CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
EW: About a year and a half.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
EW: It’s character comedy, so I’m never really myself on stage unless people are throwing stuff at me then I break out of character quite quickly and just stand and cry. But yeah,characters ranging from over the top and arrogant to meek and almost inaudible. I’d say it’s erring on the surreal, but not inaccessibly so…I don’t think.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
EW: People like Steve Coogan, Chris Morris and Julia Davis have been the most influential I think. People who’s comedy characters are tinged with sadness or darkness is what I like and try to emanate. I’m being very sincere in my answers.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
EW: No, I wanted to be a furniture maker.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
EW: I usually sit in my room and procrastinate for 10 hours then feel so guilty and ashamed of myself I’ll force myself to write a joke. It’s a slow process but a healthy one.
CB: Do you gig as a comedy performer full time or is it more of a part-time hobby? If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
EW: I also nanny and tutor to “pay the bills”. It almost certainly influences the material. All my characters are nannies or tutors.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
EW: I get very nervous before I perform, but that’s no one’s fault except my own and my primary school drama teacher’s. The most enjoyable part is meeting people (I’m being very sincere in my answers) and the most frustrating part is getting too many laughs (moving on to insincere).
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
EW: I would have said young and cool and alternative until the other day when I performed in a village hall just outside Oxford to 100 over sixties and had the time of my life. Before I went on I was peering out from behind the curtain sussing them all out thinking ‘this is going to be the worst gig I ever do. LOOK AT THEM. They’re not progressive! They’re not going to laugh at a quiet Eastern European woman singing very quiet songs! THIS IS GOING TO BE HORRENDOUS.’ But they were so nice and supportive and laughed at things that weren’t even supposed to be jokes. I think there was a kindness in them which is probably completely absent from London audiences. I learnt a very important lesson that day – don’t judge an audience by their wrinkles.
CB: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
EW: I’ve never really been properly heckled. I talk to the audience quite a bit so I’ve had some quite chippy responses before. My brother got really drunk once and came to see me perform and chanted my name all the way through. Actually he wasn’t drunk at all.
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
EW: I’m not sure I’m in a position to impart any advice considering I’m probably the least experienced person you’ve ever interviewed. But seeing as you’ve asked me I may as well say this: always know how to get a microphone out of it’s holder before your first ever gig, in front of 200 people.
Ellie will be performing her debut hour ‘Humans’ at Viva Mexico, EdinburghDATE: 2nd August – 23rd August at 2:30pm (1hour). FREE. More info.