Staff Writer

Former Ashtabula County resident and comedian Tammy Pescatelli is branching out in Hollywood, taking her Midwest humor to the big screen.

The Perry High School graduate has two films ready for release and is looking forward to as many roles as she can get her hands on.

"I am just trying to take my career to another level," Pescatelli said.

Pescatelli found fame on NBC's stand-up comedy reality show "Last Comic Standing 2" and "Last Comic Standing 3." She often uses her Italian family and experiences growing up in Lake and Ashtabula counties in her stand-up shows and on special TV programs likes "Comedy Central Presents: Tammy Pescatelli."

Pescatelli has parts in the films "Made in Brooklyn" and "Everybody Wants to Be Italian."

"Made in Brooklyn" is a compilation of four short films. All were shot on location in New York City, Brooklyn and upstate New York. "Made in Brooklyn" is scheduled for theatrical release this fall, Pescatelli said.

The romantic comedy "Everybody Wants to Be Italian" is a case of mistaken ethnicity, where two non-Italians pretend to be Italian to win each other's hearts. Pescatelli plays Katerina, an assistant to the star of the movie.

"Everybody Wants to Be Italian" is still in post-production.

Pescatelli said she enjoyed her small roles on the Silver Screen.

"The small roles really took the pressure off of me. As a comic, I am always the headliner," Pescatelli said. "If the venue isn't sold out, it's my responsibility. In these movies, I could just watch, learn and have fun," she said.

Pescatelli said she had a lot of fun with both roles but found movie-making to be much harder than making a roomful of people laugh.

"Movie-making is different than stand-up mainly because you do it over and over again for different camera angles, Pescatelli said. "It is painstakingly slow and there is no audience laughter, so I would try to make the crew laugh. Then, I knew I hit the scene," she said.

Pescatelli is also on her way home to Ohio. She is scheduled to perform at the Cleveland Improv Nov. 1 through Nov. 5.

Pescatelli isn't giving up on television. She is independently producing a pilot that is a take on her popular "What the Hell Is Wrong with You?" skit.

"The bit has taken on a life of it's own," Pescatelli said. "You know, the chubby girl with the half shirt on and the boys with their pants halfway down their butts like they were on the toilet when the telephone rang. I want to walk up to them and ask, 'What the hell is wrong with you?'" she said.

Star Beacon Print Edition: 9/25/2006

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