Guest Author - Shelia M. Goss
Shelia Goss: How did you get the title "World's Fastest Talking Female?"
Fran Capo: Well, besides being the Guinness book of World Records fastest talking female, I'm also a stand up comic...the stand-up comedy gig lead to my gig at a radio station which lead to my fast-talking world record by coincidence. You see I live by the philosophy of "just say yes and figure it out later...this is what happened."
A fellow stand up comic, Alan Chan and myself were hired by WBLS-FM (NYC) radio to write perform comedy skits. One day I said the the host, Sergio Dean that I could do a mean Mae West impression, but I called the character June East, Mae's long lost sister. Sergio flings the weather and traffic copy at me...the red tally light in the studio goes on, and I start doing my rendition of the report. Little did I know that a Daily News Reporter, Dinah Prince, happened to be listening that 30 seconds that I did my first report. She called the staion and said, she was doing a story on weather and traffice people and wanted to include me in the story. She asked how long I had been doing the weather. I wasn't going to tell her 30 seconds, so I just said "A while." After she had finished interviewing me for the article,she asked, "What are you planning to do next?" Next? Well at the time there was nothing I was planning on doing next, so I asked her what she meant, stalling for time. She said she really wanted to follow my career. Here was a woman from The Daily News telling me she was interested in me! So I thought I'd better tell her something. What came out was, "I'm thinking about breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for the Fastest Talking Female."
The newspaper article came out the next day, and she included my parting remarks about trying to break the world's Fastest-Talking Female record. At about 5:00 P.M. that afternoon, I received a call from CNN asking me to go on the Larry King Live Show. They wanted me to try to break the record. They told me they would send a limo to pick me up at 8:00. That was only three hours. Talk about pressure! I had never heard of Larry King Live, and when I heard the woman say she was from a cable Channel, I thought, "Hmmm that's a porn channel, right?" She patiently assured me that it was a respectable national television show and that this was a one-time offer and opportunity - it was either that night or not at all.
I managed to find a replacement for a gig I had in New Jersey. I next sat down to figure out what on earth I was going to do on the show. I called Guinness to find out what the rules were to break a fast-talking record. They told me I would have to recite something from either Shakespeare or the Bible. Suddenly, I started saying the ninety-first Psalm, a prayer for protection that my mom had taught me. Shakespeare and I had never really gotten along, so I figured the Bible was my only hope. I practiced over and over again, timing myself with a stop- watch to see how fast I could do it. I was both nervous and excited at the same time.
At 8:00, the limousine picked me up. I practiced the entire way there, and by the time I reached the New York studio I felt as if my tongue was going to fall off. I asked the producer, "What happens if I don't break the record?' She replied, "Larry doesn't care if you break it or not. He just cares that you try it on his show first." So I asked myself, What's the worst thing that can happen? I'd look like a fool on national television! Aminor thing, I could live through that. Then I asked myself , And what happens if I break the record?" MMMM, a world record, Now that would be great.
So I went for it. I broke the record, becoming the World's Fastest Talking Female by speaking 585 words in one minute in front of a national television audience. (I broke it again two years later at the Guinness Museum in Vegas with 603 words per minute.) My career took off.
Shelia: You wear multiple hats as a comedienne/author/motivational speaker. Which one do you prefer over the other?
Fran: Wow, that's a hard one, because I really enjoy all that I do. I love making people laugh, so stand up feels great. I hopefully make people
forget their problems at least for that night. I love inspiring people, so I get a real kick out of doing my keynote motivational talk for people called, "Dare to Do it!" Especially when they come up to me and hug me, or when I get an email that they went out and did something they've always wanted to do because they, "Dared to do it." I love doing my adventures, because it challenges me personally and makes life exciting. I love writing, so nine books later it feels awesome to see my books in store windows, on websites, and especially when I catch someone reading it on the bus or subway. I just love communicating with people. As long as I am making them laugh or inspiring them, I'm happy.
Shelia: Tell the readers why you're in the Ripley's Believe it or Not Planet Ecccentric book, 2006 and why you will be in the next one in 2007?
Fran: Well I broke two more world records. The first came about while I was doing research for a chapter in one of my books, Adrenaline Adventures: Dream it, Read it, Do it. I read that an 83- year old women climbed Kilimanjaro. (I didn't know she had been airlifted there in a wheel chair...just kidding)...Anyway, So I figured if she could do it, so could I. I enlisted my son, Spencer into the effort, contacted a top outfit,
CorbetBishopsafaris.com in Africa (the same guy that lead the IMAX
movie team up the mountain.) Then I figured if I was going to train, climb and do this feat, I might as well make it memorable at the top. So I decided to do a book signing up there. (See picture) Yup, 19, 340 feet up...the top of the world.
I managed to get two sponsors, my publisher Authorhouse and Snickers Marathon Energy Bars. Ripley's put it in their book as the only author to do a booksigning at the top of kilimajaro. That record happened July 10th, 2004.
The picture of me doing the book signing circulated around the world,
and it led to Brian Day O'Conner (Supreme Court justice Sandra Day
O'Conner's son) contacting me. He told me he loved my spirit of adventure and mentioned that he was invited to go down to the wreck site of the Titanic. I got on board, got some more sponsors, the title sponsors being; Authorhouse, Ripley's Believe it or Not and Goldenpalace.com along with several other sponsors. I decided why not also do a booksigning down there as well. So Ripleys gave me the title...as the "only author to do a book signing from the Top of the World to the Depths of the Sea". That record happened exactly a year later on July 10th, 2005.
They did a cartoon on me as well that appeared in their weekly strip nationwide. (all these pictures can be seen btw at my website, www.francapo.com)
Shelia: What are you doing presently?
Fran: Still doing my stand up comedy and my two keynote talks around the country called, "Dare to Do it" and "Creativity in Marketing"
Presently I write a weekly blog for the WB network called, "Fran's World and welcome to it" (about all my crazy adventures, personal life, etc...at www.mysweetconnection.com.
I am pitching four tv shows through Letnom Productions (Montel Williams Production Company), am the spokesperson for Auntie Anne's Pretzel National Tongue Twister contest, have an upcoming appearance on CBS this Morning, and have my book, It Happened in New York coming out again in October.
I am also helping to raise money for a small village in Africa with the help of Kiwi Publishing through our photos of shoots from Kilimanjaro.
Shelia: What's next on your agenda?
Fran: I am working on my next adventure book, "Adrenaline Adventures 2 - The dreams continue", have my next big trip planned (don't want to reveal it just yet), and am doing a "Nothing is Impossible Tour" for corporations and schools which talk about my adventures, and shows people how to break all barriers to achieve their goals.
I am also in the planning stages with both Nik Halik (International Millionaire & Motivational Speaker) and John Basedow (The fitnessmadesimple) guru about an all day lecture in which all three of us will talk about a different section of : Finance, Fitness and Fun.
Shelia: How can readers learn more about you and your books?
Fran: By going to my website, www.francapo.com and clicking on the bookstore.
Also if your readers are interested I invite them to email me at FranCNY@aol.com and put
"GET CAPO UPDATE" in the subject line. THey will then get the monthly newsletter that I send out.
Thanks again ...this has been fun! ANd remember we are in control of our lives sooo create a great day and remember...live everyday as if it's your last and one day you'll be right.