Fran Capo is a woman of many talents. And world records. And adventures. And inspirations.
She’s also the mom of a teenage son and one of TravelingMom’s featured bloggers, Adventure Traveling Mom , a title she earned by bungee jumping, flying combat aircraft, driving race cars, scuba diving with sharks and a load of other heart-stopping adventures, sometimes with her son. The adventures are all collected in “Adrenaline Adventures,” a book that tells readers how to have their own adventures in a day or a weekend. It’s one of 10 books she wrote in five years while working as a stand-up comic, TV host and motivational speaker.
TravelingMom founder Kim Orlando caught up with Capo, adventure traveling mom, author and world-record-holding fastest-talking woman, for an adrenaline-infused conversation.
TMOM: First, tell me about your world records.
FRAN CAPO: I hold four world records: as the Guinness Book of Records Fastest Talking Female at 603.32 words per minute; as the only author to do a book signing at the top of Kilimanjaro and the only author to do a signing down by the Titanic, and in April, I broke a record going to the Dominican Republic with 39 chiropractors and we saw 21,545 patients in two days.
TMOM: So are you just into doing everything fast? Or more? Or most?
FRAN CAPO: I am into using every bit of life that God gave me.
TMOM: That’s beautiful. How did you decide that you were going to be the World’s Fastest Talking Woman? It makes me want to speed up too.
FRAN CAPO: I was working at a radio station, WBLS in New York City and I was kidding around one day and I said I could do a really cool Mae West impression but I called the character June East, Mae West’s long lost sister, so all of the sudden the DJ flings the weather and traffic copy at me and red tally light comes on in the studio…so and I’m like “Ohhh, today the weather and traffic is…(said in a Mae West Voice) .” and in that 30 seconds a lady from the the Daily News happened to be listening…so she calls the station and says, “I’m doing a story on weather and traffic people. How long you been doing it?” I couldn’t tell her thirty seconds, so I said, “Ahh, I’ve been doing it awhile.” She asked what I was planning on doing next but I didn’t have a next. So I told the lady from the News, “Oh, I’m thinking of breaking a world record.” She was like, “For what?” But I didn’t have a ‘for what’ and she said the article had to be in by six o’clock today and, “if you decide you want to tell me, give me a call.
So I had to run out, buy a Guinness Book, started looking through it, I see Fast Talking, always knew that I talked fast and I called up Guinness, said, “What do you have to do to break that record?” They said, “Something from Shakespeare or the Bible.” Since me and Shakespeare never got along…and I had a prayer from the bible that my mom taught me I went with that. It was the 91st psalm. The reporter did the article and the next day it appeared in the paper and I get a call from the Larry King Live people. Now to be honest, at the time I didn’t know who Larry King was….all I heard was “Do you want to do this cable show?” So I said, “Cable…Is this some kind of porn?” They said, “Honey, no, it’s a national show.” I’m like, “What if I don’t break it?” And they said, , “Larry doesn’t care if you break it or not…he just cares that you try it on the show first.” So I practiced for five hours while the limo came. The first time I broke the record doing 585 words a minute. Then I re-broke it doing 603.32 words in 54.2 seconds which is 11 words a second at the Guinness Musuem in Vegas.
TMOM: How do they know you did 603.32 words?
FRAN CAPO: They have a machine called the a lexicon Compressor that takes the words and slows it down but doesn’t distort them like a tape recorder does. Then they have a speech analyst analyzes every single syllable. If you miss a syllable, you’re out.
Click to find out about Fran’s shark adventure , climbing Kilamanjaro with her son and staying motivated.