Manage episode 168029029 series 123706
By Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.

Leslie Norris Townsend lost her parents when she was in her teens. In order to support her three siblings, she started entering beauty pageants in hopes of bringing home a check. The awards also helped pay for college. The contests required her to do a "talent" which helped her develop her singing and innate ability to improvise. Those skills translated into a job with Disney. Her comedic chops in the Disney show got strong enough for her to tackle stand-up comedy.

We cover a lot of ground in the interview including:

  • How I first met Leslie
  • How she auditioned for the Hoopty Do Review and beat out 9,996 others
  • How that experience helped her write jokes without even knowing it
  • Becoming great at auditioning
  • Her experience with the Harvey Lembeck Improvisation Workshop workshop
  • Improvising with Jimmy Brogan, Jack Lemmon, Henry Wrinkler, Ray Liotta and Bryan Cranston!
  • How Harvey Lembeck helped Leslie develop "The Miss America" character
  • Her first time onstage at the Improv on Melrose
  • How she prepared six comedy sets for her Star Search run
  • How the other comedians wanted to "split the $100,000 prize money" before the finals even occur
  • Why you should take risks and put yourself out there
  • How she ended up cashing in $100,000 twenty years later

and much more.

Leslie Norris Townsend

Leslie brings the humorous, human, experience and audience participation, to a perfect blend by creating a show that moves its listeners from tears to laughter, while motivating, mesmerizing and ultimately captivating each one. Taking many into hysterics!

Leslie is the producer and host of her own regionally successful, televised, talent shows: Dream Big, & Wish Upon A Song.

Visit Leslie Norris Townsend at

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181 episodes available. A new episode about every 14 days averaging 42 mins duration .