It’s been a wild ride for Fortune Feimster since she was a semifinalist on Last Comic Standing in 2010. The comic, who spoke with Out & About Nashville in advance of her upcoming show at Zanies, credits the show with giving her a leg up when she applied to appear on Chelsea Lately six months later. “People knew who I was when I applied, it helped me stand out.”

The level of success she has achieved surprised Feimster. “I never grew up thinking I would do this for a living.” But, she explained where her interests originated: “I grew up watching Carol Burnett with my grandmother. I loved it. I watched SNL (Saturday Night Live) religiously. I would VHS record it. I would watch it over and over so I could do the sketches for my friends at school.”

Though she had already been working in comedy for five years and had an extensive background in theatre and improv, and had also worked as a journalist, Feimster identifies her stint as a writer and panelist for Chelsea Lately as the break that jumpstarted her real career. “The show is what officially made me a working comic,” she said.

Not every offer she’s received is an amazing one though, she said, explaining, “There are some things that come across my  manager’s desk that just aren’t right for me. Basically I’m turning down porns left and right!” Feimster has also learned that show business can have its ups and downs. Ironically, as a longtime SNL fan, she got her first big taste of this working with one of the show’s most successful female alums, Tina Fey. To Fortune’s dismay, the show, Cabot College, wasn’t picked up, but she said of working with Tina Fey, “She’s an icon at this point. It was such a treat to work with her!” Cabot College wasn’t the end of her working relationship with Fey. Fortune recently sold a sitcom about her family to ABC, which will be produced by Fey and which promises to be a hit comedy!

It will be great to see a sitcom written about such a wonderful, accepting family. For those in the know Fortune’s mom is an outspoken advocate and supporter of the LGBT community. “I am so lucky they support me,” she said proudly. “My mom goes above and beyond to support the whole community.

I’m lucky I came from a place where I can be free to be me.”

Fortune did say, however, that being an open lesbian in entertainment doesn’t give her any pressure to be a role model. “I just try to be a good person every day.” When it comes to those who think her talents are only for the niche market of the LGBT crowd, she said, “I’m a lesbian comic but I cover topics that everyone can relate to. People can see we’re just like everyone else.”

Feimster clearly enjoyed letting her hair down a little. Life can be hectic for a comic: “In L.A., I’m constantly on the go. When I’m touring, I treat it as a mini getaway. I go sightseeing and try to relax. I’m lucky I’m usually only gone Thursday to Sunday, so I don’t get homesick.” But she won’t be too homesick in Nashville.

A native of North Carolina, Feimster says she sees her upcoming shows in Nashville as an extended homecoming. “I grew up in North Carolina. Nashville wasn’t far away. This part of the country feels like home to me.” She’s thrilled about the shows and said, “They’re right between Christmas and the New Year, so have your holiday party at my shows!”

Feimster will be at Zanies in Nashville on Friday, December 26th to Sunday, December 28th, with two shows each on Friday and Saturday and one show Sunday night.

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Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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