Alyssa Spatola Introduces Her Self

October 16, 2022

Photo Credit

Paul Cyphers


Valerie Lopez


Valerie Lopez


The alter­nate title of this arti­cle could have eas­i­ly been Austin’s Newest Com­e­dy Cheer­leader; we’ll come back to that in a few.

Alyssa Spa­to­la and I are old friends. Since mov­ing to Austin, Alyssa would always duti­ful­ly sub­mit her all-female/non-bina­ry open mic Open Michelle at the now-defunct Romo Room to the Com­e­dy Wham events pages. I am always impressed when a trans­plant to the Austin com­e­dy scene learns about us and takes advan­tage of our super-cool events page (and it’s so easy to sub­mit your shows!).

I recent­ly observed Spa­to­la get­ting into the head­shot pho­tog­ra­phy game. For comics who are ear­ly in their careers, sub­mit­ting head­shots to fes­ti­vals or even a local show­case to dis­play on a show fly­er, the cost of expen­sive pro­fes­sion­al head­shots can be pro­hib­i­tive. And she’s a very tal­ent­ed graph­ic design­er so if your’e need­ing a show fly­er, she’s got the skills and tal­ent to help you. Hav­ing Spa­to­la enter these tan­gen­tial parts of the com­e­dy scene can be not only a relief, but equal­ly (some­times more) impor­tant, an afford­able option for comics. 

All this to say that I felt I already knew Spa­to­la even before she reached out by email to intro­duce her­self with con­fi­dence as a Lati­na com­ic from the New York/​New Jer­sey area and asked if she could be a guest on the pod­cast. To have a strong sense of iden­ti­ty and open her for­mal intro­duc­tion to me this way, was enough (on top of what I already knew from observ­ing) to get our inter­view scheduled.

If you want to do standup. . . go for it
Alyssa Spatola

Spa­to­la’s expe­ri­ences with com­e­dy have put her amongst under­rep­re­sent­ed and mar­gin­al­ized peo­ple. Dur­ing the pan­dem­ic her first open mic was for women and queer peo­ple on a New York City rooftop. Of the expe­ri­ence, she real­ized “… it was just out and free. And I real­ized, this is awe­some.” Despite the free­ing expe­ri­ence of watch­ing and being amongst the mar­gin­al­ized, her time in New York post-pan­dem­ic was short lived. She had spent time in Austin and had been mak­ing plans to move for some time. When she did, she met up with fel­low per­son who vol­un­tar­i­ly puts feet in shoes with wheels” (at my age, this is a more flow­ery way of say­ing guar­an­teed hos­pi­tal vis­it’), Sarah Spear. Spear and Spa­to­la shared a love of roller skat­ing and formed an ear­ly friend­ship after Spa­to­la’s arrival.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Spa­to­la’s ear­ly expe­ri­ences in Austin weren’t as free­ing and out as the NYC rooftop open mic. After hear­ing one too many racist, sex­ist things spout­ed on stages under the guise of com­e­dy, she approached the Romo Room about launch­ing a new all-female mic. Open Michelle was born and offered a space to work on jokes amongst oth­er women and non-bina­ry comics. Spa­to­la shared the sto­ry of a les­bian who did Open Michelle who lat­er admit­ted that she was­n’t com­fort­able going to oth­er open mics. Spa­to­la was quick to encour­age this young com­ic that this is your space, and also, I hope it’s a spring­board to go to anoth­er open mic.…and you have the confidence.”

I don't get as much joy out of performing as I do seeing other people rise up.
Alyssa Spatola

Cir­cling back to Spears (see what I did there? roller skates…wheels.… circling.…oh nev­er mind), as the Romo Room began to sun­set, Spa­to­la and Spears col­lab­o­rat­ed on a new idea. 

The month­ly show­case the Tex­ass Queer Com­e­dy Show was born in Octo­ber 2021 and brings an inclu­sive ros­ter of LGBTQ+ come­di­ans to The Creek & The Cave. Spa­to­la’s idea for Tex­ass was that she want­ed “… the peo­ple who head­lined my show to get booked on oth­er shows that aren’t just about being queer. Because that’s not the idea, I don’t want it to be siloed. I want peo­ple to be seen and grow in their careers.”

One of Spa­to­la’s new activ­i­ties is join­ing the Com­e­dy Wham writ­ing team. When we put out a call for new writ­ers, Spa­to­la reached out and her first arti­cle recaped our third con­ver­sa­tion with Vanes­sa Gon­za­lez. Since we like to con­sid­er our­selves cheer­lead­ers to the Austin com­e­dy scene, we were thrilled to have this fel­low cheer­leader in com­e­dy join us.

With sev­er­al suc­cess­ful ven­tures under her belt and new ones afoot (includ­ing the wheeled ones — sor­ry! It had to be done), which does Spa­to­la pre­fer — being on stage or behind the scenes? I don’t get as much joy out of per­form­ing as I do see­ing oth­er peo­ple rise up. I like the idea of pro­duc­ing more than performing.”

Hear­ing Spa­to­la talk about sup­port­ing women through the all-female open mics, sup­port­ing LGBTQ+ comics through the Tex­ass Queer Com­e­dy Show, sup­port­ing comics by offer­ing afford­able head­shots, I real­ized that her intro­duc­tion to me by email bare­ly scratched the sur­face of who she is as a per­son. One of her part­ing thoughts with me was if you want to do standup… go for it.” 

Spo­ken like a true cheerleader. .

Listen to the podcast episode to hear these words and more from Alyssa

Fol­low Alyssa

Alyssa can be seen and heard:

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Alyssa Spatola