Allison Wojtowecz: Always Ready to Jump In

March 12, 2021

Photo Credit

Holly Beaupre

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Richard Goodwin

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Some peo­ple you remem­ber from their actions, some their laughs (or ones they evoked), and some­times a name just sticks” with you. With Alli­son Woj­towecz, all of those are just a jump­ing off point. And, lest you spend too much more time try­ing to sound out that oh-so-Pol­ish last name, Alli­son (née Alli­Wo) says it’s eas­i­est to remem­ber it as void-of-itch”, some­thing to which we can all aspire. There will be a quiz later. 

In some­thing of a rar­i­ty in the local com­e­dy scene, Woj­towecz hails not from the bustling cen­ter of Austin, and isn’t a trans­plant from any of the Coasts”: she calls the sub­urb Round Rock home, as do I. (Admit­ted­ly we also some­times refer to it as Com­e­dy Wham: North”.) Out­num­bered as one of the few females in an extend­ed fam­i­ly full of hilar­i­ous” boys, she posits that her appetite for humor grew from the desire to com­pete with – and best – their con­stant antics. 

School brought out a sim­i­lar com­pet­i­tive atti­tude, with Woj­towecz dou­ble-major­ing in act­ing and kine­si­ol­o­gy at The Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas. Her love of the­atre first grew from expe­ri­enc­ing the wel­com­ing peo­ple and pro­gram at her high school. The con­cept of being able to visu­al­ize and step into the blank slate” of char­ac­ter cre­ation intrigued her, as well as the pos­si­bil­i­ties it opened into bet­ter under­stand­ing the expe­ri­ences of oth­er peo­ple. One per­for­mance that sticks out to the self-admit­ted goody two shoes” was an emo­tion­al­ly impact­ful enact­ment of sis­ters liv­ing through the Dust Bowl, and the abor­tion that her char­ac­ter car­ried out on stage. Tak­en out of con­text, she says it seemed like a vio­lent scene”, but that it was an inter­est­ing way to lead the audi­ence to expe­ri­ence empa­thy” in relat­ing to the char­ac­ters’ challenges. 

Com­bin­ing her kine­si­ol­o­gy expe­ri­ence with her predilec­tion for div­ing head­first into any new endeav­or, Woj­towecz turned her nascent recipe shar­ing web­site into a legal enti­ty and part­nered with Austin-based health com­pa­ny Pale­oFX. In the process, she com­mit­ted her­self to learn­ing all of the required mod­ern aspects of such a crea­ture: search engine opti­miza­tion, social media skills, and oth­er tricks of the trade, then piv­ot­ed her own com­pa­ny to offer dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing ser­vices to those in need of them. 

Spend even a few min­utes with Woj­towecz and you’ll also find your­self in the midst of an infec­tious ener­gy, which isn’t in the least an acci­dent: it’s a tal­ent devel­oped to moti­vate clients she has tak­en on at times as a per­son­al train­er. The through­line here is her desire to per­form not only at her best, but to enhance and empow­er the lives of others. 

It (stand-up) started out just as a tool to be better at improvising and being funnier in that and then stand up just became its own passion.
Allison Wojtowecz

One way to do that is to have peo­ple sweat­ing and swear­ing through a gru­el­ing train­ing ses­sion; anoth­er is to get peo­ple guf­faw­ing from the edges of their seats. With her the­ater back­ground, per­form­ing was seem­ing­ly always to make anoth­er appear­ance in Wojtowecz’s life, first with Shit­faced Shake­speare. After a brief attempt at improv to sup­ple­ment her skills with Shit­faced Shake­speare, she made the jump to stand-up. Of the expe­ri­ence with stand-up, Woj­towecz says it start­ed out just as a tool to be bet­ter at impro­vis­ing and being fun­nier in that and then stand up just became its own. its own passion.”

