If you want to say that you saw one of comedy's next superstars "before she was huge," you're going to want to get to the Woman's Club this weekend.
Fortune Feimster, the lovable Southern comedian who gained notoriety as a regular on Chelsea Lately, has been a breakout star in the making for the past several years. With a successful standup career and several television projects that seemed like sure bets, Feimster has just needed that slight nudge to get her to the next level. That nudge, as it turns out, came from her past.
This spring, Feimster is shooting a TV pilot for ABC that she wrote based on her own life story. She'll star in the lead role, playing a fictionalized version of herself, in her home state of North Carolina, as a gym teacher who decides to come out of the closet. The Tina Fey-produced project is already gaining serious buzz in the entertainment industry, and it likely won't be long until she's blowing up on the small screen.
"It's all about me and my family, and it comes from a very real place," she says of her soon-to-be-filmed television vehicle.
Before her Hollywood star gets too bright, this Sunday night she'll be in Minneapolis for one show only. It's the first in a series of shows at the Woman's Club that are being presented by Acme Comedy Co.
"I've always looked for ways to create new opportunities and give myself a platform," Feimster says of her success both as a standup and an actress. "I don't look or sound like everyone else out there, and fortunately being unique is very popular right now."
After graduating from college in 2003, Feimster decided to take the first step in creating the aforementioned platform, moving to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams. The only problem was that she wasn't quite sure what those dreams looked like.
"I didn't really know what I wanted to do, I just moved out to L.A. because I wanted a cool experience," she says. "I started taking improv classes more as a hobby than anything, and ultimately that led me to standup, which I thought might be fun."
Her comedy career grew significantly over the next several years, with a full slate of standup dates all over the country, along with TV appearances on Last Comic Standing, where she made it to the semi-finals, followed by a regular spot as an unofficially anointed "Chelsea Handler comedian" on Chelsea Lately and the scripted after-show, After Lately.
While she started landing more and more acting gigs, Feimster refused to give up her blossoming stage career, and continued to hone her standup skills.
"Acting is super fun, but performing live is a totally different feeling," she says. "It's living in the moment, and I absolutely love it."
Her Twin Cities appearance is the only Midwest show on her schedule for the foreseeable future, meaning this might be your last chance to see Feimster in person for quite sometime.
As for her future in television, Feimster isn't getting ahead of herself just yet. However, assuming all goes according to plan, she's already begun mapping out her potential celebrity crushes.
"I'd love for Jennifer Anniston to play my love interest on the show," she laughs. "But I'm not quite sure I'll be able to hook that up."
For anyone else, this might be a stretch. But Jen might want to clear her calendar.
IF YOU GO:
The Women's Club of Minneapolis
Sunday, March 8
8 p.m., $22.50