Hello! Well, my name is Alia Janine, I currently live in New York City, and I am a comedian.
What prompted you to join the adult industry?
Feature dancing credits, money, sex, cure for boredom.
You are now retired from doing porn and are now a stand-up comedian. What prompted this transition and how smooth or rough has it been?
I guess it’s kind of always been lurking in the background throughout my life, I just never really saw it as a full time career. I had tried stand-up a couple times over the years, I used to do security at comedy events, I had a roast when I moved from Wisconsin, I used to bartend at a comedy club, I’ve written jokes for comedian friends, I treated a lot of my scenes and movies as comedy sketches too. It was really hard not to. The other day I found a writer’s board from an old comedy news series my old roommate and I were working on in 2012. That was the year I decided I was going to try to see if I could maybe make some money from doing comedy, and not just do stuff for fun. I started writing sketches and jokes and making a plan of what I wanted to do. The plan kept changing until I finally decided to retire from the adult industry.
The transition has been pretty smooth. I have a solid plan and goals to be met. I have and am still studying all different types of comedy from sketch writing and improv, to comedic acting and of course stand-up. I take a lot of courses at UCB (Upright Citizen’s Brigade), and they’ve been amazing. I know a ton of amazing and talented people that I get to work and hangout with. it’s pretty awesome.
You’ve said in the past that you felt that your past as an adult performer lent itself well to your comedy career. What facets of that former life would you say is the biggest help today?
There’s a lot of material for me. Not just about my career in porn, but about how my life is outside of porn. Dating, doing comedy, family, fans, and so on. It gives me a lot of original material told from a perspective that only a handful actual comedians have.
You will be producing and hosting your 4th Cutthroat Comedy Show coming up soon. How did you come up with the name and how do you choose the participants?
It’s actually kind of cheesy, but the name of the place the show is held at is “The Cutting Room,” so it was the first thing I thought of. As for the comedians I have in the show I’m either friends with or know them from hanging out at different clubs. NYC is never short on comedians either.
I’ve had to work extremely hard in both careers to build a name and a fan base, but I’m going to say comedy has definitely been harder work. It’s been fun, amazing, but hard work. A lot of it. In porn you’re getting paid for your work, in comedy you have to work your ass off to get paid spots. That takes years. I don’t get paid for most of the spots I get. That’s the nature of the business. I get paid for the shows I produce, but nobody here really cares that I was in porn, they just want to know if I can be funny. I love it, it really pushes me. I also don’t use my porn career as an easy way into anything as I’ve seen other performers try to do. People see that and respect me for it. I also have to be careful of people using me and my name for things. It’s kind of crazy.
I’ve had to earn every big show spot, podcast, or radio show I’ve been on because I am going on as a comedian, not a porn star. My amazing publicist, Lainie Speiser also helps me out a ton, but sometimes I have to tell her I’m not ready for certain things, or that I haven’t earned them. Having been in porn definitely gives me an advantage in the way that it’s different and people know who I am. At the same time though, it has actually made me have to work harder to show that I am serious about comedy, and not just using it as a gimmick to sell myself to the public because my porn career is over.
Do you have aspirations of moving on to TV or movies like so many other stand-ups?
I’m actually writing a registered TV pilot with one of my comedy partners, Jaqi Furback, and a registered documentary on porn and comedy with a couple others. There’s a couple of other things in the works, too. So, yeah.
Who are your favorite comedians, alive or dead?
Where do I start; Joan Rivers, George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Amy Schumer, Lewis Black, Louis C.K., Gilda Radner, Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle, Zach Galifianakis, Margaret Cho, Maria Bamford, Tig Notaro, so many more and all of my friends.
What sort of things do you like to do when you aren’t working? Any hobbies?
Eat, play with dogs, sleep, go to comedy shows. I also read, go to the movies, museums, and some plays/musicals/concerts/traveling. Next year I am going to finish my studies in psychology.
Are there any projects or special events coming up that you would like to promote, if so please do so?
There’s a lot, so get ready!
Beside Cutthroat Comedy on Thursday, May 21st http://tickets.thecuttingroomnyc.com/event/845321/?utm_source=tw1, I will be at The Stand Monday the 18th for their Frantic! show. It’s a free show! http://www.laughstub.com/events/397237. On Friday the 29th I will be at New York Comedy Club for the Paid or Pain show. http://newyorkcomedyclub.laughstub.com/event.cfm?cart&id=385236.
My comedy production company is also working on 3 other shows called, Whormones, The Hardcore Comedy Show, and Skool’D. They will start this summer. People can checkout hardcorecomedyentertainment.com or https://twitter.com/hardcorecomedy for updates and to see what the shows are about. I’m really excited for them!
August 6-9th I will be at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival. I’m also doing a small little Midwest tour July and August.
Also be on the lookout for a new podcast from me and Jaqi Furback this summer!