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Claudia Oshry knows she’s a polarizing figure, and she happily embraces it.
"In the words of Danielle Staub, 'You either love me or hate me, there is no in-between with me,'" the 25-year-old influencer turned comedian quips to ET, referencing the star of The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s early seasons' tagline.
"I'm very much inspired, motivated and… inspired by the Real Housewives franchise," she notes. Claudia, who started the Instagram account @GirlWithNoJob, isn’t lying -- she really means it. One day, she wants to be a Real Housewife.
"It is my dream and I don't think I have to wait until 40-something," she says. "I think the Housewives need the millennial injection ... Like, I am a housewife, I live in New York. I'm ready. But I don't know if they're ready for me. But I'm, like, going into meetings with my team and I'm like, 'We are getting on the Housewives!' And they are like, 'Really? I don't think…' and I'm like, 'That’s what we're doing! Get on board or get out!'"
"I feel like I could tour for the next five to 10 years and retire on The Real Housewives," she adds. "That would be a good life for me."
Claudia is currently selling out theaters across the United States with a stand-up comedy tour, a career shift she made less than two years ago. ET sat down with the star backstage at the Theater at Ace Hotel before her Los Angeles show.
"I had been on Instagram and, you know, 'influencing' for a while when I realized that I wanted to take a pivot into comedy," she recalls. "So, about 18 months ago I just did my first show. I did it at Caroline’s on Broadway, I didn't know if anyone was gonna buy tickets, and at first, I was so nervous. I'm like, 'OK, I need to sell tickets, I need to sell tickets!' And then, the show sold out, like, in a minute. So then. I was like 'Oh, f**k! I got to put together a show!''
That show evolved into the Dirty Jeans Tour, named after an inside joke Claudia has with followers of her daily YouTube series and podcast, The Morning Toast, about wearing dirty jeans up to five days in a row. But, the tour almost didn’t happen. In February 2018, Claudia and her sister/talk show co-host, Jackie, were "canceled" when information about their family and some old, offensive tweets surfaced online. The pair lost their deal with Verizon, where they hosted a precursor to the Toast called The Morning Breath, started bleeding followers from their accounts and lost major brand deals, their main source of income.
"What's so crazy about cancel culture in general is, people don't realize, like, when you attack someone -- and whether it's deserved or not -- and [you] want to ruin their career, people don’t realize, it's very much a career," Claudia says. "In hindsight, [it was] one of the best things that ever happened to me as a person and also in my career. It just changed everything for me in a positive and negative way. But, back then, it was the worst day of my life. Like, I wanted to die."
Claudia posted a tearful, emotional apology to her followers, then went dark. For months.
"It's like I blacked out for six months and I don't even remember that time, because it was literally so hard and so dark," she shares. "So, I don't remember what I did or how I came back from it, but I just did."
Claudia says she really started asking herself if living such a public life was something she wanted to do. She started looking into alternate careers, even considering law school at one point.
"I really thought I didn't have a thick enough skin for it, and there were a couple weeks where I was just planning on not coming back," she confesses. "I was like, this is too ugly. Like, people were saying the most horrible things about me, just stating them as [if] they were facts, which is so frustrating, 'cause you just want to respond to everyone, but that’s not a healthy way to live. So, I was really thinking, this industry is not for me. I can't handle it. Some people can't handle it. And I didn't think that I could, but I guess I did?"
Claudia says she knew, "as a consumer of pop culture," that most cancellations don’t stick. So, when she felt the dust may have settled, she announced a new show at Caroline’s… and it sold out.
"I was like, 'Oh, there are still people who believe in me,'" she reflects. "And getting back on stage that first night was like [an] oh my god, wanted to die moment. But I'm so glad that I did because so much happened from it. But, it took a lot of courage to step on that stage when so much had happened, and nobody had heard from me, and then I just like popped up at Caroline's. I'm like, 'Hey, guys! I'm here!' But I'm really glad that I did it."
