To say Ms. Pat has led an interesting life would be a bit of an understatement. “It was normal where I came from,” she says. Now based in Indianapolis, Ms. Pat grew up in Atlanta. By the time she was 15, she had two children. At that time a career in show business never crossed her mind.
“My life was already full of entertainment. Having two kids at 15, your life is full of entertainment. I just didn’t have an audience to laugh at me.” That is until a caseworker took an interest in her life and the stories she would tell. “I’d tell these stories and she’d laugh, her eyes pouring tears like rain. I didn’t know what was so funny. She said, ‘Girl you should be a comedian.’”
Ms. Pat couldn’t see it at first, though. “I just made a bunch of mistakes in life and people kept telling me these stories about my life were funny. I didn’t think they were funny.”
Dealing drugs, getting shot twice, and hit by a truck once didn’t make her laugh — at first.
“I started to pay attention to it, and they were right, it was funny," she says. "This case worker would block off an hour just to talk to me. She couldn’t understand how, when I was 18 with two kids, the state gave me four more kids.” Those kids were her sister’s, and Ms. Pat had to raise them in addition to her own.
It was shortly after that when she met man who would help her turn her in a new direction. “When I met [my husband] my life got turned around,” she states. “He wasn’t a drug dealer or anything, he was a good guy. He’d just gotten out of the military. He wasn’t what I was used to in a man: Someone who would hit you and degrade you then turn around and say he loved you after giving you a whooping.” She laughs at how crazy that notion is. Indeed, comedy helped her push past a lot of her pain.
Her husband-to-be wasn’t scared of her situation, and even set her up in a new apartment when she was on the verge of being evicted.
“I was like, ‘For real?’ Then a couple of months later, with my sister on crack, we took in her four kids. I gave him six kids and not one of them was his.” A few years later, the couple did have two kids of their own.
The husband and wife worked for General Motors in Atlanta, and transferred to Indianapolis when operations in Georgia were shuttered. Ms. Pat quit when she started making decent money doing standup. Her sister got back custody of her kids, but sadly did not learn from their aunt’s example.
“Hell no! That’s a whole ‘nother story," she laments. "She did those kids like our momma done us. They all on drugs and that crazy shit. She took those four girls and turned them into hoes. She kept the cycle going.”
As for Ms. Pat’s kids, they listened to their mom.
“I just took my kids down a different path. I’m thankful my kids don’t smoke or drink or nothing like that,” she says. “My oldest both graduated and my one daughter went off to college. I’ve had no serious problems with them.”
That's largely because she made it clear what her expectations were. “I told them, ‘You’re not going to do this stuff. You’re not going to make the mistakes I made in my life.’ I told my son a long time ago, ‘You will not become what society says black men are. You will not drop out, you will not be getting high.”
Now that she's gaining more TV exposure, Ms. Pat is also set to release a book in 2016, and has several other projects in the works.
IF YOU GO:
Rick Bronson's House of Comedy
408 East Broadway, Bloomington, Level 4 in the Mall of America
Wednesday through Sunday
Tickets are $13 to $20
Call 952-858-8558 or visit houseofcomedy.net for more info