Logo TV founder Matt Farber’s Outlandish performance series continues on Saturday, Feb. 9 with comedian Pam Ann performing a new show, “Flight Attendant Star” at the Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale.
Iconic international celebrity airhostess Pam Ann has evolved since first jetting out of her hometown of Melbourne 20 years ago. Pam — the alter-ego of Australian comedian-writer-producer Caroline Reid — has developed a cult-like status both here and overseas with her masterful portrayal of an international air hostess.
Pam’s barbed wit has seen her fly many a risky route and negotiate even the most politically incorrect flight path with her blisteringly funny take on the world of airlines and aircrew. Nothing is out of reach of her pristine white gloves, strutting up the aisle with a trolley full of beautifully unpredictable, acerbic airline satire. There’s not much Pam hasn’t seen or done – from crewing Elton John’s private jet at his express request, sharing a stadium stage on a tour of the UK with Cher, and counting Madonna in her legion of devoted fans worldwide.
It was, once again, a pleasure to sit down with both Pam and Caroline for this exclusive Hotspots interview.
What has happened in the last years since we last spoke?
I’ve started DJing. I play disco and disco house. It’s been so great learning a new skill and going out of my comfort zone after 23 years of comedy. So far I’ve DJ’d at my favorite place in the world, the Standard Spa Hotel Miami. My Standard family actually gave me my first ever gig, and I was delighted to be asked to DJ at the SAVE LGBT Halloween Ball here in Miami Beach. It meant so much to me, it’s the first time in years I felt part of such a loving, caring, diverse community. Over Christmas, I DJ’d on the Intrepid for TPG Awards (The Points Guy) which was insane spinning on an aircraft carrier surrounded by jets and space ships. It’s been so incredible so far and I’m thrilled and excited to announce I will be DJing in Stockholm Pride for the closing party, so watch out bitches, DJ Pam Ann is going international! Don’t worry, though, I’m not giving up comedy anytime soon, but I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life.
How did you create Pam Ann?
She was born out of a bottle of Absolut vodka. I had a James Bond themed birthday party back in 1996 (Sean Connery Bond). He only flew Pan American, so I went dressed to my birthday as a Pan Am 1960’s air hostess. Over the course of the evening everyone was getting more and more drunk and started calling me Pan Am. The drunker my friends got, the more it sounded like Pam Ann. Try it: say Pan Am ten times in a row BOOM PAM ANN is born. Plus, my love of everything 60’s design and airlines created what Pam Ann is today. Seriously I never thought I’d end up in comedy, I actually wanted to be a department store window dresser… before Pam Ann I actually used to sell mannequins at Mei & Picchi in Fitzroy Melbourne.
Did you ever expect this level of success and how did it change your life?
I never try to have expectations period. I’ve always lived my life and career organically and followed my heart and passion. Success is a weird word; it’s all in the mind what you perceive. I just try to be as authentic as possible and I don’t think about success. I feel like I haven’t even started yet and still have a long journey ahead. Pam Ann has gifted me the opportunity to live a carefree life and travel the world doing what I love, I couldn’t be more grateful to her. I’ve met so many incredible friends along the way. I’m a High School dropout so for me Pam Ann has been my university in life. I am now the Wikipedia on airlines, flight attendants, cultures and global travel. My US green card to me is one of my greatest achievements, it’s my college degree … Pam Ann got me into the USA.
You have worked with so many superstars, who are your favorites and why?
Elton John and David Furnish are my favorite superstars and people in the world. Not only do they support and encourage new talent they have raised so much awareness and money for HIV and AIDS; they are my heroes. I love them both so, so much… and damn, they know how to throw a great party.
Is there one gig that was your favorite and if so why?
One of my favorite shows was in Paris at the beautiful Alhambra theatre. I love Parisians and I love performing in Paris. My bar is set high to achieve and do the best I can for the Parisians. (Comedy is like a drug your always chasing the perfect show) So this one particulate night in Paris I’d performed what I thought was an ok show in my mind. I went off stage and said to my tour manager Esther (who’s been with me for over 12yrs and knows me so well) damn that wasn’t good enough. I went to my dressing room took off my wig and threw off my Chanel pumps … Esther then came running into my dressing room saying they won’t leave … I said who? She said the audience. They are stamping their feet and demanding you come out for an encore. I was in shock, and I went out barefoot, wig in hand completely confused …they all stood on their feet and shouted BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO! I cried and thanked them as they hugged me with their hearts. I’ll never forget it, it was my Edith Piaf moment. I love and adore the French so much and even though I can’t speak French, they feel it from my soul. That’s why I love what I do, for these precious magical golden rare moments.
Now that you live in the states, do you miss Australia and how often do you get back down under?
I love Australia, my family and my best friends live there. I’ve had friends in Oz for over 30yrs who are all part of my DNA. Pam Ann was born in Melbourne through the encouragement of so many darling friends of mine, without them Pam Ann might never have been. I miss everyone so much I wish we could pull Australia over and join it to Miami. IMAGINE Miami with kangaroos! I try and go back 2 times a year of course flying the Qantas, the flying kangaroo.
How do you keep your material fresh for the audience and for yourself as an artist?
I never do the same show….ever! I tailor my shows to what country I’m in and talk about their national airline and what is currently happening in their world that we all can relate to. I improvise the first hour or so of my show and I work on the fly so to speak. I don’t write I just tell my stories though my real life experiences and observations (I have an incredible Wikipedia library in my head). I have brought back much more audience participation to my shows once again, which I love. I stopped doing it for a while …long story all I’ll say it involved glitter and a homophobic couple. But rest assured I’m back in full swing so watch out Pam Ann Frequent Flyers.
Describe Pam Ann is three words?
Honest, funny and ‘plane’ filthy.
What should the South Florida Audiences expect from your show “Flight Attendant Star”?
Lots of inappropriate banter—which clearly should not be said in church! Sunshine Cathedral and everyone who volunteers and works at the church are so kind and awesome, it’s my favorite place in the world to perform and I am not just saying that. Plus, you don’t get a gayer, more fabulous audience than you do in Fort Lauderdale. If I could work monthly in Fort Lauderdale, I would never leave Florida. And yes, this a shameless plug for a club in Wilton Manors to book me, please! I just LOVE you all so much!
Do you have a warning for the virgins of your show?
Turn your f*cking phones off!
What does the future hold for Pam Ann and for Caroline?
I hope to spend much more time at home in Florida working with the LGBTQ community to help bring more LGBTQ tourism to Miami Beach and raise lots of money for SAVE LGBTQ and many other charity organizations. I hope the future holds new opportunities for both me and Pam Ann.
Tickets are now on sale for “Flight Attendant Star” at https://www.outlandishfl.com/.