“The best thing about comedy is that it’s the things that make you weird and feel insecure that are funny.”
Bridget Davies was one of the few high schoolers who knew what she would do after graduate. First inspired by Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow to do stand up, she spent her last year of high school watching and writing comedy in preparation for her days as a comedian. She had decided that as soon as she left school, she would be on stage.
Bridget started her comedy career fresh out of high school nearly two years ago. The 19-year old’s quirky, relatable stories have caught the eye of many contacts in the comedy industry. In fact, less than a year into performing, she was being offered Big Wednesday gigs at The Classic.
Early this year, Bridget took a short break from Big Wednesdays whilst preparing for her second and final chance to enter the Raw Comedy Quest. It was a great move. Bridget was selected as a Finalist from among roughly a hundred participants from all over the country and smashed it at the Q Theatre, an amazing opportunity for any young comedian. Like most new comedians, Bridget has been welcomed with open arms into the industry.
“[My favourite part about comedy is] the feeling when people laugh and clap – that’s an obvious thing.”
“I think the people you meet is also an upside I wasn’t expecting. Reading about UK comedians and you hear about the super competitive industry over there and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, everyone’s going to be awful,” and then everyone’s really nice and supportive and you have all these new friends. This is another best thing about comedy.”
It’s the little day-to-day things you don’t necessarily think too much into that Bridget decides to analyse. Bridget’s sets are often based on those uncomfortable moments that make up everyday life; moments like opening doors for people, having someone walking so closely behind you that you can hear them breathe, cat-stalking, and so on.
She speaks of the moments that will make you connect with others when you realise it’s not just you who thinks like that. It’s literally all of us. Even the cat-stalking part.
When I ask of her challenges in comedy, the 19-year-old barely hesitates before saying, “the age thing”.
“I’ve had a tough time with that. I think it’s mainly the lack of life experience. People are like, ‘What do you write about?’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t know’.”
“I left school and started comedy. My first set was stories about my family.”
“And then I moved on a little bit, I was like, “I need to stop doing this because I’m getting on stage at harder gigs with higher expectations and they’re like, “Oh, it’s a child”. I need to have other stuff to say which I’m working on but I think that’s the hardest thing with writing – trying not to be one note.”
That’s the thing though; I reckon if you’re funny, you’re funny. It shouldn’t matter how old you are or what you look like, but of course these things play into it a lot. Bridget tries to connect to as many audiences as possible by putting a lot of thought into her on-stage appearance in a way that works with her content.
“I don’t wear dresses, I don’t wear sleeveless tops, I don’t wear too much makeup.”
Her experience with comedy has been almost perfect, though she was recently stunned with audience members acting inappropriately;
“At my last gig I walked on stage – it was the first time I’d had this – but guys whistled at me and yelled. And it really threw me. In the bar afterwards, this guy came up to me and was like, “You’re really funny,” and I said “Thanks,” and he walked over to his friends and they were all laughing [and making crude comments about me]. And I was like, ‘What the hell?’ That’s the first time I’ve had that which is good. But it was still an unpleasant experience.”
I ask who she thinks her audience is, and who she likes performing to. Now that she is developing her material, she can probably be relatable to a wide range of people.
“Sometimes I see a crowd and they look really young and cool and I’m like, ‘They’re not going to like me’.”
Okay, it is at this point that I lose it laughing. This is not only because Bridget is so sweet and funny and incredibly likeable, but also because I think that too when I’m on stage. We both tell awkward stories, uncomfortable stories, stories where I have been on stage and say to the audience, “This physically hurts to talk about – do you know what I mean?”
Bridget continues, “…Which hasn’t been the case yet but that’s sort of my gut feeling, is that it’s not cool people. The best feedback I’ve had from people is like, “Oh my gosh, I stalk cats too!” and I’m like, ‘YES’.”
“Being a comedian has made me feel more normal in being weird.”
“The best thing about comedy is that it’s the things that make you weird and feel insecure that are funny, because they’re the things that other people haven’t thought of. And then you say it and people are like, “That is so true”. I think that’s what makes me happy.”
She said it brilliantly and I couldn’t agree with her more. Since becoming a comedian I have felt so much more certain about who I am. It’s all the awkward, relatable stories that no one thinks to talk about. Bridget and I come to a realisation; maybe being weird is the new normal?