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Ms. Pat: After first stand-up gig, she knew she’d found her place

August 21, 2018

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” is an adage that rings true for the comedian known as Ms. Pat. She grew up poor, had her first child at 14 and another at 15. She also rolled drunks for food money and was shot twice while still in her teens.

But in her case, that troubled past also led to a great discovery. She realized she had a special talent for telling funny stories — a talent that brought her from doing gigs at local comedy clubs to stage shows at events such as the Montreal Comedy Festival.

She’s also performed on Nickelodeon’s “Moms Night Out,” Comedy Central’s “This Is Not Happening” and NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” not to mention TV’s “Harry,” with Harry Connick Jr.

Ms. Pat has been sharing her comedic talents for over 13 years. She’ll bring her honest, in-your-face show to The Stress Factory in Bridgeport, Friday, Aug. 31, through Sunday, Sept. 2.

Still wondering how those early struggles led to her stand-up career? You should know things got worse before they got better; she shares the tale on her website. It’s all there, how she grew up in Atlanta where her grandpa ran a “bootleg” house, and resorted to selling drugs, using the street name, “Rabbit.”

Ms. Pat was arrested many times and thought she’d end up dead. But at 19, she met a man who helped and encouraged her to make a fresh start. Soon after, she and her toddlers and new husband took in her sister’s four children, because her sister had a drug problem. So, while raising six kids, she found herself visiting a welfare office for food stamps and housing aid.

“It was during these visits that Ms. Pat was first told she had a talent for telling funny stories. In 2003 with her case-worker’s encouragement she decided to go on stage and appeared at the Open-Mic-Night at “The Pub” in Atlanta. From the moment she stepped on stage she knew she had found her place.”

Ms. Pat’s memoir, “Rabbit,” from Harper-Collins, came out last August. When not doing stand-up, she lives with her husband and three children in Indianapolis.

The Stress Factory, 167 State St., Bridgeport. Friday, Aug. 31-Sunday, Sept. 2. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., 9:45 p.m.; Sunday, 7:30 p.m. $20 general admission, $40 VIP, includes choice seats, strawberries and Champagne. 16 and older. Two item minimum. You must be checked in at least a half hour before show for priority seating. 203-576-HAHA(4242), stressfactory.com

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