Plus-size comic 180 pounds lighter, writing new jokes

By From page B1 | April 20, 2012

FAIRFIELD — Kamane Marshall is undergoing a transformation, personally and professionally.

The former Fairfield resident, who now lives in Keyes, a small town near Modesto, underwent bariatric surgery in August 2011. She lost 60 pounds prior to that and 120 pounds since.

“That’s a whole person. I’m still a plus size, I’m not small,” Marshall said.

Marshall, whose adopted the stage name Queenie TT, is a comic. Much of her material was built around her size.

However, she refuses to let her pounds lost translate into less material on stage.

“Eventually I’ll have to change my act. Right now I’m doing a lot of before-and-after jokes,” she said. “But I’m going to ride the plus-size sister stuff until it gets ridiculous.”

And, like many comics, her act relies on the pain inside.

“I’m mourning the ‘Big TT,’ ” she said. “I had to fall in love with her to be able to heal her. Now, I have to let her go. It’s such an emotional thing.”

While she loves compliments on how good she looks, Marshall said it often makes her wonder, “what was wrong with me 180 pounds ago.”

“When I write my tell-all book and do my Lifetime (TV network) movie we’ll cover that area,” she said.

She is now taking her act on the road. She’s been to Los Angeles three times in the last month and even stopped by the Michael Colyar Morning Show on ” LA Talk Live.” Colyar won the $100,000 grand prize on “Star Search” in 1990.

“He’s the godfather of urban Los Angeles comedy,” Marshall said.

She’ll return later this month to perform at Flappers California Funniest Female Competition. And, in August, on the one-year anniversary of her surgery, she will headline at San Francisco’s famed Purple Onion.

Prior to the bariatric surgery, such trips were out of the question because she couldn’t travel comfortably.

And then there was the issue of becoming exhausted on stage.

“I used to have be concerned about movement during my act. I would have to choreograph my routine so I didn’t run out of breath,” she said.

Now, she stands for her shows and even ends them with a dance.

She created Queenie TT because she needed a big-girl hero, feeling so hopeless and helpless, she said.

“There is no rehab for being fat. And you can’t escape food. You have to have food to live.

“There’s so much prejudice wrapped around being a bigger person. You can see physically what I am dealing with. But just because you are skinny doesn’t mean you are not dealing with issues, we just can’t see them,” she said.

Marshall tries to hit about two or three open-mic nights a week. It gives her a chance to try new material.

“I’m going to debut a lot of material that is not necessarily weight-related. That’s growth for me. I’ll be talking about family and marriage. I’m throwing in politics and why I hate politics.

“Right now I’m covering topics that are very sensitive and emotional. I’m fighting to get the punch line in pain,” she said.

Marshall hopes to lose another 100 pounds.

It’s a lot easier to be busy when you have lost two Backstreet Boys,” she said, with a chuckle.

You can find out more about Marshall at http://www.pssistermovement.com.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

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