I get Carla Collins. She is very much in the Hollywood showbiz tradition. Larger than life and just as loud, she's a girl who works hard, hits her mark and can always sell a joke--and looks great doing it.
Collins burned through the Toronto scene for about a decade, making a name for herself on radio and television as well as the local club haunts. Her face was on everything from The Weather Channel to CTV's Canada AM to billboards for Mix 99.9FM. One day she was opening for The Bessies, the next she was vamping at the Geminis. If anything, she was over exposed here, and like anybody in Canada with a little showbiz success, she was driven out by the villagers.
For the last few years she's been working her shtick in L.A., performing at comedy clubs, working auditions, doing one woman shows and just generally being queen of the scene. She met and married the son of a Hollywood screen legend--Tyrone Power, Jr.--thus obtaining part of her dream: a green card. She joked on the phone the other day that she's going to divorce Powers and marry the Lone Ranger, so she can be "Carla Power Ranger." See, that stuff makes me laugh.
Collins' latest venture is Carlawood, a reality series premiering Sunday at 9 p.m. on TVTropolis. The weekly half hour finds Collins chasing her dream of making it big in Hollywood.
The getting there part isn't always pretty. Collins says the worst nightmare so far was when she was booked into one of her favorite gay clubs on the strip--Hamburger Mary's--only to discover that it was lesbian night. "It went horribly wrong," says Collins. "it went over like Mother's Day at the Orphanage. I stumbled on my Anne Heche joke which probably killed me right there."
It's all part of the show, however. Says Collins, "you've got to show the good with the bad."
Some have compared the show to Kathy Griffins' My Life on the D-List but Collins prefers comparisons to another writer/performer, Tina Fey (and who wouldn't).
She's developing a feature where she'll star as a bad nightclub comic who "starts killing people and doing their material." That's not a joke--Collins just found out this week that the feature has landing some financing.
The Sault Ste. Marie-native recently shot two pilots with Naked Gun comedy genius Jerry Zucker and is hoping one of them gets picked up. She's working harder than ever to weather this bad economy but figures people need a laugh now more than ever so she's in the right business.
She says she's also looking into New Media opportunities after getting "an insane amount of hits on YouTube. By the way, don't read the message boards!"
If you can't wait for Sunday's Carlawood premiere, check her out tonight at Yuk Yuk's comedy club in Toronto. Don't forget to try the veal and tip your waitress.