Jade Catta-Preta ’07 was recently named the new hostess for the reboot of The Soup, the E! networks’s roasting of the past week’s TV shows and pop culture.
Catta-Preta answered questions from Emerson Today about her new gig and career.
Q: What was your major?
JCP: I went in with a major in musical theatre, and a minor in dance. While I was there, the dance minor kind of fell apart.
Q: Will there be singing and dancing for The Soup?
JCP: Yes, I do that now on stage when I’m doing standup. I have a piano player with me. I’m very musically driven.
Q: How excited are you about being the new host of The Soup?
JCP: Words cannot explain it. It’s a dream job. My first job was hosting Secret Lives. Hosting was a passion of mine before standup. I first did it at National Lampoon with Kato Kaelin. I don’t mean to name drop… I got connected to The Comedy Store. I feel like hosting led me to do standup, they all feed each other. I feel like for a standup, it can’t be a better job.
Q: What was the audition process like?
JCP: I’ve been with them in an out for a few years… I showed them a pilot I did with Nick Cannon. That’s how I was in the atmosphere. [E!] needed a voice like mine.
Q: What do you think the keys will be to the show being successful again?
JCP: Just a fresh perspective. We’ve all heard a white man being snarky. It’s great. We all love [Daniel] Tosh. It comes from being a fan. I love this shit. It’s just funny, but in a different way.
Q: Have you been in touch with any of the previous hosts?
JCP: I just shot something with Hal Sparks. I know John Henson from standup.
Q: What are you doing to get ready for the show?
JCP: A lot of drugs. No, I’m kidding. Just right now we’re doing some test shows and seeing how comedy rings with audiences, and watching every reality show. I’m trying to stay in touch with social media and pop culture. I also want it be all encompassing, not just reality TV.
Q: What’s your favorite reality TV show?
JCP: Oh, boy. That’s a hard one. The Real Housewives series. I love everything Bravo, the Kardashians, The Bachelor. Also, Love Island (UK), and some Japanese shows. I want to bring in a lot of weird. I’ve got to bring in the 90 Day Fiancé.
Q: What reality series would you want to be on?
JCP: Probably one of the cooking ones so I could get some food. I’d like to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race to be one of the judges.
Q: What are you looking forward to making fun of?
JCP: Oh man, all the bros out there who have been safe for all these years. Just weird and absurd stuff that’s not as obvious. I’m creating a voice for people who haven’t gotten to tell jokes in a long time. Culturally, I’m Brazilian, born and raised. Then I moved to Virginia when I was 12.
I’ve been doing standup in Brazil in Portuguese. Oh man, it’s definitely a culture shock. Here, I’m so Brazilian, but I felt so white when I went there. I’m kind of this grey person where you don’t feel at home in either place. I couldn’t get Portuguese down, and then I became fluid and got it down. It really helped me find myself, and helped me find myself when I was low.
Q: You did standup in Brazil?
JCP: They’ve only been doing standup comedy for 12 years as an art form. Some of the setups I’ve already heard. They’re doing something super new. I’m seeing very young adults perform and seeing how far ahead they are.
Q: Can you make fun of their president? Are you allowed?
JCP: If I made a good joke about him.
Q: Do you have any new characters who are coming out of the show like Senor Sock?
JCP: We’re going to have them when the time comes. We’re building the cast of our crew, and there are some funny characters. That’s for when the show comes out.
Q: When is it coming out?
JCP: Next year. Early next year.
Q: How has Emerson influenced your career?
JCP: I definitely have a lot of connections to Emerson people, which I love. I have a lot of good friends from Emerson who produce reality series. Jessica Surovell works for ATTN:, Patrick Nolan, who’s a Teen Mom producer, and Paris Pickard, who’s a production designer. I’m getting clips from them [for The Soup]. It’s kind of cohesive in that way. We really help each other. In that way it’s really cool.
Q: How did your Emerson education help you get to where you are in your career?
JCP: Just when people ask me how did you get into standup, the most important thing is knowing everyone you can get to know. The longer you’re [in California] the smaller it becomes. And having the tools like knowing how to slate and the technical terms I learned.
Also, the favors I’m owed from filming shitty student films in freezing temperatures. You can’t pay for the friendships you’ve made.
Q: What organizations were you involved with at Emerson?
JCP: I did musical theatre and dance. I was in Frames Per Second. My very first Frames Per Second was freshman year, which was a big deal because no freshmen would be in it. I slashed the director’s hand with a hatchet, and he had to get stitches. [As part of the scene] I had to kill someone off stage. But we’re still friends, Adam Catino, he graduated two years before me. It was called It Feels Like Friday for Sure.
Q: What else would you want someone to know about yourself and hosting The Soup?
JCP: There’s so much stuff out there in the world. It’s a stressful time. I want people to be carefree and have a giggle moment. I just want people to enjoy themselves. Even if it’s only 30 minutes a week. It’s a nice curated place to experience reality TV and pop culture.
Q: Do you have photos we could use?
JCP: Take things from my social media. There are no more butt photos. They’re all gone.