Rarely Asked Questions: Luisa Omielan

Rarely Asked Questions: Luisa Omielan

Luisa Omielan is a comedic force of nature. The first stand-up to receive a BAFTA Breakthrough accolade, with four consecutive smash hit shows, she is credited with creating 'genre-defining' one- woman shows. She's been described as masterminding 'one of the biggest stand-up hits of the decade' with her debut 'What Would Beyonce Do?!' and now Luisa returns with a brand-new show: Bitter.

Luisa's fans know she is incredible, hilarious and life-changing, but she's also endured years of being told she's too loud, too crass, and too emotional. Now she's over it; the world doesn't make any sense. Following the rules hasn't worked for her, so she's going to write some new ones. Is she bitter? Of course she is.

Luisa is also the creator & host of the podcast Famous With A Baby…And Other Sh*t That Hasn't Worked Out Yet, a podcast about where life is at, not where it should be, what 'success' at 40 looks like with d*ck jokes and social commentary.

Tickets and tour dates here & here

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

I am usually onstage as my audiences come into my shows; I have been doing it for 12 years; I have a routine as they come in: I will check I have a drink with a straw, tissues on the table, any notes I might need.

What irritates you?

A lack of self-awareness. When people are unkind. Gossiping and when often guys don't move out of the way when you are walking down the street, so I always have to. That gigs are paying the same amount they were 15 years ago, even though ticket prices have gone up. When lil dog owners make out like big dogs are the problem, Bernie is not going to eat you, she has better taste than that.

What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

Followed my heart, it’s led me to here. 

What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

Same answer. 

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

That stand up is the most beautiful and underrated art form. That it’s a gift and magic and everyone should have access to it. From a performers side, it's not about talent, it’s a lot of luck, who you know and having the funds to withstand it. That even though the art form itself is democratic, you just have to be funny, accessing it isn't. 

Every generation of comic has the same complaints for the next one, how do you get seen, how do you get 'known', that’s not comedy!

That sexism is real, that there is a glass ceiling in the UK when it comes to women in comedy. 

That male comics will always be trusted more with TV and will be held to much lower standards than women. 

That politics exists in things like awards and festivals. Things are often done for appearances rather than actually to help and uplift.

That behind the scenes stand up is run so abnormally poorly and if you're in this game for a long time, hats off. Doesn’t matter if you like them or not, I think respect is due, to stay tenacious in this industry is a feat. 

That comedians, truly gifted comedians, are some of the kindest, most sensitive and wonderful lil souls on the planet. 

Picture: Karla Gowlett

Interview continues here


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