Gina Stephanie, U. K. Comedy Industry, Oxford University discussed on Stance
Common to sledding recognizing that I don't have any power over what's going to happen in the wider world means that I can think about all the exciting things and ways that I can express myself now unreached people now and that is that's cool because it's kind of limitless. I mean there are some very clear. Limits and a government government mandate lockdown. It's kind of opens up a new way to be and gets yeah. It gets me to retain what's important about the path I was on and the hopefully create something different for the future and you said during a comedy central sketch with fellow comedian. He's that you have to force yourself to spend time alone again just on that like. How are you kind of dealing with self-isolation? At the moment many of us you know thrive when around People New Environment. I know being around people is hard because I think being a performer. You give out a lot of energy but you also get a lot of it from like applause or indifference or just like the reactions of people that you feed what they want and he wants to give it to them and now you don't even like you kind of have to set that up yourself. You're like am I going to zoom co with my Auntie to make myself feel good or like cheese something today. So I'm spending a lotta time alone. I lived with a housemate so I'm not completely alone but I think it's nice to know that you don't disappear when people aren't looking at year and even though it was in the context of like horrible things happening all over the world. I think those of us who do all we can do is follow instructions and stay inside and take care of each other. Those of us who've been given this chance pause will really appreciate it and even miss parts of it when it's gone so I'm trying to. I'm trying to ray rice all down so that I can make the most of my life when I get out of the cage in your ideas a funny thing about privilege. You kind of urged people to start checking their privileged but not necessarily in the kind of conventional obvious ways that you'd think about what privileges I suppose. My question is what were you trying to say here about the kind of nuances of privilege. And do you think it's kind of getting lost? I think it's been so long since certain people were listened to that can kind of be this eagerness to clap back. All the kind of oppression microaggressions or frustrations that oppress people or minority. People have been experiencing ages and in a lot of cases the the like the enemy in comas is like whiteness. The Patriarchy but that doesn't mean that everyone who falls into that group is an enemy I think generally people are allies. Just load of people who both befall out inside and outside of your group aren't necessarily as wherever the things that you've been particular had to go through and I think I consider myself to be a really privileged person at the same time as being like a black woman and a person of color and I think it's my responsibility to kind of keep changing spaces that are dominated by those people to create opportunities for people that don't fit into that category and let them kind of take center stage so I think basically it all boils down to calling people in not calling them out and while it is really fun to Bash. Whiteman the conversation CON and they're like but it's interesting about that 'cause I think from kind of point of view from women like ourselves. I get what you're saying that we need to be checking that expose also if you look at it from a from a different level. I suppose from a kind of institutional level or that kind of thing or organizations of the time they might think that having diversity for instance literally means having those faces as opposed to seeing who those people are and where they kind of come from so in a way that privilege and checking and being aware of it does that also for you work both ways as well no in terms of not just internally with minorities for instance are women but also in terms of how organizations and people interact with what they think isn't privilege. Yeah I think that companies and institutions realize that diversity is something that they need to consider in order to look good they can't seem like they're outdated dusty institutions. But I think there's a of glamour of Sir very visible types of Diversity and I think what we need to think about. More is representation like a lot of companies are atrocious in how they accommodate people who are disabled Because it takes a lot of money and a lot of time to rethink how people work. How people building how people access services like involves a huge? It doesn't take necessarily as much to get an able bodied middle-class black person to be in your like photo your website that doesn't mean that those two groups are odds there were lots of people of color who are disabled. There are lots of like people who fit into one category or know someone in more than one category. But I think that it's great that there are certain. Groups have been vocal enough to get attention and funding and support by institutions. But I think institutions need to not want to feel like a sort of quota or a requirement for the representation but they need to think about how their entire system works and how welcoming is to everyone at the same time rather than the quick fixes. You studied French and English Oxford. And you got right into it by joining the Oxford IMPs which is improvisational comedy group. And how was that environment? And how'd you? That helped your career. What was that like so yeah? I was part of the Oxford University. Which is a cult. It was it was a great call to be a part of. It was something that I did not really know existed before I went to university. So many things like Improv Pesto. I did not really know about before I went to but in the UK. Improv is a traditional part of comedy that the most prominent evidence of it has been like. Whose LINE is it. Anyway which is mainly done by white cysts man but it's really democratic in that you can create any environment you can play any character you have endless options who you choose on status before and I think it gave me the confidence to kind of forget about all the things that were holding me back and just enjoy being on stage and being funny so I think that was an amazing. It was an amazing part of my life. It's great so many really great performers in the U. K. Comedy Industry today for such a small group. I feel