Comedian Tig Notaro makes a return to the South


Tig Notaro

8 p.m. Oct. 9. $25. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta.

By all accounts, comedian Tig Notaro, who grew up in Mississippi and Texas, had a fairly idyllic Southern childhood, but it took leaving the South for her to realize how different it really is from the rest of the country.

“I didn’t realize I lived in a storybook kind of town surrounded by just really very, very different kinds of people that I just assumed were normal, everyday people,” Notaro said. “It wasn’t until I left the South and came back and brought friends from Ohio and Colorado and California that I realized that it was really a different place.”

She’s come a long way from Pass Christian, Miss., gaining attention and accolades for her comedy podcast, “Professor Blastoff,” and her candid stand-up comedy, including a groundbreaking 2012 set in which she revealed she had breast cancer, among other personal setbacks.

Notaro talked with us about why she doesn’t have a Twitter account, acting in a Ryan Phillippe-directed movie and her favorite music in advance of her upcoming Atlanta show.

Q: What’s your experience been like visiting Atlanta?

A: The last time I was there, I was on tour with my podcast. I just remember being really blown away by the audience. It was the most over-the-top reaction that we got on the entire tour when we walked out onstage. It was as though we walked into an arena. It was really pretty amazing.

Q: Before you got into comedy, you worked as a band manager. Who’s on your radar now?

A: One of my favorites right now is Frightened Rabbit. I think they're just incredible. I just went and saw Lucinda Williams — not that she's new or anything, but she was in Los Angeles and it was a really great experience.

Q: You don’t have a personal Twitter account, which is rare for a comedian. Why’d you decide against having one?

A: I don't know — all of the social media and constant contact and information isn't really my thing. I mean, people have sent me to read Twitter accounts that are so funny, and they're funny, but I guess I just don't feel like I need to constantly be reading funny things. I think it just becomes a time suck … I have a personal Facebook page, and it's nice to go on and see what people are up to, but the time-suck element and getting completely involved in it — it's kind of like TV in the way that it doesn't really get my attention the way it gets other people's attention.

Q: So you don’t watch TV, either?

A: No, I don't really follow TV shows or Twitter accounts. I'm basically still living in 1977.

Q: There are worse years than that to be stuck in. You have a role in the new movie “Catch Hell,” which was directed by Ryan Phillippe.

A: It's my first movie that's not comedic. It's a thriller. He describes it as kind of a modern-day "Misery." It takes place in the swamps of Louisiana, so I live in the swamps and I'm shooting a shotgun. I was uncomfortable because I'm not really a trained actor, but he was really patient and helpful with directing me.

Q: So not being a trained actor, what was the appeal?

A: He just reached out and offered me that role. The majority of my career has really gone that way, luckily. I don't spend much time auditioning for things. I certainly audition for parts, but my luck has been more people being aware of me and offering me things … I was happy to do it because I like to try something new and different and I do actually prefer more dramatic things over comedy. As far as movies go, I'd rather watch something like that than a big blockbuster comedy.