Sunday, December 29, 2013

Spotlight Pam Stone: Comic, Actor, Radio Host, Writer, Rider, Exhausted!

You may remember Pam, she played Coach Judy Watkins on the TV Series Coach.  That was just one of her many interesting jobs.  She is so multitalented it is hard to express it all in such a small space.  We are going to try to do just that though.



I asked Pam lots of questions and she graciously agreed to give me a bio!
Here it is in her own words:


I grew up in Marietta, GA, one of 4 kids to European parents~ quite disconcerting to be a 'first-generation' American in the south with parents who were not enamored with grits or The Allman Brothers! In 1964, at age 4, I had little to say when my father, reacting to the Cuban Missile Crisis, on an impulse, moved our family to New Zealand. For 3 weeks. Yeah, that was embarrassing going back to the same class I had just left, when a huge assembly was thrown for us by the whole school!




I've had horses my entire life, beginning with whining for a pony from birth until my father bought me a shaggy Shetland for my 9th birthday, and that was it. Luckily, he refused to spend a penny on hay or grain and if our school grades fell, the horses (my sister also had one) would be sold, pronto. This led to a strong work ethic: babysitting and mowing lawns, anything, to afford the feed and vet bills and the ability to compete at local shows.
What *only* other horsepeople believe is that I only got into stand up comedy to pay my horse bills and college fees. I had no idea my career would take off. I wanted a job where I could work nights and have the days free to ride, teach and compete. Waitressing at the comedy club made sense. Before I knew it, I was on stage during open mic night and, 10 months later, on the road opening for Jay Leno.

Moving to L.A. seemed a logical progression, so I did this in 1985 and saved until my horse could join me a year later. My first gig out there was writing for a game show and warming up studio audiences for sitcoms, while performing around town. 4 years later, producers for the then mid-season replacement, 'Coach' were in the audience one night as I did my stand up at the famed Ice House in Pasadena, and they remembered me 6 mos later when casting my character in the sit com. This led to 7 years work and several tv specials, including The Tonight Show, Joan Rivers, Oprah and several Showtime Cable Specials as well as performing at the White House. In 1992, after 5 nominations, I won The American Comedy Award for best female stand up comic, all broadcast on ABC Primetime. What followed was some episodic tv and a couple of forgettable movies.




But the best part of all was that for the first time in my life I had the needed finances to train with the best dressage trainers in the country~ riders who had represented our country in the Olympics, etc, and I stayed in training with them for 9 years on 3 different horses.

I thought I'd share with you Pam in this You Tube Video Funny performance featuring Stand-up Comedian PAM STONE for "COMIC STRIP LIVE" TV Special, 1990. The show was a tribute to all members of the U. S. Armed Forces serving during Operation Desert Storm. The audience included Sailors and Marines from "FIGHTERTOWN U.S.A." Naval Air Station Miramar -Miramar, California.  Click HERE





I took all that training experience and moved back 'home' to the south. In 1993, while touring, I had come across the Landrum/Tryon area of the Carolinas and it was just stuffed to the rafters with barns and horses and a pleasing bucolic atmosphere. I had planned to go back, originally, to GA, but everywhere I had grown up was essentially paved over, so when I looked at Landrum, it reminded me of my old Georgia neighborhood in the 1960s and I put down an offer on a small farm. Paul and I moved here full time in 1999 and it is here that I began to run my own training/teaching business. It is also here that I was offered my own radio show, from WLNK in Charlotte.

"No way am I going to make a 3 hr round trip 5 days a week," I said to my manager. "No problem, she replied, "They said they'd run an ISDN line to your farm and you can do the show from there." So I did this for 10 years, in a little building behind the barn called, "The Unabomber Shack" and The Pam Stone Show was born and went on to win two 'Gracie' Awards for broadcasting.

When I left radio, I began writing a humor column for our local paper which has now become a regionally syndicated column throughout the Carolinas and has won the 'Best Humor Column' award for the last two years in a row from the SC Press Association annual awards. My book, "I Love Me A Turkey Butt Samwich" is a collection of reader's favorites.


You can find Pam's book at Amazon Here




My interest in dirt track racing started in the late 1970s as I used to keep my horse at the farm of Eddie Samples, son of NSCRA (pre-nascar) national champion, Ed Samples. Just hanging around them whetted my appetite and it wasn't until a year ago that I was finally able to realize a dream I'd had rolling around in my head for years: to interview and document surviving racers that both ran liquor and raced in the 30's and 40s. Teaming up with filmmaker, Erik Olsen, we shot 'Running Flat Out' at the start of November, 2012 and finished it 9 months later. It is now available at amazon.com or runningflatout.com




 Go to Amazon and watch this part of southern racing history. It only cost $2.95.
(I haven't seen it yet but intend to go get it to watch later)
I grew up with stories of boot legging, racing and such. Fast driving was involved in it I'm told.

Running Flat Out Facebook Page Here

Pam and her husband Paul Zimmerman live in Landrum, South Carolina.  You may remember the story I did on Paul a while back.  He is the Rose Expert among many of his talents. You can read part one of his story Here
This is one dynamic couple!
Thank you Pam for such a great story!



I have dirt track racing in my family history too so this is of interest to me.  I thought I'd share an old photo that has some family members and friends racing!


1968
 Sam Ard, family friend in #84 then in #81 is Slick Johnson (cousin), 
Uncle Jr. Johnson in background his car #1.  I'll have to do some stories about the family and racing, building cars and motors one day.




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