The Dancing Rabbit; Anna Valenzuela

Anna Valenzuela has a radiant smile that’s wonderfully at odds with her dark material.

A trained black-belt, she’s fought her way to the top of LA’s competitive stand-up scene with sheer force of will and killer jokes. She can easily roast the audience, other comics, and herself with equal aplomb. Anna’s skills earned her a spot on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, where she emotionally destroyed her opponents while maintaining her balance in kitten heels.

Her warm nature draws audiences in, and her expertly-crafted bits keep them coming back for more. She’s in-demand in LA and elsewhere, having been featured as for three years running at Broke LA, and also making regular appearances at the Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory, and the Improv. She’s traveled out-of-state to festivals like Limestone Comedy Festival (2022) and the High Plains Comedy Fest (2022), and was a standout in her hometown at the Second City’s Los Angeles Diversity in Comedy Festival. Accolades have come from other comedians too – Jackie and Laurie featured Anna as the comic of the week on their far-reaching podcast. As much in demand for her opinions as her jokes, Anna’s appeared on Fangirling streaming on Nerdist. Lastly her Podcast 12 Questions, an in-depth look at sobriety.

Why did you get into the entertainment industry?

I fell in love with standup in my early 30’s and it just stuck! I was 32 (LIKE A CRAZY PERSON).

What was the first project you worked on?

My friend Kyle Clark’s channel 101 sketches. It was called “Art’s and Craftscer”.

What were your goals when you started?

Become the best Standup I can be and make a living off of it. Now, I am preparing to record and release and album soon.

What advice would you give to a prospective student who is applying to acting school?

It’s a hard life. There is no certainty. Once you embrace the free-fall you stay out of the scarcity mindset of the business.

What did you originally want to do in Hollywood?

Standup, but once you get good at that you need to have more.

What difficulties (if any) did you encounter in Hollywood?

Starting late both hurt and helped. I had more to say and better resilience for the work but I also was naive to the way hollywood folks act.

What did you do for a day job while looking for showbiz work?

I worked at a sober living and then became a tour guide. I stopped working for free pretty early on, but the pandemic really brought the concept of valuing my time home.

Do you ever work for free or on spec now? And if so, how do you choose when to work on those terms?

I do anything I can to avoid it but standup does require some free work.

What are you currently working on, and how did you arrive here?

A horror comedy feature, two pilot scripts, and an album.

What are the biggest mistakes a person can make when they first start working in the industry?

Singing contracts without a lawyer.

Did someone ever try to take advantage of your inexperience in Hollywood?

A certain TV network for comedy for sure owes myself and a few comics for streaming, writing, and Sirius XM credit.

Did you ever pay for a program that promised big results to help further your career, but it never delivered?

No. I am extremely cheap when it comes to that stuff. I try to get the best value for my educational time and money.

Did you ever come across a project or a person that looked promising, and then the whole thing blew up in your face?

Yes! I’ve had pitch meetings that went no where. Everyone kind of looked board and had an idea of what they might be looking for. I just stayed me. It’s all I can do.

Were you ever put in a position that you were asked to compromise your artistic integrity?

Yes, for a roast show they asked to bring me out to Mariachi music. I felt that didn’t speak to me at all. I caved and I wish I hadn’t.

Did you ever embarrass yourself in front of a celebrity?

Yes! I once fan girled out to hard on J-Lo.

What’s been the highest point of your career so far?

My last two tours felt amazing. Living anf breathing stand up for a month straight was awesome.

How would you advise people to network?

I got a writing gig off a dating app once! Just be you and be there. You’ll find the right people.

If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently?

I’d have a lawyer always ready to read my contracts.

What motto do you try to live your life by?

“Say what you mean, mean what you say but don’t say it mean.”

Where’s your favorite place in Los Angeles?

My bed. Where the sleep happens.

Where can people find you and your work online? or @annavisfunny on all social media.

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