Norm Goldman Interviews Comedienne Fran Capo,the Guinness Book Worlds Record for the Fastest Talking
Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of Sketchandtravel & Bookpleasuresis delighted to have as a guest, Fran Capo.
Fran is quite a "cool person," as she is an eight-time author, humorist, voiceover artist, comedienne, adventurer, actress, freelance writer and keynote motivational speaker. She also holds the Guinness Book Worlds Record for the Fastest Talking Female.
Recently, Fran accomplished another amazing feat as the first and only author to ever do a book signing on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro inAfrica with the release of her book "Adrenaline Adventures: Dream it,Read it, Do it!"
Good day Fran and thank you for agreeing to participate in ourinterview for Sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com.
Could you tell our audience something about yourself and how youbecame involved in your various occupations?
Sure Norm, first let me say its great to be here, and I thank you forhaving me on as a guest.
Since you mentioned a bunch of the things I did up front, I guess I'llstart with how I became a stand up comic, as this was my first entryinto the entertainment world.
In school I was known for my sense of humor and some of my classmatessuggested a career as a stand-up comic. This had me thinking as to howlife would be as a stand-up comic, and I started to watch comics onTV, comedy clubs, listening to comedy albums, etc. I said to myself, Icould do this. I asked God to give me the right sign if I should docomedy.
Two occurrences happened that were my go ahead signs. One, whensomeone turned around in a movie lineup and complimented me on mysense of humor, after hearing me crack jokes to my friends. Hesuggested I audition for the Comic Strip. Another happened at a carconvention, where a fortune- teller analyzed my handwriting and toldme I had a good sense of humor and use it to make money.
I eventually did audition at a club called Creighton and Gray's ComedyRoom that was very near my home, with material given to me by myfriend Barry, who was in my acting class at the time. This was myfirst success as a stand up comedienne and I received a standingovation as well as $10. I was a mini-local celebrity, with rave pressreviews. I spent the next 15 years of my career figuring out ways toget in print, on radio and television.
What is this about- the holding of the "Guinness Book Worlds Recordfor the Fastest Talking Female?"
Well the stand-up comedy gig lead to my fast-talking by
accident. My philosophy is just always say yes and figure it out
after how I am going to do something.
My stand up landed me a job doing weather and traffic at a radiostation WBLS-FM in New York. I was doing it as this comedy characterJune East (Mae West's long-lost sister). One day, Dinah Prince, areporter from the Daily News called and said she wanted to do anarticle on me. When she had finished interviewing me for the article,she asked-What are you planning to do next?
Next? Well at the time there was nothing I was planning on doingnext, so I asked her what she meant, stalling for time. Shesaid she really wanted to follow my career. Here was a womanfrom The Daily News telling me she was interested in me! So Ithought I'd better tell her something.
What came out was, "I'm thinking about breaking the GuinnessBook of World Records for the Fastest Talking Female." The newspaper article came out the next day, and she included my parting remarks about trying to break the world'sFastest-Talking Female record. At about 5:00 P.M. that afternoon, I received a call from CNN asking me to go on the Larry King Live Show. They wanted me to try to break therecord. They told me they would send a limo to pick me up at 8:00. That was only three hours. Talk about pressure!
I had never heard of Larry King Live, and when I heard the woman sayshe was from a Manhattan Channel, I thought, "Hmmm that's a pornchannel, right?" She patiently assured me that it was a respectablenational television show and that this was a one-time offer andopportunity - it was either that night or not at all.
I managed to find a replacement for a gig I had in New Jersey. I next sat down to figure out what on earth I was going to do on the show. I called Guinness to find out what the rules were to break a fast-talking record. They told me I would have to recite something from either Shakespeare or the Bible. Suddenly, I started saying the ninety-first Psalm, a prayer for protection that my mom had taught me. Shakespeare and I had never reallygotten along, so I figured the Bible was my only hope. I practiced over and over again, timing myself with a stop- watch to see how fast I could do it. I was both nervous and excited at the same time.
At 8:00, the limousine picked me up. I practiced the entire way there, and by the time I reached the New York studio I felt as if my tongue was going to fall off. I asked the producer, "What happens if I don't break the record?' She replied, "Larry doesn't care if you break it or not. He just cares that you try it on his show first." So I asked myself, What's the worst thing that can happen? I'd look like a fool on national television! Aminor thing, I could live through that. Then I asked myself , And what happens if I break the record?" Now that would be great.
I decided just to give it my best shot, and I did. I broke the record, becoming the World's Fastest Talking Female by speaking 585 words in one minute in front of a national television audience. (I broke it again two years later at the Guinness Museum in Vegas with 603 words per minute.) My career took off.
Why did you want to have a book signing on Mount Kilimanjaro, andcould you describe to us a little about your experience, particularlyyour voyage up to its summit, and how did you plan for it? Were youever afraid?
Again, it goes back to my basic philosophy's?of seize the day?and justgoing after things with a passion. I was actually researching achapter in my book Adrenaline Adventures: Dream it, Read it, Do it. Iread that an 83- year old women climbed Kilimanjaro. So I figured ifshe could do it, so could I.
I enlisted my son, Spencer into the effort, contacted a top outfit,
CorbetBishopsafaris.com in Africa (the same guy that lead the IMAX
movie team up the mountain.)
Then I figured if I was going to train, climb and do this feat, Imight as well make it memorable at the top. So I decided to do a booksigning up there, I managed to get two sponsors, my publisherAuthorhouse and Snickers Marathon Energy Bars.
It took us 7 days to summit, going through 5 climate zones. The night
of summit we were woken up at 11 PM, it was unseasonably cold. Minus
15 degrees and 45 mph winds, our camelbacks froze, and you felt like
sleeping while standing up.
