Comedy Blogedy: How long have you been gigging in stand-up?
Jen Carnovale: I started gigging on my own in February this year, before that I was performing in Australia in a comedy duo called ‘Carnovale & Culp’. We were awarded ‘Best Newcomer’ at The Sydney Comedy Festival in 2010, worked in radio together on ABC’s Triple J and were chosen as ‘One of the Top 10 Next Big Things in Comedy’ by the SMH. So I’m a newbie to solo standup but not performing.
Comedy Blogedy: How would you describe your comedy?
Jen Carnovale: I tell stories in my stand up, usually something that’s happened to me, or something I’ve seen, I’m not a one-liner-lady. I use characters in my set too, I have a really short attention span and assume my audience does as well so I try to mix up the pace and topics and I have a couple of absurd moments just because they make me laugh.
Comedy Blogedy: Which comedians influence your comedy?
Jen Carnovale: Heaps! I tend to get obsessed with different comics and try to watch, read and hear everything they’ve ever done ever, my influences change all the time. Lately it’s been Hannibal Buress and Mike Birbiglia, I like their timing and how they both hold themselves onstage. Maria Bamford and Tig Notaro are people I always look to, to try and figure out how they got so damn good.
And a lot of my comedian friends from Sydney, hilarious guys like Sam Bowring, Ben Ellwood, Sam Simmons and Eric Hutton- they all have such distinct voices which is so freaking refreshing, and more importantly they are really funny. Youtube them!
Comedy Blogedy: Did you always want to go into comedy?
Jen Carnovale: Yes, for as long as I can remember, but I do have a shocking memory. I’m sure at some stage all I wanted was to tie my shoelaces and be able to use the adult toilet but dreams change.
Comedy Blogedy: How do you go about writing your material?
Jen Carnovale: Notepad and pen, I try to jot down every idea, even if 99% never leave the page. Then I usually juggle the idea round my brain for a while before I try it. I find performing the best way for me to improve or finish a bit, I guess the nerves kick in and my brain works better with some pressure.
Comedy Blogedy: Do you gig as a stand-up full time or is it more of a part-time hobby? If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
Jen Carnovale: I’d love to do comedy full time, I gig as much as I can, I still have a day job and I get a little bit of material from there but it’s definitely not my whole act. How many jokes can you make about how shitty retail is before its kinda sad? I know! 4.
Comedy Blogedy: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the amateur comedy circuit?
Jen Carnovale: The enjoyable part is that you can try anything and have freedom to mess around with your work with very little consequence, the bad part is if you do really well there is still very little consequence . It feels invisible but you do it because it’s fun.
Comedy Blogedy: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
Jen Carnovale: My favourite type of audience would be the great loud laughing kind.
Comedy Blogedy: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
Jen Carnovale: No, I haven’t been heckled much at all, I don’t know why. I bet after this I become the most heckled comic of the year.
Comedy Blogedy: What advice would you give to new acts thinking about starting out in comedy?
Jen Carnovale: Stop thinking about doing it and just do it.
For more interviews with new acts, visit comedyblogedy.com/newacts
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