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Cortlandt Comic Stars In New Reality Show

Stephanie Simbari is the star of a new reality show on Oxygen.
Stephanie Simbari is the star of a new reality show on Oxygen. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Oxygen Media

CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- A comedian from Cortlandt Manor is living out her dreams in Los Angeles for all the world to see.

Stephanie Simbari, a Hendrick Hudson graduate, is one of the comedians featured on the new Oxygen reality series, "Funny Girls," which premiered Tuesday. The show chronicles the attempts of six women trying to make it in comedy.

Simbari said she has learned to adjust to having the cameras on her.

"It's pretty weird but you learn to have fun with it," Simbari said. "Imagine having someone follow you with their eyes, but with multiple cameras. It takes some time to get used to."

Growing up in Cortlandt Manor, Simbari said she found it boring.

"I very much wanted to get out and move to the city," Simbari said. "I question the nuclear family provincial life, that's definitely a part of my comedy."

Simbari moved to Los Angeles in 2008 and hasn't looked back.

"I've been doing open mikes for six years," Simbari said. "I'm very self motivated, but it's been difficult. I understand why people quit. But I've become the adult I've wanted to become."

There is nothing like the rush of being onstage and telling jokes, Simbari said.

"That's the only thing I know and understand," Simbari said. "If they are laughing, than I know I am doing my job. I still get really excited when I tell a joke and the crowd is into it.

Anyone who is out there doing stand-up comedy is an inspiration to Simbari said.

"I think they are amazing," Simbari said. 

Simbari said people back in Cortlandt are really excited, even those who weren't sure about her L.A. move.

"Everyone said you're not going to make it, that it's a one in a million chance," Simbari said. "Now, those people are saying they always knew I'd make it. It's very rewarding."

Simbari said she hopes people are inspired watching "Funny Girls."

"It's about these girls who have this drive and desire," Simbari said. "I hope people can laugh and relate."

Any aspiring comedians should perform and write as much as possible, Simbari said.

"Don't expect it to be easy and just try and have fun," Simbari said.

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