With a little help from your friends…

Recently Briony Stewart, one of my best friends, had her hotel apartment ransacked while she was sleeping. On the upside she didn’t wake up while the intruder stole all her belongings of value (laptop, phone, makeup, wedding rings…) so there was no confrontation and she wasn’t hurt.

On the downside she’s been severely shaken up (as they broke into a secure room in the hotel) and has lost more than $6,000 worth of equipment and valuables. Saddest of all her wedding rings, only a few months away from the 1st year anniversary.

Briony is a writer, artist and a sweetheart. She was on a writing residency when the theft occurred and wasn’t covered by her home and contents insurance (as like many others, she hadn’t gotten travel insurance for a national trip) and although it’s only money, it’s a lot of money.

Briony will get through this, but I know that a little help from friends (and friends of friends) can make a big difference. So I thought maybe you might like to buy one of her books.

That way you get something, Briony gets something and maybe one of your nieces, nephews or neighbours gets something (a great book, it’s won awards and everything). Or you can just add to your own collection. It’s written for 8 – 12 year olds, but can be enjoyed by anyone as the writing is sweet and funny.

It’s very good. I’ve read it a few times, and there is a second one out now too.
If you want to buy straight away you can get it online here.

If you’d like to get it direct from Briony (I think she makes more money that way) and have it signed then you can find her blog here and her contact details below.

http://www.brionystewart.com

Her email is briony.stewart (at) hotmail.com
(I can’t write the full address here because spammers will pick it up.)

Or if you just want to pass this message on that will help too 🙂

Thanks a bunch.

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Girls In Comedy, Hey?

This article was originally written for The Doll Rag and published online in November 2009. I thought I would re-post it here too, with a mild edit. Original article and comments can be found here.

Girls in comedy, hey?

This is one of those topics that I’m not always sure about discussing… Is it making a bigger issue out of it to bring it up or is it useful to bring it up…

In some ways, it’s almost (close) to being a non-issue to me. I have personally found that the Perth comedy scene is so supportive of everyone, whether you’re a girl, boy, puppet, alcoholic…or Britney Spears fan. We have a few good girls on the scene already, and more are signing up from time to time. Perth comedy is like a big family, even if there are the distant relatives that crash the gatherings quite often, and I feel included and love all the comedy kids and (I think) they love me too.

It’s not about me being a girl, and being funny. It’s about me being Bonnie, and being funny.

But then occasionally you do have to look at some of the facts..

FACT ONE – There are often line-ups with no girls.

And when there are girls on a line-up it’s noticeable. Not because there aren’t normally funny girls, but because there aren’t that many girls on the scene.

FACT TWO – Because of this it’s easier to identify the girls.

So of course if a girl does well on stage it’s noticeable, and she’ll be told

‘I don’t normally find girls funny, but I liked your stuff’

And if she does badly she won’t be told anything but people will leave whispering to each other

‘I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t find girls funny’

Actually they just found a comedian funny or not funny. Being a girl has nothing to do with it. I always think that the comments people make say a lot more about them (or the world they live in) than it does about the comedian. Note how I did not use the term ‘female comedian’ or ‘comedienne’.

FACT THREE – People make assumptions based on gender

Of course some people switch off as soon as they see a girl walk on stage.

Again, says more about them than it does about the comedian.

It’s only natural for everyone to be a little bit sexist about the whole thing. We make instant judgements on people every day. Why would standup be any different?

Standup comedy is relatively new in the world. In the days of Shakespearian theatre women weren’t allowed to perform and men would dress as women. Look how far we’ve come today.

I don’t think it’s a problem that there are a lack of women in comedy.

Ok I do.

But I think that it will only be a problem if there continues to be a lack of women on stage. But I predict that this will change over time as more and more girls see girls on stage and realise ‘hey I can probably do that’.

People who say they don’t like ‘female comedy’ have probably not seen that much comedy… or just some bad comedians…tampon jokes, period pieces… sure there are some terrible ‘female’ jokes out there. But they are equally matched with cock, sex and cum jokes from the boys.

Or boys simulating sex on stage (quite accurately). Puh-lease. Keep it in the bedroom boys. No-one wants to know how you swing your kit about, and if they do they’ll approach you after the show.

The thing is that (often) when a girl makes a bad joke you remember it, and if a boy does you don’t.

No, really.

At an open mic room in Perth a load of comedians got up.. two of them destroyed (comedy term for doing really well), the MC killed (comedy term for doing really well) and everyone else died (comedy term for not getting any laughs and wanting to cut yourself when you get home)…

What I’m saying is

Eight guys died on stage.

One girl died on stage.

What everyone remembered was

The girl was terrible.

That the MC and other two boys were funny.

There is a load more I could say about all this.

Stories I could tell. Examples I could give. Books to write, movies to make, documentaries to pitch to the ABC.

But you know what, I just can’t be fucked.

I’d rather just be funny.