Most women who work globally in my business of comedy rarely support other women. I hate saying that and it looks awful on paper, but am just back from Australia where most of the promoters are women and they rarely pay for a woman to attend a comedy festival. The technical term is ‘brought over’. Which means they pay your flight, and board and give you a decent set wage despite how many tickets you sell and there is a bonus if you work hard, do a good show and sell out. Either way you are not out of pocket as all your expenses are paid in advance.
So, I had to finance myself and my daughter to go to Adelaide it cost me £5,000 to do so; meanwhile there were three young English guys in my venue, they weren’t really very well known and hadn’t the same comedy fringe experience as me and they had a hard time getting any ticket sales.
The downside was that as they couldn’t get a decent audience into the venue, and that made it harder for me, as I was expecting to get some of the comedy fans attending their 200 seater room. Yet despite that me and my daughter filled our room every night and I was nominated for a comedy award in Adelaide. Our persistent hard work and PR skills on the ground proved worthy. The female promoter lost thousands of dollars on the three English guys yet never once considered bringing over a woman who had won international awards and had ten comedy fringe festivals under her belt. Sounds like am griping doesn’t it? But in my experience women hit the ground running, as soon as we recognised the problems on the ground in Adelaide we set to work quickly to make sure we got the best review, the best show and the best ticket sales we could possibly have. Then again not all female comics are pro active, maybe it’s just us?
Weirdly the only promoters who send me out in the comedy world globally and pay for me to do so are men. Isn’t that odd? I wish I could say the women support and encourage women globally but in my industry they don’t, the only people who take a chance on a female comic are men.
Though in the UK the comedy chain Jongleurs is run by women and owned by a woman and they are very supportive to me and have encouraged and nurtured my comedy skills over the years.
Wouldn’t it be good to say that globally women do help and support other women in comedy? I can’t say that, so am shutting up now.