really lucky to them apart. And in your comedy sometimes mentioned your mom routines which like seriously makes me laugh so much and your heritage is Cameroonian Ghanaian. Tell me How does your mom feel about you? Now in your work as a comedian. I think my mom was very worried all the time. I've been like working freelance pretty much since I graduated been working behind the scenes in TV and production and kind of hopping from job to job because there is no security in the industry. But she didn't get that. I wasn't just repeatedly being fired or losing work. That that's just how people in the creative industries tend to function. So it's Kinda like you spend all this money like a fancy fees or fancy university and then it's like war like what kind of security getting from it. My Mom's always been happy for me and what I do but walk the way I do. It hasn't always been something that's been familiar to her. And I think that it was always important for me to try and fulfill those ideals at the same time to try and make money to try and be stable and I think it even though I've been lucky in comedy. I think it's taken me longer than some other people to be like. This is what I want to do because I was so scared of disappointing. Some sort of expectation that she and my family had for me but the more I kind of own up to who I am or how he wants to do things. I realized that she's just delighted for me and she'll invite the huskies to all my shows which really kills a show. I don't know how to behave in a in an audience. That's good comedy shouldn't be just be the preserve people who know how to know that they should turn off their phones and not talk constantly so nice that they've come to your shows wicked. Is it make you nervous having your teeth and your mom and everyone coming to the shows well. I have a bad of a bad habit of coming out to family members of my committee because my family is very loving very supportive and I. I love them to bet but there are certain things that wasn't necessarily spoken off when I was younger. I think that was. I think there's certain stuff about my life that I thought was a need to know basis that I didn't ever have open conversations with my mom or other people in my family about and I was really nervous about it sort of coming to light by doing this. We just talk about it and I didn't want my particularly to find out by accident or through someone else about parts of my identity that I hadn't shared her so having my aunties who individually invite because I did what my show is to go well but having my aunt he's come to my show and watch my show and just be kind of nothing like complementary and loving and you know over the top afterwards is like gives me an amazing feeding of acceptance and even though. I haven't been that brave enough to invite everyone in my family to see me perform. I hope that like the joy they can see that it gives me and it gives other people is like enough for them to see that as a reward. I I feel very loved and I feel very lucky so back to comedy now. Who would you say your comedy heroes or they any schizoid routines? That has really kind of stayed with you throughout the years. It's always so hard to pick comedy heroes because I mean you know there are so many I think probably the first black woman that I was aware of like watching being funny was like did you see her. Nhs video recently what? My mom sent it to me. It was my mom. Send it to me and and she was like soapy is. This is this a comedian. And how you like. I don't know what happened to your brain old. Actually what's sponsored or like the Lenny? Henry show like every week for how you just like. Who is this? How did you get this clear? The GIULIETTA is clip about the NHS if it was the what about how all the newspaper Coverage Serrano Brown faces when not what the Tesla's like I think she's wonderful. I think she's people spoke to me. I recently did a job cruise. It was like the first grade I've ever wound on and I probably only agreed because it was lesbian crews in the French Italian Riviera and I was like I have to find out what this is like and then right the Sitcom and it was very scary but very fun. A lot of people referenced. Comedians that they are people that they see on the boat ages ago before anyone knew that they were out. People like Gina or Ruby rose and I think that there's obviously they've they've been quick. Comedians will quit for MS and black comedians before them. But I think trailblazers have a really important part to play the people coming up through an industry and Gina Stephanie. One for me but then like since then there have been so many people that have helped me and like been. Inspirations people like Frankie Boyle or Sara Pascoe or Josie long does birch and these people. Now I'm like we are friends or at least is and it's amazing to be creating work at the same time as them but they did earlier points. Their careers was just so such a gift to be able to see someone like that have you. Do you have any projects that you're sort of planning right now yes I do. I have so many products bubbling away. I hope that will eventually see the light of Day south that you can listen to you. Right now is my poly-amorous and I recorded like some like recorded documentary on poly-amorous which is hopefully tasty way for people to think about all the activity. They're not gonNA be engaging in that out so that just that just dropped. That just came out. It's called the Book Marie and it's real short like me and there are some very cool people on Rubira Kate Smith where he was a comedian talking about non monogamy great calamity I'm doing a lot of writing for stuff. That probably won't be out immediately. But uh why he racist which is the live comedy night that I do will be finding ways onto the Internet. So you should follow it if you can dislike the work of people like. Oh God like Hema Bob Jane Roni or like Juan like we're going to be supporting all of them. You can just get involved with wacky racist as a thing and you'll have access to so many amazing comedians. I hope to keep working with the people that I've been working with ages so our hopes keep working with plate. People like album keeps US Louis membership model like I want people to keep support angry. It's like the low word and Wacky and fuck it up within comedy. Because they're all like they're all started by passionate young people that just love the love our audiences and the people we work with saying look at my name on the BBC..