The right place
I read a lot of autobiographies of female comedians. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Mindy Kaling … the list goes on. I’m even reading Dame Edna Everage’s ‘autobiography’ at the moment and, in a surprise bonus thanks to Glebe St Vincent de Paul, it’s AUTOGRAPHED and dedicated to John. Thanks John.
I also watch documentaries about female comedians, watch anything even remotely funny written by a woman and watch heaps of stand-up.
I have no idea where this obsession with funny women came from but it shows no signs of abating.
The one thing I’ve learnt from all of this is that they all have very similar stories.
They went to acting school, met their fellow students, and then started doing stand-up with their peers. They usually buddied up with someone from their acting class – rarely do female comedians go it alone – and then somewhere along the line, they score a TV deal.
This story is repeated over and over, usually with a stint of extreme financial hardship thrown in where they eat dumplings, or frozen peas with margarine, or lots of toast for a prolonged period of time.
The upshot? They all put themselves in the right place to make the necessary connections. They collaborated. They experimented onstage when the stakes were low. They had enormous amounts of fun and they didn’t take themselves seriously. They worked dives and toughened up. They worked hard.
Sure, there’s a little bit of luck involved when you wind up in an acting class with the future Young Ones or half of Saturday Night Live’s soon-to-be cast members but they were in the right place to get lucky.
If you want to do something, you need to start hanging out with people who are doing it.
Go and find your people and get to work!