Edinburgh Fringe Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Michelle Shaughnessy

Edinburgh Fringe Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Michelle Shaughnessy

Canadian comic Michelle Shaughnessy is directed by Fringe Favourite Adam Hills in her debut show at Underbelly.

‘Be Your Own Daddy’ is all about giving up the search to find someone who can fix you - and figuring out how to look after yourself.

Shaugnessy quit drinking, got married and worked hard on her own mental health to recover from a lifetime of looking for happiness in the wrong places.

As well as Adam Hills, her UK fans include fellow Canadian Katherine Ryan, who says Shaughnessy gives her audience ‘the ideal night out’.  In 2017 she was a finalist on Canada’s Top Comic, with an audition tape that went viral and has more than five million views on Youtube.

After a lifetime of false starts Shaughnessy is confident she’s finally found her path in life. Comedy helped her figure out her future and now she’s here to help figure out yours.

Michelle Shaughnessy: Be Your Own Daddy, Underbelly, August 4 - 29, 20.30. Tickets here.

Read lots more lovely Edinburgh Fringe interviews 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)

I picture myself crushing it while trying to silence the voices in my head that tell me I’m gonna suck, be shit and fail. I also check my instagram. I don’t know why. I just always take one little peek before I put the phone into airplane mode and head to the stage. I don’t have a pre show ritual. I do just try to stay positive which isn’t always easy for me. Especially as I’m one of those people that while under stress start to think about everything stupid I’ve ever said ever and always convince myself people are mad at me. Perhaps that’s why I check my instagram pre show? To see if I have dm or a like from someone I’m sure hates me. It’s a vicious cycle.

What irritates you?  

Being left on read. This all falls inline with the “everyone hates me thing”. It’s super annoying that social media tells us when someone has read our dm and vice versa. And I do respect and understand that sometimes people check their socials at a time they’re not always available to reply. However……if you have read receipts on your text messages and don’t reply……. I get so annoyed. And convinced you hate me. Also…..turn off your read receipts! WHAT IS THE POINT!? LIKE WHY!? Turn them off. It ages you.

What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

Considering I’m scared of sharks, elevators, escalators, roller coasters and driving. I’ve never driven. I have done absolutely nothing that a normal human would consider dangerous. In my 20’s I for sure took a pill or two someone gave me without me actually being sure what it was. I suppose that’s dangerous! But ya know what…..if it were between doing that or getting on a rollercoaster I’d take a whole bottle!

What is the most stupid thing you have ever done? 

Smoke. Quitting smoking was so hard took many attempts and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t grab one from a fellow comic time to time. And I hate it all. I hate that I ever tried it to begin with. It’s so stupid and if I could go back in time and change something that would be on my list. Along with sugar it’s been the thing that gripped me the most in terms of addiction.

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

One thing that used to surprise me is how mean people can be. I disabled all comments from Youtube because I’m not someone who can take the rudeness. I’m also not someone who can NOT look at them either.I don’t mean simple comments like “NOT FUNNY”. But when people pick on looks, or say the most vile things. I could never imagine posting something like that to a complete stranger. It’s just so mean. My goal in life is to get to level where I don’t need social media, Like at all. Or at the very least  have someone else run it and have me completely locked out of looking at comments, messages etc.

Interview continues here.

Picture by Steve Ullathorne


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