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For comedian Fortune Feimster, ‘live, laugh, love’ is a way of life

Fortune Feimster is performing four shows at the Chevalier and Wilbur theaters March 16-18.Todd Rosenberg

Fortune Feimster might be the most happy-go-lucky action star you’ll ever meet. The comedian, who brings her “Live, Laugh, Love” tour to the Chevalier and Wilbur theaters March 16-18, is unflinchingly positive in her comedy act. Whether she’s talking about difficult life experiences, like realizing at a young age that she was gay, or something lighter, as when men are mystified that she can’t change a tire, she approaches every subject with an infectious “Hey, you guys gotta hear this!” enthusiasm.

That’s led to her success in stand-up, acting, podcasting, and now, in a supporting role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the upcoming Netflix series “FUBAR.” She appears briefly in the trailer as a CIA sharpshooter and Ah-nold’s foil, giving him a quick punch to the groin to keep him in line.

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Speaking by phone from Los Angeles the morning the trailer was released, she laughs when asked what it was like to film that scene. “That was definitely not on my vision board or bucket list,” she says. “I’ve been watching him since I was a kid and to suddenly be doing all of these action scenes and sequences with him, crawling across the floor and explosions going over our head, it was like, what is this world?”

She’s been calling herself an “action star” on her social media because it makes her laugh. “Someone like me does not get to be in this world very often,” she says. “So I’m taking full advantage of the title.”

The role is a contrast for a comedian whose latest tour, “Live, Laugh, Love,” is named for the breezy affirmations found on signs and mugs in department stores and boutiques. In her first Netflix special, “Sweet & Salty,” Feimster poked gentle fun at her mother for collecting such signs. But when Feimster’s wife, Jax, moved in with her and found signs that read “Gather” and “Eat” all over the house, “I didn’t realize I had kind of turned into my mother,” she says, “and was forced to give up my ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ sign.”

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Feimster’s first two specials have followed her life in chronological order, starting with growing up in “Sweet & Salty” and then falling in love in “Good Fortune.” Her current material picks up where the last special left off. “Finding love, me growing up, you know, getting engaged, just sort of figuring out how to be an adult,” she says. “And sometimes getting it wrong. But trying my best to turn it into a positive thing.”

Her stand-up is always upbeat, which is Feimster’s instinct. “I think by nature, I’m a fairly positive person,” she says. “It’s been part of my personality my whole life. I know I’m very lucky to be a person who genuinely wakes up feeling good, and feeling like the glass is half full. Because I know that’s not always an easy thing to have.”

There are times when it’s tough to approach a subject with that kind of lightness in a comedy routine. In “Good Fortune,” Feimster performs a kind of magic trick when she finds some good in a piece of hate mail she received from someone she calls “Gary.” “How long have you and your wife been mentally ill, [expletive] lesbians who should be put in Alcatraz?” the note says. “I was like, wow, that is very specific.” Feimster takes apart the man’s grammar, or lack thereof, and the fact that he thinks Alcatraz is still a functioning prison. But the real epiphany comes courtesy of Gary himself. “Then it hit me,” she says in the special. “Gary just recognized my marriage. He said ‘your wife,’ and that is called progress!”

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It’s the most poignant moment in that show, but it took time for Feimster to gain that perspective. “Your brain sort of goes on this journey when you see something like that,” she says. “When you first read it, it’s like, holy cow! The vitriol that you feel from a message like that from a complete stranger is jarring. I can’t imagine in a million years sending a message like that to a complete stranger like that.”

But when she had some distance, she came back to it, and that’s when the lightbulb went off. “I was like, ‘Oh, wait! He wrote ‘my wife.’ Like, that is progress. Even though it came in a really awful form, it is progress.”

Feimster is very open about her life, especially on her podcast “Sincerely Fortune,” where she talks about her marriage and where her mother, Ginger, is sometimes a guest. But she does have a limit to what she’ll share. “I think once you do go to that point where you’re telling everything, it’s hard to walk that back,” she says. “You definitely want to have stuff that’s sacred to you and your family, and that’s just for yourself.”

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There might not be time to share everything anyway, between the podcast, her comedy, and the scripts she’s written that she continues to develop. “I’m always doing 10 things at one time,” she says, “There’s not really a day off. If it’s not writing a script, it’s doing stand-up, it’s traveling for stand-up, it’s doing radio, it’s acting, it’s learning lines. There’s always something. But I genuinely love it. And as cheesy as it sounds, it never feels like work.”

FORTUNE FEIMSTER

At the Chevalier Theatre, 30 Forest St., Medford, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. $29.50-$65. chevaliertheatre.com. At the Wilbur, 246 Tremont St., March 17 at 7:30 p.m., March 18 at 7 and 9:45 p.m. $38-$48. thewilbur.com


Nick A. Zaino III can be reached at nick@nickzaino.com.