Fortune Feimster is everywhere these days, and the entertainment dynamo is bringing her standup show, 2 Sweet 2 Salty, to The Factory this Friday. You’ve likely heard her honey-dipped Southern accent on Chelsea Lately, The Mindy Project, The L Word: Generation Q, The Simpsons, Netflix (The Standups and her own special, Sweet & Salty), or elsewhere. Her comedy is wry, observational, and just this side of self-deprecating. She’s noted from behind the mic that she considered her career options to be UPS driver, softball coach, or comedian—if you ask us, she definitely made the right choice. SLM caught up with Feimster ahead of her St. Louis show.
You’re doing a lot these days! Do you prefer acting, writing, or standup? Man, it’s so hard to say, because I love so many different aspects of my job. It’s so cool to be able to dabble in different things. Anything involving performing is my favorite thing. Standup, I can go out and connect with the crowd and share who I am. You get that immediate feedback. Acting, I love where I can take on a different version of myself or a whole new character. It just keeps things fresh and keeps me feeling inspired and creative. Writing is more of like a means to an end—it’s usually done so that I can perform. It’s a lot of work, but the good part about it is you know your voice better than anyone, so you try to write to your strengths in a way that someone else might not be able to.
How’s the tour going? Is it good to be back in person? It’s definitely a more challenging way to tour. You want to keep yourself safe; you want to keep your audience safe. You’re constantly trying to figure out ways to keep the show going. People need to laugh more than ever. Theaters are short-staffed. Traveling is a challenge at times. Everyone’s just dealing with this and trying to live life as normal as possible. The reward is getting to do the show.
Family and background play a big role in your standup. With the world becoming so small, how important is place and where we come from? How do we stay true to that when everyone can be everywhere all the time? It definitely has inspired who I am. Anybody, growing up and where they’re from influences them as a person. There’s going to be a part of that always with me. I’ve been in Los Angeles for 18 years, but this accent has not gone away. That part of me is always there. I hope to, with every special, show some sort of evolvement. The Sweet & Salty special is: “Here’s where I’m at trying to figure out who I am. I get it right sometimes. I get it wrong sometimes. This is what it led to.” This current tour is picking up where I left off: “Here’s where I’m at in my life, here’s the kind of person I am in life.” Every couple of years, you’ll pick back up with me—here’s what I’ve learned so far, here’s this journey. It’s a lot of self-reflection and stories about myself. You always want to make stories relatable. Everybody’s trying to figure out those things. I try to keep it in the positive and silly grounded space. I hope to either make it interesting or make you feel good, something in that vein.
Your radio show, What a Joke with Papa and Fortune, could get very inside baseball—comics on comics. Do you try to tailor your conversations to “civilians” who are tuning in or just nerd out? It’s nice to know that it’s always going to be comedy-based. We talk about life and what we’re up to. Stories about life tend to come up a lot. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of comics through the show that I didn’t know before. It’s helped me develop good working relationships with comics. I really love that aspect of it.
Are you doing pandemic jokes or trying to provide an escape? I don’t ignore it because it’s been such a big part of our lives. I don’t do mask jokes or vaccine jokes. It’s hard to ignore the elephant in the room. All of us have changed to an extent. There’s different parts of that experience that have affected us. Here’s what I’ve learned, here’s what I’ve handled, and then I jump off from there.
Feimster performs at The Factory (17105 N. Outer 40) this Friday, January 28, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29.50.