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.

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

  • 9/27 Velveeta Lounge 9:00pm
  • 9/27 Live from Coldtowne 10:30pm
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