You Gotta Love Lizz
By Mary Anne Welch
Lizz Winstead answers her
door with the kind of urgent hello that has you imagining her gourmet
dinner is boiling over on the stove; "Come in," she says, smiling,
already nearly halfway into another room. Then, catching herself, she
returns with an even more welcoming smile, "How are you, come on in."
Again, she's headed into another room.
Amidst a whirlwind, you've been catered to graciously, given
something to eat or drink, and begin feel you could stay the week if
you needed a place.
Very little seems changed in this young woman who left the Twin
Cities two years ago in a move to Los Angeles. She's still slight
with curly dark hair, wears a ubiquitous bold smile, asks how your
family is as though your mom made her cookies as a kid and the next
moment, turns a comic phrase faster than a Veg o Matic peels beets.
Despite appearances, things have changed for Winstead, who is
currently in town to headline a show at the Comedy Gallery Aug. 23
27. In the past six months she's been featured on Showtime's Comedy
Club Network, won a nomination of Best Female Comic of the Year, and
had three callbacks to audition for a part a new NBC sitcom.
She also says her life is boring.
But behind a comment that could sound pretentious lies genuine
reasoning. As much as Winstead loves entertaining, she loves
Minneapolis, and never really wanted to leave it. Back in '87, as she
packed for the move, she was vocally opposed to going. It wasn't a
resistance that suggested she booked the flight at gunpoint. She just
wasn't quite resigned to the fact that a serious career in stand up
comedy meant trying her luck in the city of stars.
Now, she's paid "three times as much as a teacher to tell dick
jokes to drunks." But she also says that's kind of embarrassing, and
feels responsible to use the money wisely. "I figure if you're gonna
(tell the jokes), then you have do something else," she adds.
Winstead is planning a national benefit tour in October for pro
choice organizations, a show that includes performing here at the
Theater Garage. "I think the threat (of illegalizing abortion) is
scary," Winstead says, her temper clearly starting to boil. "...If
you have sex for the sake of having sex because it's an enjoyable
thing then you automatically put yourself into the pro choice
category. It doesn't matter how you feel about it, abortion has to be
safe. I can tell you right now women are going to mentally freak out
(if abortion is illegalized), they're not going to be sexually open
and relationships are going to get fucked up.... I don't know if men
realize the ball of wax they're rolling."
Most of Winstead's talk relates to politics, Christmas, dogs, and
old friends, just about anything not related to comedy. You'd think
she moved to California yesterday to hear her stories. Within the
first few breaths of her greeting, she'll tell she hates L.A..
"There's idiots out there: people who don't have a clue about
anything except they just want to be famous. They'd be on "Divorce
Court" if it meant being on television... ...If you develop the
acting thing before you develop other parts of your life it's really
Still, somewhere in this woman is an ambitious streak that could
keep three careers alive. She likes to be in the center of action,
and that desire will probably keep her fueled for sometime. If you
ask her, she'll admit to it. "Certainly, I do stand up because I have
to...I can't afford therapy."
Copyright 1989 Minnesota Daily Online
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