It took us 18 hours to get up over and down to camp. It was thehardest thing I've ever done (and this is coming from someone who hasrun the marathon, flown combat aircraft, rode a bike non stop for 100miles, driven race car, dove with sharks etc?(all of which are talkedabout in Adrenaline Adventures of course.)
But after Spencer and I climbed it was such a feeling of accomplishment. Plus I had wanted to do it now, since global warming will melt the ice caps by 2015 if not sooner.
The picture of me doing the book signing circulated around the world,and it led to Brian Day O'Conner (Supreme Court justice Sandra DayO'Conner's son) contacting me.
I am now raising sponsorship money to go down in a two-personsubmersible to the Titanic with Mr. O'Conner. My publisher,Authorhouse, Ripley's Believe it or Not (Planet Eccentric) andGoldenPalace.com the #1 online casino, so far have jumped on board assponsors. (You can read all about it on my website under sponsorship.)
While down there I am going to be doing a memorial service for thetitanic passengers, saying a non-denominational maritime prayer directfrom a Navy Chaplain. Did I mention I am also an ordained minister?Yup, became one so I could do this the right way.
Which one of your occupations do you find the most enjoyable and why?
Wow, that's a hard one, because I really enjoy all that I do. I lovemaking people laugh, so stand up feels great. I hopefully make peopleforget their problems at least for that night.
I love inspiring people, so I get a real kick out of doing my keynotemotivational talk for people called, "Dare to Do it!" Especially whenthey come up to me and hug me, or when I get an email that they wentout and did something they've always wanted to do because they, "Daredto do it."
I love doing my adventures, because it challenges me personally andmakes life exciting.
I love writing, so nine books later it feels awesome to see my booksin store windows, on websites, and especially when I catch someonereading it on the bus or subway.
I just love communicating with people. As long as I am making themlaugh or inspiring them, I'm happy.
Please tell us something about your most recent book Hopeville: theCity of Light.
The Hopeville book, came to me in a strange way, just like the comedydid. It's a story about four people that on the same night pray forlight in the world, because they are discouraged. An angel of lightappears to each of them and tells them a secret of how to change theirtown. Each of them does it in his/her own way?and finally after thepeople see the light, the town is forever changed. It's a book ofhope, light and following your dreams. But like I said the book cameto me in a very strange way.
Could you tell our audience about some of your other traveladventures? Which one up to now has been the most exciting, and why?
Well, I've done 50 different adventures, ranging from mild to wild; Imentioned some before but others like flying a helicopter, doing theluge, the polar bear plunge, rock repelling, biking down a volcano,going in a deprivation tank etc.
They all give you an adrenaline rush in a different way. Mind you, I'm usually scared when I do all of them?its just that I have a philosophy of "FEAR NOTHING, but if youdo, do it anyway." See all of us have fear, the key is some of us let it paralyse us, while others use it as the spark for the engine. As far as hardest it was definitely climbing Kilimanjaro. As far as a rush; my four favorites Skydiving, driving racecars, cavern diving and snorkeling with manatees. Okay who am I kidding, I really love themall, except maybe the glass blowing?I wasn't too thrilled with that.But my fiancée loved it?so everybody's different.
The cool thing about the book though is it has adventures that youcan't find in other travel books. Plus it has 50 motivational quotes,50 funny adventure stories, and 50 "Adventure at a glance" pages thattell you all the details so you can do the adventure if you are soinspired.
Could you tell us how you go about marketing your books?
Fran: I do many things. First, realize that writing the book isusually the easiest part. Getting people to know about it is the realchallenge. And the key is YOU as the writer needs to do most of thelegwork.
· Okay, so I send out galley copies to newspapers before the bookcomes out.
· I send press releases to radio stations, mag. Etc.Using my hook as a fast talker to catch their attention.
· I set up some kind of publicity event so that my book stands out.
· I have a bookstore on my website.
· I carry a box of books in my car at all times. I once sold a book on top of the Sydney Bridge in Australia, thus getting the phrase from my fiancée, "No one's safe."
· I set up book signings. · I contact local media.
· I mention the books at all my speaking engagements and comedy gigs.
· I do interviews like this to let people know about my books · I link with other sitesthat have readers that may be interested in my books.
· I offer my books to charity's for fundraising events.
Has the Internet boosted your career and if so, how?
Absolutely. I'd say 90% of my speaking engagements come to me from mywebsite. Usually people will be searching comedian, fast talker, or motivational speaker and my name pops up.
Also, I notice when I do radio shows and mention the website I get a lot ofrequests that way as well. I think it is essential for every businessperson these days to have a easily navigatable website.
How do you want the world to remember Fran Capo? (I know you are notleaving us just now!)
She lived life the way she wanted to?with love, with laughter, withpassion and never took no for an answer. She used up all God gave her,and tried to inspire people to do the same.
Is there anything else you care to add that we have not covered?
Yes, remember-Live everyday as if it's your last, and one day you'llbe right.
And of course what kind of marketing author would I be if I did notmention the following: I have a newsletter that keeps people updatedon the Capo happenings, simply called, CAPO UPDATES. Anyone interestedcan go to my website and ask to be on the list.
And of course if you would like to be part of the world record eventat the titanic?the sponsorship information is available at my website. Thanks so much Norm, I hope your readers enjoy the interview.
Norm Goldman is the Editor of bookpleasures.com & sketchandtravel.com. The former is a book reviewing site comprising over 25 international prestigious reviewers. The latter is a travel site where Norm and his artist wife, Lily, meld words with art.
Norm is always open to receiving book review requests, as well as invitation to romantic resorts, B&Bs, hotels, etc in Florida and the New England States.
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