In only a cou­ple of months from her first open-mic, Woj­towecz found her­self offer­ing logis­ti­cal show advice to a ran­dom woman with a note­book” in the audi­ence at one of her shows. That woman turned out to be ris­ing come­di­an Jen Ful­wiler, a fact that Woj­towecz only real­ized as their friend­ship organ­i­cal­ly grew, and led to her lat­er open­ing for Ful­wiler on tour. Woj­towecz cred­its the for­tu­itous meet­ing not with oppor­tu­ni­ty-seek­ing, but with her mantra of Be a nice per­son, and good shit will hap­pen”, some­thing with which we def­i­nite­ly agree. You can check out the taped spe­cial at The Naughty Cor­ner Tour.

Be a nice person, and good shit will happen.
Allison Wojtowecz

Woj­towecz looks back on her grow­ing com­e­dy career – with mul­ti­ple shows per month, a Fun­ni­est Per­son in Austin appear­ance in 2019, and the afore­men­tioned tour – with amaze­ment. I was a crazy person”,at the pre-Covid peak run­ning both week­ly and twice-month­ly shows. After the world piv­ot­ed in 2020, anoth­er planned tour with Ful­wiler was shelved, and Woj­towecz, in true head­first style, jumped into online shows, includ­ing our own Iso­la­tion Com­e­dy series. Appear­ances on oth­er online shows like In the Meme Time, she pro­gressed to host­ing shows (and doing social media) for the grow­ing Big Laugh Com­e­dy network.

Speak­ing of jump­ing, at this point we’d be remiss in not men­tion­ing an expe­ri­ence that may well encap­su­late Wojtowecz’s approach to new chal­lenges. Hav­ing pur­chased tick­ets to lit­er­al­ly jump off a bridge (albeit with bungee firm­ly attached), she found her­self engag­ing her log­i­cal side to over­come the dread creep­ing in. I woke up scared,” she admits, but, after find­ing out that only 80% of peo­ple actu­al­ly step off the ledge, told her­self you’re not going to be in the 20%!”. In anoth­er inter­est­ing corol­lary to the fright some peo­ple strug­gle with in com­e­dy, she notes the expe­ri­ence taught her the phys­i­o­log­i­cal response of both nerves and fear is the same as excitement..it’s just the way your brain is inter­pret­ing it based on the sit­u­a­tion“, and advis­es you can usu­al­ly con­vert it, if you talk your­self into it”.

In par­al­lel, Woj­towecz added a pod­cast to her reper­toire, with high school friend Alli Tooms called, fit­ting­ly, All. Is. On. (Put the let­ters togeth­er, you’ll get it.) She jok­ing­ly describes it as two white girls from sub­ur­bia”, but takes pride in their tack­ling of mean­ing­ful sub­jects like the denial of poten­tial­ly life chang­ing drugs like MDMA from those with men­tal health issues who could tru­ly benefit.

As we enter the phase where, like human Punx­sutawney Phils, we again begin peek­ing out our doors to see the state of the world, Woj­towecz (and indeed Austin in gen­er­al) are watch­ing with inter­est the changes in the local com­e­dy scene. An influx of come­di­ans, big names and small, have begun mak­ing their way to our berg, like Joe Rogan, Bri­an Red­ban, and oth­ers. Online endeav­ours like Big Laugh Com­e­dy have kicked off real-world part­ner­ships and live shows with Kill Tony, Red­ban’s Death Squad at Vul­can Gas Com­pa­ny. It’s a time of change, to be sure, but one that brings hope that the scene will emerge from forced hiber­na­tion rein­vig­o­rat­ed and ready for a new phase of growth.

For Alli­son Woj­towecz, and her say yes to every­thing” approach to life, we can be cer­tain that she’ll find – or forge – her place in it for years to come.

Alli­son can be seen and heard:

  • All. Is. On. Pod­cast with Alli­son Tooms
  • Per­form­ing at Vul­can The­ater at Big Laugh Com­e­dy Net­work shows


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