Comedian Spotlight: Abby Feldman

>> Abby Feldman is a Rochester-born comedian based in New York City. She performs stand up nightly, hosts a weekly Facebook Live show, writes for TV and is developing multiple new comedy series. She specializes in making content that addresses dark issues in a light-hearted way. Abby will be performing her one woman show "Five Minutes a Day" at Rochester's Fringe Festival on September 13th at 9:00 PM, September 14th at 6:00 PM and September 15th at 7:00 PM. Purchase tickets HERE!

You perform all over the globe: NYC, LA, and even in South America. How excited are you to be doing a 3-night-stand for a hometown crowd?

Not only will this be the first time I‘m performing in Rochester in over a year, but it’s also the debut of my new solo show. I’m thrilled for my first audience to be filled with Rochesterians (and my entire family).

You’re getting a lot of accolades for your acting and online content, yet you continue to do standup. What draws you to stand-up performances?

Being on stage- live, alone, connecting with an audience- is a very intimate experience that can at times feel spiritual. In videos, I can take edit and cut things out to make the funny happen. Doing stand up, I have to edit in real-time and when it works, there’s nothing like it.

What comedians did you grow up watching, and how have they influenced you?

I grew up watching and listening to whatever we happened to have in our house. I constantly listened to an Adam Sandler CD with a bunch of random songs like Lunch Lady Land. Now I‘ve been writing comedic songs- I’m just putting two and two together right now.

You’ve developed a distinct persona over your years in the biz. How would you describe your style? Have I?

This question is giving me an existential crisis. Which I talk about in my show Five Minutes a Day September 13, 14 and 15 at the School of the Arts. Also, I like to think that I’m very sensitive to the issues people deal within our daily lives and big issues, and can talk about big scary things in small, funny ways.

The subjects of your satire are varied. You comment on everything from gender roles and body image to current events and cultural differences. What topics might people hear about when they attend your Fringe show?

I’m going to be walking people through a day-in-the-life of me: a millennial woman of the arts who seeks to know her higher Self through meditation while struggling to get through the day without eating chips. Chips are my weakness and I think this is a relatable issue.

What projects are you currently working on, and where can people find them?

I’m developing a new comedy news and sketch series that will hopefully be on “TV” or wherever people watch stuff now.

Do you have any unique hobbies or side-hustles that many people may not know about?

Sometimes I do voice-overs for a women’s audio erotica app. Nobody knew about that until now. Hi mom!

What are some things that many people outside of comedy may not know about the industry?

Sometimes the best comedians aren’t the household names. A bunch of my all-time favorites are people you’ve probably never heard of. Seek out alternative comedy and check who your favorite comedians follow on social media.

How did growing up in Rochester influence your career?

I was so bored. I couldn’t wait to get out of Rochester! As soon as I graduated- as in, the day after- I left for Argentina as an exchange student. I learned Spanish and had amazing experiences living abroad in Spain and as a Fulbright scholar in Buenos Aires- anything to avoid going back to Rochester. While I was making a documentary in a psychiatric hospital on my own at age 21, a friend of mine from the children’s theater group I was acting in part-time walked me through a visualization exercise to figure out “who I am.” I started sobbing and realized I wanted to do comedy and moved to New York City to study improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade. I knew I had found my calling. I am forever grateful to Rochester for boring me into finding myself.

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