Stand-up, actress and podcast host Esther Povitsky, aka Little Esther, has hit our shores for her first Australian comedy tour.
Originally from Chicago, Esther always had a love for comedy. Feeling ignored as a kid, she got lost in TV and movies. In high school, Esther performed sketch comedy and joined the Second City teen program. Stand-up entered her life after a drama class trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where she saw Maria Bamford perform. After dropping out of college (“I hated it, it was all sororities and fraternities- a lot of drinking, I didn’t find my vibe, I didn’t find my people”), Esther moved to LA and started performing, making videos and writing, and hasn’t stopped since. Her dry observations coupled with her coy charms have made her a fixture of LA’s comedy scene. She has produced videos for MTV, Refinery29 and appeared on Difficult People, New Girl, Parks and Recreation, Key & Peele and more.
Here are 5 more things we learned about Little Esther…
She’s a ‘Weird Adult’.
The term ‘Weird Adults’ came about because 5 years ago my friend (Benji Aflalo) and I said “Should we move in together and share the same room and be, like, weird adults?” It’s always stuck with me since then. I just love the idea of being a weird adult. You’re not a kid anymore, you can’t just be silly- it’s almost like you’re a grown-up doing things kids would do- but you shouldn’t be doing it. I thought it was a good, all-encompassing name for my podcast. Maybe the message to each of my guests is- we can be weird adults together and talk openly. The podcast is about nothing, there’s no theme, no roles and that’s why it’s been sustainable. It can be an interview, it can be a conversation, just two friends hanging out, and it can be just me talking about some trip I took.
People will tell me they love my interview with Marc Maron or that they learnt that they should rinse their hair with cold water after they condition. They connect to the most random stuff and I love that. When I first met Rumi Neely (fashion blogger and Esther’s close friend), she told me “I run a fashion blog and I love listening to your podcast because it’s not interesting enough that I can’t get my work done” (laughs). It’s just the right level of boring that she can still do her work.
She is obsessed with Periscope.
I love Periscope (@littleesther). I can open an app and let, however many people want in, on whatever fun thing I’m doing with my friends. For me, if someone like Lady Gaga turned on Periscope and I got to watch a live broadcast of what she is doing, I would be nuts, I would drop everything to watch. That intimate experience where you can connect with your fans or someone that you’re a fan of, that really gets me excited.
Chelsea (Peretti) and I one night couldn’t decide if we wanted to hang out or not so decided to FaceTime and Periscope it. It worked out great. She had a total mental breakdown on my Periscope. I feel like most girls get into this mood late at night and they just go crazy. They just do silly stuff. Last night, I was playing the ‘Fosse’ soundtrack and was dancing and singing the whole thing in front of my boyfriend. He was working and just saying “I have no idea what you’re doing”. Ever since Periscope too, I’ve been eating so much fast food- Taco Bell, In ’N’ Out- many, many times a week more than a normal person who is 5’ tall and half-Jewish living in LA should be. I love showing off what a pig I am.
This morning on it someone asked me if I know Albert Brooks. I said I know of him, I’m a fan of him, I don’t know him personally, he’s a huge comedy guy. And they said “He only follows one person on Periscope and it’s you”. I think it’s a mistake.
Nicki Minaj instagrammed a photo of her.
I posted a photo of me with this shower curtain I got with her on it. Then one day I’m out, watching a movie- the Backstreet Boys documentary with my friend Sarah Ramos. I was checking my phone in the movie because it was kind of boring. This was back when Parks & Rec was still happening and it was this group text of all the Parks & Rec writers and some other people and they’re like “Nicki Minaj instagrammed you”. I felt like a celebrity all day. It was a big day.
She became obsessed with porn stars.
Yeah, after I read Jenna Jameson‘s book. I’ve moved on a little bit, but I think they’re great. I’m close friends with a couple of people who’ve been in the industry. At some point, I want to speak more about this but I do think that girls who used to do porn are mistreated in our culture and people won’t give them a second chance and that really bums me out. I hope one day I am able to shed light on that more.
She loves going through people’s bags.
At the end of my show I love to go through someone from the audience’s bags. That’s the thing I’m most excited about in Australia. I’ll learn so much about the people of Australia that way. It doesn’t ever seem like people have prepared, it’s always the very casual people like “I don’t know what’s in here, just clean my purse”– they’re the ones who volunteer. I always get to know the person in a really interesting, unique way that I love. It just stemmed from my own nosiness and curiosity- I really do just want to know what is in your bag. I wanted to do a monthly show at UCB in LA- and we were thinking of what we should do together. This one came to me – and that was it. UCB is all about thinking outside the box. I think if it was somewhere, I may have just done a traditional standup show but UCB’s whole vibe inspired that idea. I’m so glad because it’s now something I like to do on the road too. It’s nothing that special, anyone can go through someone’s bag but it’s something I feel connected too and it’s always so fun.