Comedian Julia Scotti transitioned late in life. Still, age doesn’t stop her from pursuing her dreams.
Scotti was featured on season 11 of America’s Got Talent. She wowed the audience with her wit, charm, and potty mouth.
According to Scotti, talent scouts for the show found her online and invited her to audition. She had never even watched America’s Got Talent before.
Scotti came out as trans during her audition, in front of the live audience as well as everyone watching the show on TV.
‘You can’t wrap your head around that many people,’ Scotti tells GSN about being on TV, broadcasted into millions of homes across the country.
In response to her time on America’s Got Talent, Scotti received numerous messages of support from trans people and parents of trans kids all across the globe.
But, she also first started to become aware of online trolling. She was surprised by the amount of haters commenting on her YouTube clips, but soon got over it, choosing instead to focus on the positive feedback.
On crowd size for stand-up
Though performing on America’s Got Talent was an important experience for Scotti, she still prefers smaller venues.
‘Comedy is personal,’ Scotti says. ‘Bigger crowds are less intimate.’
Scotti enjoys interacting with her audience and finds that the best connections come from smaller crowds.
Her ideal venue is a small theater with a maximum capacity of 600 or 700 people.
On trans comics
‘I think we’re growing,’ Scotti says of trans people in the comedy industry. ‘I think we’re becoming more visible.’
Scotti cites the Amazon show Transparent as one of the examples of trans visibility. Though she was disappointed to hear of Jeffrey Tambor’s decision to leave the show, she definitely wants the show to continue. And she’d be happy to step in as Aunt Julia in place of Maura.
However, she’s noticed that being old is more of a challenge in the comedy world than being trans. But this happened to help her on America’s Got Talent, where she was often described as a ‘grandma with a potty mouth.’
On her fans
Scotti has noticed that most of her fans tend to be cis people. According to her, trans people just don’t come out to her shows and she doesn’t know why. But this doesn’t bother her, and she believes having an audience preference is prejudice.
‘Comedy is universal, not just for trans people,’ she says.
‘I want to perform for everyone. I think that’s how we break down walls.’
‘Everyone is welcome at my shows,’ she states.
On future goals
Ultimately, Scotti would love to be on a television sitcom.
Scotti wants to be a household name, but wants to be called in for more than just trans roles.
She is a big fan of the Irish sitcom Mrs. Brown’s Boys, which happens to star a man in drag as the title character.
The character of Mrs. Brown really speaks to Scotti, and she’d love to star in an American spin-off of the show.
‘That’s like my dream at this point,’ she says.
Scotti also notes that she’s tired of being billed as a ‘transgender comic.’
‘It gets on my nerves,’ she says. ‘I just want to be comedian Julia Scotti.’
Advice for aspiring comics
‘Get on stage whenever someone gives you the opportunity,’ Scotti advises aspiring young comics.
‘Don’t expect a miracle,’ she says, stating that it could take 7-10 years to break into the industry.
‘Listen to more successful comics,’ Scotti says. ‘And get a second job – you’re going to need it.’