Raw Comedy 2018 WINNER and certified 2019 FRESH artist, Bec Melrose (as Ibis) makes her Sydney Comedy Festival debut with her show, Ibis – Your City, Our Bins. We sat-down* with Bec/Ibis for a quick chat/dig through the bin.
Q: When and where was your first gig and how did it go?
I started doing stand up in RAW Comedy so I was totally spoiled by starting at the Comedy Store with supportive crowds. But I was pulled back down to earth pretty quickly! I did a gig soon after and when I was weeing afterwards, two older women walked in and said “well the girls weren’t very funny were they?” and I didn’t want to leave the cubicle and embarrass them so I just had to sit there and listen to them pee.
Q: What do you love most about being a comedian?
I’ve been asked this a lot and I find it difficult to articulate. It feels good to make people laugh. I don’t know if it’s altruistic or narcissistic or a sweet-spot combo of both but I’ve fallen head over heels for the whole damn thing.
Q: What can we expect from your debut Sydney Comedy Festival show?
Well, you won’t be seeing me at all. Ibis: Your City, our Bins is a collaborative empathy building workshop facilitated by Ibis. Ibis has won a small grant from local council to put on a workshop to raise awareness of the growing problems between humans and urban birds. Ibis will provide course notes and pens but please BYO open heart and mind.
Q: Your best advice for someone wanting to pursue a career in comedy?
I reckon I have nursed a secret desire to give comedy a go most of my life but it really took meeting people who were doing it to understand the pathways and options to get started. Join a class, try sketch, improv, whatever. Meet people who are doing the thing you want to do, watch, listen and give it a go. I don’t know if it’s because I really love that sequence in Centre Stage where Jody Sawyer tries out different dance styles and comes back to ballet a total badass but trying out comedy in different forms–sketch, improv, clowning, acting, storytelling–has really helped me build my confidence.
Q: The funniest person you know who’s not a comedian and why?
Any one of my uncles. Every Christmas is a delicious pick n’ mix of rabble rouser stories that you’d never believe unless you heard them in person from a pockmarked man with a pint of homemade Baileys.
Q: Your hot tips for this year’s Sydney Comedy Festival?
Go out of your way to try and find your new favourite. Pick a few people from the guide that you’ve never seen before. And in quintessential Sydney style, you’ll have your own little “I saw them before they were on tele” tale to roll out at parties.