Editor’s Note: Comedian Tig Notaro is coming back to New Orleans and the Joy Theater on Friday night (doors open at 8 p.m., show at 9:00 p.m.), and Nolavie’s Brian Friedman got to speak with her in advance to get some inside info on her hit show ‘One Mississippi,’ her New Orleans roots, and Taylor Dayne, among other subjects.
Remind us about your New Orleans connections.
Yeah, my great, great grandfather was the mayor of New Orleans and my mother was born there, and I spent my summers there as a kid.
Does that give you a feeling of entitlement when you’re here?
Maybe deep down, but I haven’t acted on anything outrageous to this point.
I hear a lot of comedians complain about life on the road. Are there any aspects of the road that you like?
I actually love the road as long as I’m not doing it year round. At this point in my career, I’m pulling back a little bit and only doing a few cities. I don’t have the time to do it nonstop, but I really enjoy flying out into middle-America and renting a car and driving myself from city to city. There’s something nice about being on my own terms, getting to shows and then also, of course, just being in front of new audiences to try out material and seeing friends in different cities. I find it enjoyable, like I said, as long as it’s not year-round like it used to be.
Is there a particular comedian working today that you enjoy watching?
I love Maria Bamford.
Tell us about your show on Amazon, ‘One Mississippi’.
It’s very loosely based on my life, and it’s a time in my life when everything fell apart. A lot of it’s fictionalized but the jumping off point is after my cancer diagnosis then the loss of my mother unexpectedly, and all in the middle of my relationship falling apart. It’s definitely not your typical half-hour sitcom; it’s a half-hour comedy, but it’s also very dramatic and touching, and I think all the actors and writers, directors, everybody just did a phenomenal job of creating the show that I was hoping to create.
Was it hard to go from doing stand-up, which is a very individual process, to working on a show like ‘One Mississippi’?
I love collaboration, so to me it was a real joy to spend every day with five of the smartest people that I know and hear them present different ideas and moments to the room – they would add to it or bring elements of their own lives and experience to the story and I just…I really loved the collaboration and day-to-day working with everyone.
Have you run into Taylor Dayne recently?
I have not run into Taylor Dayne recently. The last I heard from her was after getting diagnosed with cancer. She sent her best, and I guess she also maybe reviewed my book (‘I’m Just a Person’) online, but I didn’t talk to her directly. But we’re definitely friendly.
‘One Mississippi’ Season 1 is available on Amazon now. For tickets to Friday’s show, visit: http://www.thejoytheater.com.