Bristol's Badass Burlesque Show
MC, Panty Wrangler and Badass extraordinaire Lucy, aka Lucille Balls explains her crossover in the world of comedy.
Hello, my name is Lucy and I’m a stand up comedienne.
18 months ago I accidentally misplaced my job for a while. I was offered redundancy from my job and I jumped on it with both hands. I hated my job, it was stressful, lacked any kind of progression or development and a glass ceiling that I could never shatter without training to become a nurse.
I was out of work for a while (12 months) which was horrible and battled with my mental health and self-esteem. I never thought twice about if was the right thing for me, I knew I was.
Through my GP, I got a place on a course called ‘Moving On’, it was all about finding/returning to work after having mental health issues. Each week Dave Costello would take us through a series of exercises to help build confidence, self-esteem and write a CV. One exercise was a list of questions, I only recall one of the questions
What would you do if you had no fear?
We had to answer the questions without thinking, just put the first thing that came in to my head.
‘Oh, that’s interesting’ said my brain and parked it for a little while.
I’d already done a little compering, was planning on doing a bit more. The leap to stand up just seemed huge, no safety net, no trap doors or sparkly costumes to distract.
Last Friday, I performed my first stand up set in a comedy club. ‘What The Frock?’ An all female comedy club that is ‘responding to the boring block bookings of identikit male comedians on TV shows, the stand-up circuit and elsewhere.’
I stood up and said funny–ish things in front of about 76 women and 3 blokes. I stood up in my electric blue stilettos and gave it my best, if I was going down I was going in good shoes. To my surprise, I didn’t hyperventilate, pass out or die.
My performance at What The Frock! Came with some caveats, I wasn’t to talk about burlesque or mental health issues. If it’s best to write about what you know, then all I was left with was dating. I got a laugh for at least one of my jokes, which considering my audience was nothing short of a miracle.
I was a bit disappointed that I was not able to talk about my burlesque experiences, seemed ridiculous considering I was in a room full of lesbians. Who likes tits more than lesbians? In the name of equality, we all like tits the same. More frustrating was not being able to talk about mental health issues, if we can’t laugh at ourselves who have we got left to laugh at?
I’ll do it again, but with more style, wit and rehearsal. Next time I might even invite you along.