Edinburgh Fringe Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Alice Brine

Edinburgh Fringe Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Alice Brine

One of the joys of Fringe 2022 after the pandemic will be the influx of all the never been seen international acts and a bumper crop of newcomers.

Neatly fitting both those categories is New Zealander Alice Brine, who is making her festival debut at the Gilded Balloon with her show ‘Brinestorm.’

Already well known on the Kiwi scene and nominated for the prestigious Billy T Award, Alice Brine began performing comedy in 2016 and has quickly become a favourite, supporting big name comedians and appearing on a raft of television shows in her native land.

Her show ‘Brinestorm” is a look inside her life with ADHD. While living with compulsive thoughts can be a disadvantage in life it might be the very thing to boost a comedy career. Brine is one of a number of comics talking about ADHD in Edinburgh this August. Being beset by distracting thoughts could almost be written as part of the job description of what makes a promising stand up.

Alice Brine: Brinestorm: Gilded Ballon Turret, Auust 3 - 28, 4.20pm. Tickets here.


What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt and check for spinach between your teeth)

The last thing I do before I go on stage is usually just listen to the act before me and take in what the MC is saying. Just in case there's something there to talk about out the gate. I normally have a drink as well. My favourite type of stand up is off-the-cuff so getting a feel for the crowd and vibing it out is key for me. I often go on stage and just riff off the vibe of the room for a couple of minutes, or even just the whole set. So i love knowing what’s going on and what the inside jokes are with the crowd then playing into that.


What irritates you?  

Tories, and literally everything Boris Johsnon does. People cycling on the canal. Hay fever irritates me. Did you know the reason hay fever got so bad recently is because the government decided to plant so many male trees and they produce pollen. Whereas female trees produce fruit. That irritates me a lot. I hate when you introduce yourself to someone enthusiastically and they give you absolutely nothing back. 


What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

When I was 18  years old I was driving back home from a friend's house down a very steep hill. I grew up in  a valley called Lowerr Hut, it’s surrounded by ‘mountains’ (in NZ they just call them hills) I was driving down at like 60mph and my wheel spun out of control and I drove off the cliff and nose dived off the road into the bush. Luckily there was an old fence pole perfectly sticking out the side of the road exactly where I span out. The pole caught the middle of the bonnet. The bonnet buckled over and I had to climb out the back seat. Weirdly the car just needed a little bit of panel beating. It had no structural damage. Drove it around the next day like nothing had happened. 


What is the most stupid thing you have ever done? 

Accidentally got a degree in Korean Cinema. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love Korean Cinema and am thrilled to have all this knowledge but I got the degree totally by mistake. Because of my ADHD I was so bad at filling out forms and getting myself enrolled in papers every year. So I got my best friend Emily to come over to my house at the start of each semester and fill out all my applications. She was doing a massive law degree herself and really just guessing what to do for my bachelor of arts degree. I trust her with my life so when I turned up second year to discover I was majoring in Korean cinema I just trusted that Emily knew what she was doing, that this is what was best for me. It wasn’t until graduation when she looked at my qualifications and discovered I'd accidentally majored in Korean cinema that she said, ‘bro why did you also major in Korean cinema?” and I was like “because that’s what you put on the form”  and she was like “oh man I didn’t mean to enrol you in Korean Cinema.” It was too late now, I was literally graduating with a Korean Cinema degree as we found this out. We laughed and laughed and still laugh about it to this day. My top Korean cinema recommendation is a film called The Host by Bong Joon-Ho.


What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?

The fact that people pay to hear me talk blows my mind every single time. My friends all want me to shut the fuck up so it's a very bizarre parallel.  I’m also surprised by how much of a fluke a lot of it is. Once you reach a certain point of talent it literally all just comes down to who your agent is, who you’re friends with, and who you can get to come and review your Edinburgh show. Coming from NZ it is much more self made over there. If you just get out there you can very easily make your own opportunities, think outside the box, break the rules, do things against the grain. The comedy economy in NZ is so innovative. It was surprising when I got to the UK and discovered there is a strict formula that all comedians have to follow. 

Alice Brine interview continues here


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