. I’m curious how did you come to that decision?
Because Sweet & Salty, I chose North Carolina because a lot of those stories are about growing up, and I thought, “What a perfect audience to do that, who are there for those stories.” With this, when I put it together and the story begins [form], I realized a particular part involved meeting my current wife, Jax, and getting married and we got to know our lives together, so Chicago felt like the perfect place for me. met her in Chicago. I like to have that personal bond with it, and there were people in the audience who were there the night we met.
You noted in your special that you were supposed to depart your first theater tour in mid-March 2020, and then the world closed. How do you feel that period affected your comedy and what do you mean when the world finally reopens?
Everyone is affected by that time in different ways. For me, my tour had to begin. Our luggage was packed and we were ready to hit the road for this big tour, and then it was like, “You’re not going anywhere.” So there was that deflation. But, like everyone, you have to manage and be grateful that you’re healthy. And for me, it’s important to give my brain a minute to think about what I want to say. This was the first time I didn’t have to worry about going to this meeting or that meeting, and creatively, it was a gift to have time at home and write and figure out new material. And when the world opens up again, I’m ready.
When you started coming back, did you feel like the audience was changed by the experience? And if so, in what ways?
The biggest difference is that people no longer laugh because they want to laugh, they feel like they are smiling because they need to. It’s like a catalyst release. You can feel the energy in the room in a way that I have never felt before. Everything in the world is so heavy and there’s so much loss, it seems like people need that lightness and release and it feels really good to be able to provide that.
At the same time, you are touring an increasingly polarized country. Do you find your documents are received differently when you travel, and is that what you think about when crafting the document?
I went into it with the point of, “I’ll tell you a story.” Obviously, you hope that people from different walks of life can still find something relevant in your story. But I’d say I’ve done 100 cities on this tour, and I hit a lot of markets that I’ve never been to and there are places where, as a lesbian, you think in my head, “How are things going? How is this document received? “The places that blew me away, from Mobile, Alabama, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Chattanooga, Tennessee. I would look out in the audience and there were all kinds of people and they were all laughing at one thing in common, which you see today today. It reminds me of how great laughter is, and it can bridge those gaps to a certain extent.
Specifically exploring this topic, “At first glance, I’m not the person you thought I was going to be,” and I’m curious how that plays out in your Hollywood career?
I think it’s possible for someone like me to do it in a place like LA and this business [are slim]. I mean, I’m from this little town, I don’t look like a lot of people on TV, I have this accent, I have this crazy hair, I’m not your typical “Hollywood” person, so I’m defying those odds. But I feel like it’s great to have this stand because it allows you to go beyond what you don’t have to be to fit the Hollywood mold. You can just be yourself and hope that people connect with that in any way. So I’m really grateful that standing up has allowed me to share who I am. With Sweet & Salty, I feel like I have to tell everyone that I grew up and the mistakes I made, and now, with this story, I want to tell you who I am as an adult. I may look tough and I can have these broad shoulders and nothing else, but I’m a little more refined than that and I like a stance that allows me to get through that Hollywood filter and say, “This is I.”
I spoke to Jo Koy when he was preparing for his latest special a month or two ago, and he was very open about how Hollywood didn’t know what to do with him for a while. . I’m curious if you feel Hollywood already knows what to do with you and your talent?
I can say that I had a very similar experience. I’ve been in LA for almost 20 years and it took a long time in this industry to catch up with me and figure out what to do with me because when I’m coming up the difference isn’t considered fluff hair. , each joined. It’s like, “You don’t fit this mold that we’ve had in this industry all these years.” So I’ve been told no all the time, but you just have to hope that you do the job and at some point it pays off. And now I feel like we’re entering an era in this industry where being different is seen as a good thing and I like that because there are so many different voices and you want to hear voices. different and different perspectives. So I’m really, really grateful that 20 years later, I’m having these amazing opportunities and I’m able to be on a platform like Netflix that takes my story out to the world and now Now I just hope people see this special.
What’s left on your professional team list? You sold the film to Steven Spielberg…
We sold two movies to Amblin, and it was definitely not what I expected and what a great guy. I mean, there are so many things I want to do….
Well, let’s show some things.
I know! I’ve written a few movies and now I really want to do one of them. I love the process of creating and writing because you know your own voice better than anyone, so to actually create one of those things would be really special. I’m going through my fingers that we finally figured it out. And then I got really excited about this project. I’ve been filming in Toronto for the past five months with Arnold Schwarzenegger for Netflix. It’s a big, crazy action series and I’m excited for people to see it because they’ll definitely be seeing me in a light they’ve never seen before. I mean, I’ve never done anything like this, and that whole world of action is so big and crazy and I love it. So yeah, I want to keep getting up and doing, but also getting more involved in that creative space and hopefully completing a project. That’s the hardest part, making a movie. We are now in four or five years. But I still hope!