Carole Montgomery is an actor, comedian and director and has traversed both the Las Vegas and New York scene! Here is great advice from a working pro about making your own path and finding your voice!
Q & A With Carole Montgomery
BB: Las Vegas seems to be emerging as a market for a lot of Broadway shows to put down roots. With your experience in the Las Vegas market, can you tell us the pros/cons of working in a Vegas production show and perhaps how Vegas is different than doing production shows and revues elsewhere?
CM: Well the best thing about working in a production show is that YOU'RE WORKING. The bad part is a lot of people then get stuck "just doing Vegas" and never leave. Working in Vegas is a lot like having your cake and eating it too. I raised my son in a very typical suburban lifestyle in the daytime and then at night got to do my job as a comic.
BB: You are a highly successful comedian. For budding performers/comedians wanting to get into that kind of market what do you recommend?
CM: There is no simple answer. It's A LOT of hard work. The one thing I tell young performers is that it takes at least 10 years to really find your voice, no matter how good you are. True, some people make it before the 10 year mark, but those are rarities. I came back to NYC seven years ago and the young comics I met then are just starting to hit their stride now. Get on stage as much as possible. The only way to really be a stand-up comic is to hit the clubs constantly. I myself don't go out as much anymore and I can always tell when I haven't been on stage a lot. Even after 30+ years, those first few minutes will be rusty.
BB: As a director, what kind of advice can you give you performers?
CM: Trust your director. LOL. I got into directing later and I love being able to shape a one-person show from page to performance. As an actor, you have to believe that your director is there to make YOU look good. So even if you disagree with a direction, try it out; you might be surprised.
BB: What is one thing you have learned throughout your performing career that you wish you would have known long ago that you can pass along to others?
CM: Not to take anything personally. So many of us creatives are wounded from somewhere in our past and we take to the stage for love. The problem is that it is called show BUSINESS for a reason. The business side of show is brutal and gut-wrenching, but it really is not personal. I wish I could have known that 30 years ago.
BB: What advice do you have about creating your own work and using that to propel your career upward?
CM: The entertainment world has changed so dramatically in the last ten years; you really do need to do it yourself. Don't wait for an agent or manager to get you there. They are too busy with clients who are making them loads of money. Eventually, when you are at that point, THEN you will get someone to handle the load. But in this day and age, make your own path. Create a show, write a book, film a web series. The idea is to get your name out there any way you can.
BB: Any last words of advice/wisdom that you want to impart?
CM: I have been a stand-up comic, writer, producer and director for a very long time. Make sure you love what you are doing and why you are doing it. Love the journey, not the destination.
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With over two dozen television credits to her name, CAROLE MONTGOMERY is a respected veteran of the stand-up comedy scene nationwide. In addition to her numerous television appearances, Carole has headlined clubs and colleges across the USA and starred in two different Las Vegas production shows. In her ten years as a LAS VEGAS STAR, it is estimated that she has been seen by over 5 million audience members.
THE LAS VEGAS SUN calls Carole "one of Vegas’ premier comics"
THE SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS says Carole is "one of the pioneering female comics of the modern era"
THE SEATTLE TIMES calls Carole "one of the strongest women working today"
Carole is also an accomplished director and producer. She created and directed FINE, FUNNY AND FEMALE. She is currently directing the one-man play THE LIGHTER SIDE OF DEATH along with Jim Florentine’s show I’M YOUR SAVIOR.
She co-produced the NY UNDERGROUND COMEDY FESTIVAL and produces comedy tours for Armed Forces Entertainment. So far, Carole and her NY Underground Comedy Festival All-stars have performed in Iraq, Haiti, Kosovo, Holland, Kuwait, Diego Garcia, Singapore, Honduras, El Salvador and Germany to rave reviews.
Carole was also a featured performer at the MONTREAL JUST FOR LAUGHS, BOSTON and NYC UNDERGROUND COMEDY FESTIVALS.