Andy Iwancio: Measured in LPMs

September 27, 2019

Photo Credit

Steve Korn

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Valerie Lopez

Listen

2019 Out of Bounds Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val Series


When I first sat down with Seat­tle-based Andy Iwan­cio, she had a very seri­ous air about her. It would­n’t be long before she start­ed wise­crack­ing with me and by the end of our talk, she was down­right gre­gar­i­ous and engaged. This says a lot about her per­son­al­i­ty and based on her time­line (a word that came up often because I am a chrono­log­i­cal thinker and I need­ed to know the sequence of events to Andy’s life) and her approach to com­e­dy, it’s a con­sis­tent theme — I’ll be cau­tious about things until I know I can reveal my true self.” It feels like she’s bat­tled with hid­ing her­self for a long time until about 2012 when she ded­i­cat­ed her­self to standup com­e­dy in Seat­tle. Up to that point, she had not come out as trans­gen­der and she could hide behind her very suc­cess­ful DJ per­sona Kid Amiga. 

And Iwan­cio’s true self is quite sil­ly, we’re hap­py to report. This cer­tain­ly serves its pur­pose if one choos­es to pur­sue com­e­dy, but it prob­a­bly serves a pro­tec­tive pur­pose if you’re not sure how you’ll be received. And this is a per­va­sive con­cern for any­one that hap­pens to be trans­gen­der. We learn a lot about what con­cerns Andy, from her first days on stage as a com­ic in 2007 (a time when nei­ther she nor com­e­dy audi­ences were ready for an out trans­gen­der female), to a return in 2012 (a time where she was ready to be out and audi­ences were becom­ing more wel­com­ing), to today’s con­cerns about per­form­ing in south­ern states that may still not be as open to hear­ing the voic­es of trans­gen­der women (or men for that mat­ter), to whether she’ll be crotch-checked. But, if she can move past those con­cerns, she’ll hap­pi­ly share her sto­ries (as she’s done on stage count­less times) about get­ting mar­ried in a Den­ny’s – with Mad Libs wed­ding vows – to her long-time part­ner who she’s been with for 17 years. Not 16, or 18, but 17 as she’s quick to point out. 

The thing that’s dif­fer­ent from most of the peo­ple I talk, to most of the comics I do fes­ti­vals with, is I have a rela­tion­ship, and I’ve had a rela­tion­ship for many years. And hon­est­ly, that’s most impor­tant to me.” Andy Iwan­cio

And you might be sur­prised to hear that Iwan­cio’s ini­tial brush­es with comedic per­for­mances come from.… *checks notes*.… yes, back­yard wrestling with friends. She recounts: “…we would make each oth­er laugh.… even some of the short­hand of how I do crowd work is based upon how we gave each oth­er shit (dur­ing back­yard wrestling)” The foun­da­tion she laid those years ago, helped her achieve some notable goals this past year — from appear­ing on Cameron Espos­i­to’s pod­cast Put Your Hands Togeth­er” to open­ing for Espos­i­to in Seat­tle. Despite all the silli­ness that Andy offers dur­ing this inter­view, she is incred­i­bly ground­ed and shares a very deeply felt sen­ti­ment that for all that com­e­dy could offer as a career, her rela­tion­ship to her part­ner is the absolute most impor­tant thing to her and she would give every­thing up if it meant keep­ing that rela­tion­ship. In Andy’s words, the thing that’s dif­fer­ent from most of the peo­ple I talk to, most of the comics I do fes­ti­vals with, is I have a rela­tion­ship, and I’ve had a rela­tion­ship for many years. And hon­est­ly, that’s most impor­tant to me.” And that’s when you get hit by the feel­ing that with the silli­ness comes pure sweet­ness, and that com­bi­na­tion on stage trans­lates to being relat­able and approach­able and all of the good things that comics wish for. And while we may all know that Iwan­cio is fun­ny, you still need to like her tweets and Insta­gram posts, for now, because through it all, she admits, she’s still seek­ing val­i­da­tion, mea­sured in likes per minute. 

The best way to get out and like” Andy Iwan­cio is to see her in per­son! Here are some upcom­ing shows while in Austin: 

  • 927 Velvee­ta Lounge 9:00pm
  • 927 Live from Cold­towne 10:30pm
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