Star Scene: US Comedian “Little Esther” Povitsky

Esther Povitsky, aka Little Esther, is a fixture of the LA comedy scene; best known in Australia for her breakout podcast Weird Adults With Little Esther, where she finds out what makes her fellow comedian friends ‘weird adults’.

When we chat to Esther she’s sitting outside a bakery around 4pm in rush hour in Los Angeles. It’s a cloudy day in L.A. which means it’s not too hot, and perfect weather to enjoy a much coveted brownie. “I really needed a marbled cheesecake brownie so I drove out to a bakery and made my dream come true. That’s the kind of thing I live for.”

Making the journey to satisfy a food craving is something Melbourne locals can relate to,  whether it be a special dumpling, croissant or donut, but Esther is quick to point out that she doesn’t label herself a foodie, despite her love of food. “I don’t necessarily like gourmet fancy stuff, I like the really good, trashy, good brownie or good french fries. I don’t deserve to call myself a foodie.” 

Esther’s shows are all about give and take and sharing. She reveals some personal information about herself and then gets to know her audience a little more intimately than most.  Esther explains what to expect at her stand up shows: “Hopefully to laugh a lot and to get to know me. That’s kind of what my shows are about. I talk about me and all of the horrible things that make me me, hopefully people will see all those bad things in me in themselves too and we all get to laugh about it together.And then I also look forward to getting to know my audiences, at the end of my shows by going through their personal belongings. I usually ask for volunteers to go through people’s purses, it’s a really fun way to get to know someone, go through their phone and their wallet. It’s like breaking into their house, while they’re watching. It’s great.”[pullquote]And then I also look forward to getting to know my audiences, at the end of my shows by going through their personal belongings. I usually ask for volunteers to go through people’s purses, it’s a really fun way to get to know someone, go through their phone and their wallet. It’s like breaking into their house, while they’re watching. It’s great.”[/pullquote]

Australia, is Esther’s first major international travel destination. Besides Canada, Esther has travelled to Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival and London for a trip, but has never ventured far from home for long. “This is a big step for me. Usually, I’ll go a couple of places sporadically. I’m hitting up all of australia. I have to head out and stay out and I’m super excited. I think Australia is going to be the perfect place to have my first international tour.  The people of Australia seem so smart and fun and just like they’re down to have a good time. I’m honesty so scared that I might fall in love with it and never leave.”

A career in comedy is not for the faint hearted. It’s a tough gig and many budding comedians work relentlessly to make a living from their career choice. Whilst Esther toyed with the idea of comedy it wasn’t until a night out with friends that provided the impetus to make her start in stand up. “When I moved to L.A. and I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do. I had the idea of stand up in my mind. In a bar I was making fun of some friends and teasing them. It was a light night at the bar. It was quiet. I commanded the entire room, just by making fun of them. I just remember everyone was laughing, and it was so much fun. The owner of the bar, said you should do standup and I said where do I go ? You should go to the Comedy Store in Sunset Boulevard.”

Although Esther failed to land a job at the Comedy Store, she did an open mike there and found her voice. “I got on stage and I thought it was terrible, but I thought I’d keep going. I love stand up so much, that is when I do feel the most comfortable. For me being on stage and performing and getting to share my jokes and thoughts and feelings with people is so much more fun and something I’m drawn to way more than just going to a party. Going to a party gives me a massive amount of social anxiety. If I go to a party I might not get the chance to talk to someone at a party. I might not get the chance to show them who I am. I’m not exactly the girl in the room that people look at and say I gotta talk to her  I kind of blend in. With stand up I know I get to be heard. I have a better chance of getting what I have to say out there.”

Weird Adults is a podcast where Esther finds out what makes fellow comedians and guests weird adults. She sheds some light on where the concept originated from.  “I think it’s the fact that I haven’t really subscribed to adulthood. I realised you’d be hard pressed  to find people that feel that way. The word adult is not a word people use to identify themselves with. They don’t identify with the concept of being an adult. In reality we are all adults. I figure OK we’re weird adults, because we’re not really adults, but we are.”

For those of you who remember the brief period that Twinkies were available in the 80’s, and given our food obsessed culture, Esther describes her comedy in food form : “I would say I’m a Twinkie, because I look kind of boring but I have a really good message inside.(A Twinkie) is like a little sponge cake that looks like a penis and it’s also oddly enough filled with cream. They’re a staple in any white trash American childhood. It’s only made up of  poison and food colouring and the worst thing that man has made, but it tastes perfect. They’re a really good late night treat.”[pullquote](A Twinkie) is like a little sponge cake that looks like a penis and it’s also oddly enough filled with cream.  They’re a staple in any white trash American childhood.  It’s only made up of poison and food colouring and the worst thing that man has made, but it tastes perfect. They’re a really good late night treat.”[/pullquote]

A scene can provide a little inkling of one’s personality, and Esther’s scene gives us a glimpse of her laid back,  persona “My scene is me and a lot of puppies and a lot of dessert and really cute clothes that look really good on me because I have, like a fun house mirror that makes me look thin, and really comfortable pillows everywhere.” 

Esther is in town from the 23rd September until the 1st of October. Don’t miss out !

More About Esther :

Esther Povitsky, aka Little Esther, irreplaceable quirk and charm has made her a stand-out among her comedy peers, and has seen her make regular television appearances on New Girl, Parks and Recreation, @Midnight, Key & Peele, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!

While other children watched cartoons and played video games, Esther was watching Saturday Night Live, and was starving to see Second City shows every other weekend. Esther considers herself a ‘Theatrical Comedian’ with comedic obsessions and references from the LA comedy scene.

In 2012, Esther co-created and starred in the MTV docu-comedy Little Esther, which chronicled her life as a young comic, and her relationships with her mostly-male contemporaries.

The following year, Esther performed as part of the New Faces Showcase at the 2013 Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. Esther’s vibrant web presence has resulted in a recent partnership with Refinery29.com, bringing her stage show ‘What’s in Your Bag’ to the masses, and a part in Netflix’s Judd Apatow produced series, LOVE.

Esther also wears a mouth guard due to her grinding her teeth at night. She often speaks in a baby voice with the mouth guard in. Fresh from recording her debut album, Esther will bring her revered stand-up to Australia and New Zealand for the first time in 2015.

Don’t miss this opportunity to witness a comedic star in the making perform her signature idiosyncratic millennial brand of humour live.

Little Esther Australia & New Zealand Tour 2015 with special guests

Wednesday, 23 September The Toff, Melbourne

Thursday, 24 September Rhino Room, Adelaide

Friday, 25 September The Boston, Perth

Saturday, 26 September Giant Dwarf, Sydney

Sunday, 27 September Sit Down Comedy Club, Brisbane

Wednesday, 30 September Tuning Fork, Auckland

Thursday, 1 October The Fringe, Wellington

Tickets available via misspeltyouth.com.au

Esther on the Late Late Show Esther at The Laugh Factory

Esther at the Laugh Factory

Esther ‘What’s In Your Bag’

Listen to Weird Adults

 

ESTHER POVITSKY

About Anna-Maria Megalogenis 167 Articles
Anna-Maria has been writing for Street Press in Melbourne and Sydney for over 20 years. She is passionate about food, music and the arts, is an avid reader and used to hand write reviews for Beat Magazine at the Great Britain Hotel, where a patron once suggested she was ripping off articles in Rolling Stone magazine.
Contact: Twitter

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