Interview by Bridget Fahey
After starting out in sketch comedy and performing at Australian festivals, as well as the Edinburgh Fringe, Sydney comic Emily Tresidder is now taking on darker subjects and bigger challenges. Her hard work and ferocious wit has paid off with her recently being signed by More Comedy, who handles the likes of Jim Jefferies, Alice Fraser and Joel Creasey. I asked Tresidder about her new show Crazy Is and what drives her writing.
How did you start out?
I was involved in the Australian Theatre for Young People back in 2012. From there, a few actors and myself formed a sketch comedy trio. We took a show to the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and while I was over there, I was drawn to stand-up. It sounds silly, but once I discovered it, I knew it was what I was meant to do.
What is your show about?
Crazy Is is a reflection of my own journey with mental health and hopefully a conversation starter for others. The show is about finding strength in insecurity and accepting that sometimes life deals cards we don’t feel we deserve, but we need our poker face until we can play a hand we’re proud of.
A review described me as crazy last year and I was a little hurt by that. I felt there was a stigma attached to the term. However, after sitting with both my own mental health and researching crazy, the review quote is the basis of the show and on every promo for this tour.
Does comedy help when it comes to talking about difficult subject matter?
For a long time, comedy was cathartic for me, I got to talk about moments of being out of control and get affirmation for it. It has morphed into something more meaningful with this show, it is still those things, but it is also about starting conversation. I want people to walk away with food for thought, as well as having laughed. I think comedy is a great platform for serious discussion about something that affects so many people.
Is there anyone or anything that has helped shape your humour?
I watch a lot of stand-up. I love laughing, so I think if anything, seeing other comedians and getting to laugh has been inspiring. I want to be able to give to people what other comics have given me, belly laughs.
What's your most memorable gig?
I have a joke about my mum sleeping with a love interest of mine, she didn’t really, it is a silly bit I wrote after a wedding. At one of my gigs, I told that joke while mum was in the audience, and I said ‘That happened right, mum?’ (about the wedding, not the intercourse) she just said “YEP!” like she was admitting to it. The audience blew up, couldn’t have written it better. My mum is so supportive she’ll create comedy gold with me. I love her.
What shows would you recommend to Adelaide Fringe punters?
See as much as you can! Anything at the Producer’s Bar, including, Lauren Bok’s Is that a burrito in your pocket or are you just happy you have a burrito, it not only has a great title, but is also definitely worth a see.
I recommend picking shows at random as well, that is a lot of fun. Last year I did that and had such a memorable time.
Also, E for Ethel hosted my show last year, but has continued to host greatness all year round. I highly recommend heading to North Adelaide and sipping on a smoothie or buying a piece of local art.