Comedian and Last Comic Standing (NBC) semi-finalist Tracey Ashley joined MSU students and East Lansing residents alike at the Union on the evening of Saturday, April 10th. Following young comedians Felicia Gillespie and Ryan McKernan, Ashley performed for an hour and half to a full crowd in the main room of the Union. Ashley sat down with TBG’s own Alyssa Firth for a one on one interview after the show.
Firth: How did you like the audience?
Tracey Ashley: The audience was fantastic. They were great. They got everything, they were on top of it. They knew when to laugh. So obviously you guys get a lot of comedy here, so it was fun. This was a fun show.
Firth: Do you tend to get stuck up crowds once in awhile?
TA: Oh yeah. It’s not even that they’re stuck up sometimes. They might just be too young. We did a show last night and it was little sibs weekend so they had all their brothers and sisters, and like the youngest was eleven years old. You know, I’m talking politics, I’m talking about marriage, all kinds of things. I felt bad, so I did a joke for her so she could feel comfortable. It was just like a little kid joke, you know? They were fine, but there were some things I said and they were really like “Aww!” but they really thought, they took it literally. And their hearts were broken and I was like, “Come on you guys, just join reality.” But they were okay. But tonight was fantastic.
Firth: What did you think of the opening acts?
TA: They’re great. The young lady, Felicia Gillespie, she travels with me and she’s an up and coming star and you’ll hear her name a lot and I’m sure she’s going to be doing a lot of colleges. So I like her brand of humor a lot. And I like the young man, I think his name was Ryan, he was excellent. And you can tell he’s been doing this quite a bit, coming out here. And I like the twist with the guitar at the end. So it made for a, we had a variety show kind of tonight. So it made it, I thought it was great. It was a good build up.
Firth: Do you go to a lot of college campuses?
TA: I do a lot of college campuses. It’s funny that I didn’t do this school. A few years ago, I did a bunch of schools in Michigan. I started up in Sault St. Marie and I worked my way all the way back. I did big schools, small schools, but I never made it here because I think I was booked somewhere, so it was great to come back up here. We’ve done three schools in Michigan this week.
Firth: Well we’re glad to have you here!
TA: Thank you! Thank you!
Firth: How long have you been telling jokes?
TA: I’ve been doing comedy now for a total of 10 years, but not ten years straight doing comedy. I had a day job. I worked in advertising sales. I sold for a radio station that used to broadcast the Minnesota Vikings, so I sold there. I worked at a hip hop station for awhile and then when I decided to do comedy, I left the station and started doing temp work, so I could do a temp job and then go on the road. It wasn’t till I was able to get an agent and a manager that I could do it full time. Then I did Last Comic Standing and a lot of college students watch that. That ended up getting me on a lot of conferences, so since then I’ve been doing a lot of colleges and clubs.
Firth: Were you funny growing up?
TA: It’s so funny, cause in school I was funny. My family didn’t know cause, you know, I was raised by preachers, so at home I had to be contained and be on my best behavior. They would be shocked because they would get these phone calls from school, like, “Your niece won’t shut up in class.” I had one teacher, my professor, science professor, he threw me out of class and I wasn’t even talking. I said, “I wasn’t even talking!” and he said, “Well if you weren’t, you were gonna.” That’s how bad I was! He threw me out and I turned around and I just started acting out, like, “I’ma get you. I’ma get you!” and all the students were laughing. I just always liked to make people laugh, so it was something that I knew that I always wanted to and I couldn’t wait for the opportunity.