"You never realize how big your platform is until you do something wrong because no one is praising you when you do cool, interesting, fun, philanthropic things," she adds. "They are only the loudest when you're doing something wrong. So, it sucks that it took me such a negative experience to realize how powerful my voice is, but I think the thing that I learned that was most important is, people can change and people can grow."
"I learned this important lesson in a very public way, and I paid a very public price for it, which I'm grateful for," she says. "I think that a lot of people my age, that is a lesson that you need to learn, don't be an a**hole when you're a kid and expect it not to come back to you."
Claudia has since shifted the tone of her brand, at least slightly, to focus on the positive, becoming a champion for the ‘Be the Match’ bone marrow registry, among other things.
"I wake up every day being like, 'OK, whose day am I gonna make better today?'" she shares. "Like, what am I gonna post? What am I gonna say in the podcast? What am I gonna say on tour that's gonna make someone laugh? Because the world is hard enough, and I'm just out here trying to improve it and then I can go to bed, put my head on my pillow and I rest easy thinking that I did a good job of that."
Unlike most people who have been "canceled," Claudia’s career has actually come back stronger than before.
"I got a lot going on," she offers, with a smile. "People don't hate me that much anymore. Like, I'm living for this time."
She’ll soon finish out her tour and return home to New York City for a while. The general rule with comedy tours is, a comic can’t return to a city they've played for at least 18 months.
"We're going to wrap up the tour in January, which is bittersweet," she says. "Like, I think I'm going to hate being home all the time, even though I hate not being home, and I'm just gonna keep -- I think, the thing with the internet is, consistency is key. So, like, keep churning out content, podcast episodes, doing different things."
Claudia -- who, by the way, originally enrolled at NYU as a physics major before switching over to communications -- says she’ll write a book at some point ("Oh, for sure! I got so much s**t to say, I can't stop talking."), but not right away.
"I just released my song, [“Toast”], which was very much a creative experience for me," she says. "It was everything, and I’m thinking, maybe I need to release a full album. Devote some time to being, like, the next Erika Jayne, the Jewish Erika Jayne. The chubby, Jewish Erika Jayne."
Once again, the Real Housewives plays a part in Claudia’s life. But, as her profile has grown, so has her access to celebrity. The mogul-in-the-making is now a part of pop culture herself.
"It ruins it, because, like, I went to [Vanderpump Rules stars Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright’s] wedding, which was so much fun, but I'm over here talking s**t about Lisa Vanderpump, like, every day of my life!" she cracks. "And then, I'm at this wedding, sitting at a cocktail table next to her and I literally had to run away. Like, when you're real life and you're online life start to meet, it's terrible, OK? It's awful!"
"I'm definitely more reserved now that I will have the opportunity to run into someone I could have just been talking about on my podcast," she admits. "So, it changes, it changes you."
"They say fame doesn't change you, but it does," she jokes. "I like how I just called myself famous."
For the most part, Claudia’s real-world encounters are with her followers, or "Toasters," as she and Jackie call them.
"I'm always on for them because I don't want them to meet me and be like, 'Oh, she stunk,' you know?” she notes. “Part of my job is just being on all the time, and being present and then finally, when I get home, I have nothing left to give for myself, for my husband, for my dog -- who's so important to me -- and that’s something I'm trying to work on moving forward. But, to me, my job will sadly always comes first. So, that’s just one of the small prices to pay for being in this industry.”
Claudia married her husband, Ben Soffer, in 2017, and admits babies are on the brain.
“The other day, my friend, Brian, was like, 'When do you wanna have kids?' I'm like, 'Like, 25, ‘cause that's always what I've said, like, 25 is a good time to start thinking about it,” she shares. “And he was like, 'Aren't you 25?' I'm like, 'Oh... yeah. Maybe 30?' It sucks that I keep postponing it, and it's gonna happen. It's something that's very much important to me. Like, right now, I'm just riding this wave.”
To catch Claudia on the final leg of her Dirty Jeans Tour, check out GirlWithNoJob.com for tickets. For more with the star, including when she realized she was funny and a reveal of what's on her backstage rider, check out the full interview in the video above.