“I’ve just got to do whatever is funny about me and not try to be anybody else” – a conversation with Danielle Walker
After winning RAW Comedy last year, Danielle Walker is back as part of the stellar Comedy Zone line up. Five of Australia’s best comedians present ten minutes of material. Its a fast paced hour of fresh faces and solid laughter. Walker’s excited to get to know the other comedians sharing the bill with her, and get out and amongst the festival this year. She caught up with Til Knowles for a chat.
First of all congratulations on winning RAW last year! How was that?
That was good. I had the best time ever, it was a really fun gig. It’s been good because now I can get gigs interstate and stuff.
And overseas as well! How was Edinburgh?
Edinburgh was great. I had a lot of fun over there, the gigs were really fun. Plus it was great to get back over there and do some travelling.
Was it particularly different to the Melbourne Comedy Festival?
I didn’t find it very different, I just found it was bigger. A lot more spread out, and a lot more variety because it is a Fringe festival and not just comedy.
So, ComedyZone this year. How’s the preparation for that going?
Oh yeah that’ll be fun! I’m excited about that because I’m good friends with Rohan (Ganju) and Tim (Hewitt) and I’m sure I’ll become friends with Tom (Cashman) and Nat (Damena) as it goes on. It’ll just be a super fun month of gigs, it’ll be great.
You’ve been doing comedy nearly three years, and last year you did a split bill show, how does that differ [to Comedy Zone]?
Yeah, I did Illuminati Karate Party with Jay last year. The festival are organising Comedy Zone, so hopefully we’ll have a few more people in. We’ll be doing less time, but that’s how Comedy Zone works, it’s the five best new up and coming comedians from around Australia. Hopefully it’ll be really good for the audiences, just because there’s five of us so if you don’t like one of us you’re bound to like one of us, you know?
Would you say that your style is particularly different from the other Comedy Zoners?
I think we’re all quite different, none of us are too similar. I’d say I’m different to the others, but I’d also say they’re different from each other as well.
How would you describe your style of comedy?
That’s a hard question. I suppose maybe it’s like I sort of tell stories, and the stories are half what’s actually happening in real life and then half what’s actually happening in my head as the story’s progressing.
It’s not really observational humour in a traditional sense, it’s more, I don’t want to say absurd, but almost more wild than that. Do you have any key influences?
I don’t watch that much comedy so I don’t think I was ever able to model myself off anybody. I like a lot of people, I like Sam Simmons and Anne Edmonds and Marcel Lacont, and those guys, I really like them, Alasdair Trembaly-Birchal, I love all those guys. But I don’t think I’ve modelled myself off anybody, I think it’s just been fun to do what I think is funny in my own head.
Did it take long to find that kind of voice, to find a way to get that out onto the page and then onstage?
I don’t think it took me very long purely because somebody came to Townsville, where I started doing comedy, and they said “you don’t get to choose what’s funny about you”, and that’s always stuck with me. I can’t just choose to do political comedy, that’s not going to suit me. I’ve just got to do whatever is funny about me and not try to be anybody else.
Who else are you looking forward to seeing at Comedy Festival?
I’m looking forward to seeing Laura Dunemann, and Laura Davis, and Angus Gordon, and Alasdair and Anne and the list goes on and on.
Do you have any advice for this year’s RAW Comedy contestants?
Just keep going. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. Only one person out of thousands of people can win. Just keep going. If you just keep gigging, you’ll get better. I only got through to the State final the first year, I didn’t with the first year. I just worked hard, and working hard you get better.
You’ve just finished recording an episode of a podcast with Daisy Berry. How was that? Do you like podcasts? Do you listen to them?
I like podcasts. I don’t really listen to many comedy podcasts, I just really like True Crime a lot. I listen to a lot of True Crime podcasts.
Why do you like True Crime?
I don’t know. It’s not comedy, and it’s just interesting. Everybody likes to hear about murders.
The Comedy Zone is on from 30 March until 23 April, no shows on Wednesdays, at the Trades Hall. Tickets range between $19.50 – $26, and are available online or at the box office.