Alessandra Grima is a modern-day Renaissance woman. Over the past few years, I’ve seen her perform in our local comedy scene. Recently, I’ve come to realize she’s more than just a comic. Instagram sensation, actress, model, comic, singer, fashion designer. You name it, she’s done it.
This interview took place one night over a bottle of wine and several hours of laughter. I recorded our mildly intoxicated conversation, which has now lead into an accidental podcast (which is coming soon — hopefully). While that is under construction, I wanted to share the highlight reel of the interview. Enjoy!
Funny Broad: As of today, you have 11,600 Instagram followers. How the fuck did you get that many people? That’s insane.
Alessandra Grima: “I started Instagram a few years ago. I got laid off and took 3 months off before getting a new job. I only got on Instagram to follow a bunch of plus-sized models. I wanted to like myself because I didn’t. So, I only used it to bombard my brain with different images of different women; I was reprogramming my brain. Then I started to post stuff that they would post and then I started getting more followers. It was kind of fun.
FB: What kind of stuff did you post?
AG: “Like — me in a bikini. Stuff like that. Body-positive kind of stuff in general. A lot of people see my Instagram and see I have a lot of followers and post pics of myself half-naked. They have no idea how much it takes to do a photo shoot. I edit my own photos, I design my own photos, and I pick out my own clothes. I also sell my photos. I make money off Instagram, so everybody can fuck off.”
FB: Ugh. I hate my body so much.
AG: “I was there. It’s sad because women who are double our age are still there. You have to learn it. I was taught in college when I was 18 and this guy was like 36 and was trying to hit on me. I saw him almost every day and he would compliment me. Every time he would compliment me, I would be like, ‘No.’ Then one day he said, ‘You know, you’re really young. When somebody compliments you, just say fucking thank you.’ I never forgot it.”
FB: You use #BIGARMNOHARM. How did that come about?
AG: “More than a year ago, my sister took a picture of me holding a coffee. My arm was huge and I didn’t want to post it. But then I said, ‘You know what, fuck it. I don’t care.’ So I posted it with a joke hashtag of #BIGARMNOHARM. Then I kind of forgot about it for a while, then saw someone used it. So, I started using it more and I put it on everything. There’s like 500 photos now.”
FB: How did you start modeling?
AG: “I needed headshots. My boyfriend has an Associates in Photography. I got him an internship with a photographer who has a studio, so we got to use it. We did my headshots and they looked way better than I thought (or maybe it is what I look like and didn’t realize it). So me and my boyfriend started doing shoots for fun, and then I had a portfolio and that was it. I model for Ask Fashion, The Thicky Chicky, and DD Allure.
I have family that don’t talk to me because I do fetish modeling.”
FB: Umm, what now? What’s that all about?
AG: Laughs. Well, my boyfriend is my photographer. Those are the ones I sell. I get commissions, so it’s nice extra money.
FB: DAMN girl. I need to take some tips from you.
AG: “Well, it all goes back to it being a lot of work. It’s a second job.”
FB: You are a comic, you act, you write. You’re very artistic. What was the first thing that gave you a taste of the entertainment world?
AG: “I was 5. I used to use Kleenex as tickets to my show and give them to my family. I remember at around age 6 being the funny one. My parents had 4 kids, I was the last one. I call myself ‘The Forgotten One’. I was in a lot of after-school programs. I got to do improv and acting at 8 years old. I like an audience, I like attention. Improv was my first love; I’ve done it my whole life.
I had an aunt who was a comedian in L.A. (she passed several years ago) and she was doing open mics with Robin Williams and Roseanne. So, I already had that in my mind. My dad’s side was the funny side and my mom was the one who was like, ‘Oh, you’re going to pick a real job, right?’ I said I wanted to be an actress and she said, ‘That’s stupid.’ I remember in 1st grade we had to write what we wanted to be, so for my whole life I said a nurse so no one would make fun of me.
The first time I realized I was good was when I was in high school. I did a news show and did skits. If we didn’t write a story and just going live, they would put me on camera. My teacher, Mr. Crippen, said I should do this somehow for a living. Which basically meant make no money for the rest of your life.
But, my life is pretty cool.”
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