Edinburgh Fringe Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Michelle Shaughnessy: Page 2 of 2

Edinburgh Fringe Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Michelle Shaughnessy

What do your parents think of your job?        

They support what I do. I’m not sure my dad understands why anyone would want to do it but he’s happy I’m doing something I want to do. My mom think it’s cool. She would come to shows if I let her. But I don’t let my parents come. Just something would make me feel off or as not comfortable being me on stage if they were there,

Whats the worst thing about being a comedian?

Shitty hotels. I am a bit of a snob when it comes to accommodations and comics aren’t always given the nicest places to stay. Now when I check in I usually just see if I can pay to upgrade because my surroundings greatly effect my mood. So if I have a nice space I can feel more at ease and better prepared for my show. Some places do take comfort into consideration and when we show up to a gig and the access is extra nice, and the greenroom is stocked…it’s the little things that go a long way. 

I think you are very good at what you do (thats why Im asking these questions). What do you think of you?

This question is very mood dependent. Depending on what day of the week you catch me the answer would be entirely different. If I didn’t think I was at least good I’d probably still be in Canada. But maybe ask me after The Fringe and see how my answer differs! I do know I’m capable of more than I’ve accomplished. So I suppose that means I think I’m good at what I do. I think I wasted a lot of years being lazy and might be further ahead had I have always worked as hard as I do now.

How much do you earn and how much would you like to earn?

I don’t earn enough and no matter how much I earn it will never be enough. I will always want more and I will always spend more than I should. It’s just who I am. I like a lot of things I can’t admit I cant afford. I struggle a lot with my current reality because I thought I came here with a good amount of savings but when I cashed those Canadian dollars into British Pounds….woosh half my money just disappeared! It just seems so unfair!

How important is luck in terms of career success – have you had lucky breaks?

I think luck is part of it.  Not to the extent we maybe want to believe it is. But there is definitely something to be said about being in the right place at the right time. I’m not sure it’s all luck though. Part of me thinks we get what we deserve and what we put out into the world. So perhaps what is seen as luck is really just a matter of what goes around comes around. But isn’t most of life a series of luck? I honestly have no idea what I’m talking about. Your questions have given me a lot to think about! Luck, surprise, money! You’ve really covered every twist and turn my brain can take. 

Alan Davies has said that comedians fall into two categories - golfers and self-harmers. The former just get on with life, the latter are tortured artists. Which are you – or do you think you fit into third category?

Well I don’t golf. I’m a recovering self harmer. I’m my own worst enemy.  I’m getting better and am light years ahead of where I used to be but I am by no means free and void of doing anything harmful. I don’t mean physically. I just get in my own head way too much. Maybe I should golf. Maybe the fresh air would do me good.

Who is your favourite person ever and why – not including family or friends or other comedians? 

Rocky Balboa. Yes, I know he’s not real. But the underdog story is the best thing for the soul. I watch the Rocky movies a lot. Rocky is the classic “you can achieve your dreams” story. It makes me feel motivated, determined and tough as fu*k.

Do you keep your drawers tidy and if not why not? (please think long and hard about this question, it's to settle an argument with my girlfriend. The future of our relationship could depend on your response).

Drawers? You mean the things in your house no one sees and therefore what’s the point of keeping tidy? Nope I sure don’t! There is something satisfying about having a clean and organized drawer though. Mine just never stay that way for long.

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


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