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urzila carlson: interview

Image courtesy of Hannah Watkins

Image courtesy of Hannah Watkins

For two nights only, South African-Kiwi comedian Urzila Carlson is heading to Sydney to perform her new show, Poise Control. After a string of performances at the Adelaide Fringe and MICF, Carlson is kindly making the trip to Sydney-town.

I caught up with Urzila and chatted to her about her accidental start as a comedian and her answers really got me pumped to check out her show.

Tell me first about how you got started in comedy. What has the journey been like so far?

I fell into comedy after a dare from colleagues whilst working in advertising. They kept pushing for me to do stand up, I resisted and then they simply booked me in and booked seats for them and I had to do it. I felt peer pressured into it, but it’s the best and scariest thing I’ve ever done. I love comedy, the journey has been very rewarding, funny and crazy!

What is your favourite part about being a comedian?  

People choose comedy to lift their mood, or because they need a laugh after either a rough week or just to relax a bit. I’m in the excellent position that I can just be part of the good section of their week. It’s a very privileged position to be in. There is also a lot of pressure not to ruin anyone’s night!

Who/what inspires you in your work?

My family, my support, the fame, big cars, flash planes, the girls, the money*… I mean the art, the thrill of being on stage and seeing people laugh and relax. To go home and know that I’ve helped someone lighten their load by forgetting their problems for an hour or so. * None of those things exist in my life.

What does your comedy routine mainly focus on?

Real life things, things that irk me, things I’ve seen happen, things that have happened to me personally and just things that make me laugh. Issues that affect us all, things people can relate to.

What challenges have you faced on this journey so far? How did you overcome them?

I haven’t’ faced challenges really, if I do face any soon, I’ll let you know ASAP!

What is your favourite skit to perform and why?

Much like kids, I don’t really have favourites, but I do like talking about couple issues. Especially about straight couples.

What are your plans for the future of your career?

To meet Oprah and Ellen and the three of us will start a new show that will take over the world.

Why is comedy important to you?

It’s a reflection of society it shows the current social issues society faces, and comedians get to air it, and we can talk about it. Also it helps people relax. Apparently laughing tightens your stomach muscles. Personally I think that’s bullshit, I’d have a six pack if that was true.

Anything else you’d like to add?  

Be kind, nobody likes an asshole.


GIVEAWAY! For your chance to win one of five double passes to see Urzila Carlson at The Comedy Store in Sydney’s Moore Park this Saturday 12 June, simply email your name and contact details, with ‘URZILA CARLSON SYDNEY’ in the subject line to [email protected] by 12pm Friday 11 June. Good luck!

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