This week, we have StevieAnne Petitt in the Shes_Trending interview corner. We first came across StevieAnne through her movement, called “Conscious Comedy”, a comedic approach to compassion for self and others through joy and laughter. We had the opportunity to sit down with StevieAnne over coffee at Desoto Central Market in downtown Phoenix, and she’s definitely a riot. A resilient leader at heart, StevieAnne represents light in the pursuit of happiness. Despite her obstacles, StevieAnne did not let darkness overcome her destiny. Instead, she rose to the occasion with comedy and the community at the forefront. Now that deserves an award-winning smile!
ST: Who is StevieAnne Petitt, what do you do, and why?
SA: I serve as a conscious comedian. Conscious Comedy is about being clean and more mindful. I lighten up enlightenment with my humor. If we can laugh at our own human foibles, then it makes life so much easier to observe and experience. My mission is for others to be more jovial. I love genuine, raw dialogue that uses comedic comparisons to tell stories and that is my purpose. To take the heavy, dark stuff and bring light to it all with humor.
ST:Tell us about your background.Where did you grow up?
SA: I grew up in Virginia within the foster care system and in-group homes. Child sex-abuse was an issue during my childhood, which was part of the reason why I was always in and out of the system. During my teenage years, I started to become rebellious by acting out and getting in trouble with the wrong crowd. I felt like I never really fitted in. I can recall that there were times when I got in trouble and I remember that I would always use my wit and humor to alleviate the situation. To put it simply, humor was my saving grace.
Fast forward to my adulthood; I joined the military after being sent to a detention center and court-ordered to serve in the United States Navy at the age of 17. From the age of 17-29, Ironically, I joined as a military police officer. This was the best thing for me because it provided structure in my life that I was not used to having around. My transition from the detention center to the Navy went extremely well. I was already institutionalized. Now the Navy was paying me to be in service. I was grateful because, for the first time in my life, I felt like I mattered.
ST: Who are some of your favorite comedic influences?
SA: I love Ellen DeGeneres, Robin Williams, and Jim Carrey. Ellen DeGeneres is one my favorites because she’s so playfully funny. Robin Williams, who I miss dearly, is very child-like to me and I love this sense of innocence about him. Jim Carrey is very conscious about himself and forward-thinking. He’s starting to show up in social media as having talked with college graduates, sharing his story publicly to inspire others. His progressiveness and encouragement in telling others to follow their passion is what I appreciate about his mindset. All of these comedians represent Conscious Comedy to me. They deliver clean comedy, are mindful, and focused on the positive aspect of life for the benefit of the community.
ST: You are the author of a book called “Egos Are Like Farts…”. What inspired you to become a writer and publish this book?
SA: When I was a student at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, I created a comedic comparison about egos and farts solely to assist me in finding a fun way to witness my ego in action and become more mindful about how I aired my opinions. My philosophy behind the comparison is that egos are a natural part of the human experience, but if we can be more mindful as we air our opinions, we would make the world less toxic and a little easier to tolerate. My instructor at the time was one of the ones who pushed me to self-publish this book. I took his advice and quickly worked to create it on an online site known as createspace.com. The self-promotion of my book, “Egos Are LikeFarts…” is what led me to my stand up comedy career. I knew I was in the right direction with “Conscious Comedy” because at my first show, 75 people from the community came out to the Tempe Improv to support their “New Faces of Comedy” event. I was impressed at the entire experience because the reward of following my passion paid off. I was humbled to say the least.
ST: Your resume is AMAZING…a former Branding Strategist, Online and On Campus Instructor, Business Development & Entrepreneurial Support, Owner, Author, and Speaker! In addition, you also write, practice yoga and are a mother to two children. How do you do it all?
SA: For me, it’s honestly just one fleeting moment at a time and being present as often as we can recall to be. At the end of each week, I plug in random 1-hour slots throughout the work week to take time for myself. This is super important for me to gain clarity and mental focus in life. Fortunately, because I focus on the things that bring me passion, my work and activities keep me grounded and grateful. My kids and I have a very special bond. I learn from them to stay in the present, express gratitude and seek the FUN in life.
ST: We came across this dope Marvel shirt on your Instagram page. If you could be any Marvel character, who would you be and why?
SA: I would have to say Captain America because I’m very supportive and patriotic about my country. If I could add a superpower to my character, I would choose the ability to see people’s deepest and darkness fears so that I could instantly feel compassion for them. Understanding people’s vulnerabilities in the blink of an eye would really humble my ego and allow me to connect with my fellow beings on a deep and heartfelt level
ST: We noticed that coffee is a major part of your life. Where is your favorite place to grab a coffee?
SA: I love two places in the Valley. Cartel Coffee and Sip. Sip is my top choice because two of my students from the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts work at their location plus the coffee is amazing – as they make bulletproof equivalent – my morning lifeline. Cartel has an entrepreneur vibe and is walking distance from my office in downtown Tempe. Both places have a chill environment that’s not only progressive but also philanthropic for the entrepreneur who’s creating change and making an impact.
ST: What is the importance of a strong community and what do you love about the city of Phoenix?
SA: I love the entrepreneurship of Phoenix. The city name is a metaphor for the rebirth of greatness that’s currently happening right now. The constant hustle to want more is all around you. That’s why it’s my turn and the community’s turn to be the next generation of leaders for our city, country, planet.
ST: What is your advice to other young women and men who are exploring comedy at the high school level?
SA: Go deep within and find what you’re truly passionate about. Whatever brings you joy and child-like wonderment, you are destined to pursue. Even if it’s a hobby on the side, don’t give up because you’ll find happiness within yourself that is immeasurable. Also, stay curious and not critical of yourself and others. Allow things to evolve as they will. Focus on what brings you joy and you will naturally attract friends and opportunities of like-mind.
ST: With all of our interviews, we like to sign off by saying thank you! We know that you’re trending, which is why we chose you to be one of our featured guest. In honor of our tradition, we would like you to finish the sentence… I’m trending because…..
SA: Authentic expression and humor never go out of style.