Kat Ramzinski: Eating Bacon and Crying

January 12, 2020

Photo Credit

Tyson Heder

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Richard Goodwin

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This week’s interview is 4 years in the making. To be fair, 99% of that was waiting, due to some confusion in contacts, scheduling, and various mishaps. Nevertheless, Valerie Lopez eventually nailed it down, and gets time with Austin comic Kat Ramzinski to find out what’s going on in her world, talk about NPR hosts and shows, and so much more.

Ramzinski is a bundle of energy, well worth that multi-year wait to explore. Musical creator of parody songs via Versace Kolache, and featured in shows and festivals like the Altercation Comedy Festival and Moontower Comedy, she has stories aplenty to tell. From her obsession with the car repair show Click and Clack, to the multitudes of ways she’s nearly died--including not one but two brown recluse spider bites--you get the sense that her frenetic energy is the result of careening from one life changing experience to another.

Some of the best comedy comes in the form of personal stories, and it’s clear that Ramzinski has plenty of material to draw on. She frequently incorporates these narratives into her work on stage, including tales of accidents and even being mugged. It’d be easy to dip into the maudlin with these topics, but for Ramzinski it’s fuel for painting a vividly funny picture. “I think comedy is funnier when it’s true,” she says, and that it’s key to the audience feeling that you’re recounting a genuine experience versus a “bit”.

I think comedy is funnier when it’s true.
Kat Ramzinski

There’s a risk in that kind of intimacy, Ramzinski acknowledges, but says: “You’re supposed to be uncomfortable; it’s about you, you’re sharing it.” When dealing with sensitive topics, like violent personal experiences or cultural taboos, it takes either immediate knowledge or ample skill, and she’s developed a keen sense of knowing how to mix the two (and when others aren’t). “It has to be funnier than it is sad,” she notes, not always an easy balance to maintain.

You’re supposed to be uncomfortable; it’s about you, you’re sharing it.
Kat Ramzinski

Growing up in the small town of Sutherland Spring, Texas, exposed Ramzinski to a host of eccentric characters early on. The town was so small that “if you fart, the neighbors know,” she jokes. That atmosphere, and the host of jobs and adventures she’s had since, tie right into her philosophy that some of the best comedy (and comics) come from having the strangest lives.

Ramzinski’s influences growing up are right in line with this, with a diet of SNL, Mad TV, and her early favorite Kids in the Hall. It makes complete sense, given that this panorama of sketch humor, drawing on scenarios seemingly too fantastical to be true, would shape her affinity for storytelling. Of course, it didn’t mean she entered the comedy scene fully formed and ready to perform. “I got my ass kicked for about two years,” she laughingly admits. Months and years of observing comedians, from Bill Hicks to local comics she sings the praises of, followed. She knew the stories she wanted to tell, and gradually learned how to pare each topic down to the essentials.

Not all of her stories are told on stage, and Ramzinski has explored no small amount of other outlets. She’s created or participated in rap battles, “nerd rap”, and music projects for years, including Versache Kolache, fronting as a hyper-stylized version of the “hoop wearing”, gum-popping mall girls she remembered growing up.

With various partners including boyfriend Dylan, they’ve opened for Fragile Rock, duo Vanilla Presley, and a host of other crazy experiences she shares with Valerie. As an example, check out the Migos parody video Ramzinski lyricized for Nerdist, Belle and Boujee, to get a sense of where she can mix these topics and characters into stylistic fantasy. There’s a recently released video where she raps as the Singularity in a battle between AI voice assistants like Alexa and Cortana. And if that’s not enough, she’s also in season 14 of the Rooster Teeth hit Red vs Blue.

Our time with Ramzinski ran longer than usual, and still wasn’t enough to capture everything she has to share. Every recounting branches into a veritable tree of moments, each more wild and weird than the last. As creative gifts go, it’s a powerful one, especially in comedy.

Luckily, Kat Ramzinski has plenty more to share, so get out and see her in person; she’s definitely got a story you’ll want to hear.

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