Joan Riviera / by Joseph Palumbo

Joan Riviera has been entertaining people for over 30 years. She's a veteran with the experience and stories to prove it. She's shared stages with some of the biggest names in music, comedy and movies. And I got to talk with her for over an hour about how she got started, how she built a career and how she's survived the rigorous show business lifestyle. 

But even with all of her years in the industry, her own story of growing up and living in a world that didn't understand or accept her sexual identity is more impactful than any show biz anecdote. Joan's ability to channel her personal struggle into her stage persona is a big reason why she's been so influential and accepted in the LGBT community. 

As a bonus, I also get a few words with documentary filmmaker, Tania Hajali, who is working on a project that, in part, focuses on Joan's story. Keep an eye out for the finished product later this year. And look forward to an episode where Tania and I talk about her project in depth.