One of the many acts that we are excited here at The Phoenix Remix to see what their 2017 has in hold for them is the stand up comedienne who won the 2016 New Comedian of the year in Colchester. I am talking about non other the Amy Trigg from Essex who is planning to jump even further into performing live comedy in the new year.
Hello Amy how did you get into stand up comedy?
I got into stand up comedy through improvisation and sketch comedy. I’m an actress so I love playing characters and telling stories but as an actress who uses a wheelchair there are far fewer parts out there for me. I realised that improv allowed me to write my own parts and perform them immediately, bingo! It was also a massive confidence boost.
Since throwing myself into comedy I’ve become a much happier person. If you’re feeling low go to an improv class. It’s medicine. A few people kept telling me to try stand up but I brushed it under the carpet until one night when I was having a life crisis – one of those “What am I doing? What makes me happy?” kind of nights. Very melodramatic. That night I saw that there was a space or two left for a comedy competition (Colchester New Comedian of the Year) so I signed up. Having a deadline gave me the kick start I needed – I told friends and family to come along because I knew that if people were coming especially to see me then I wouldn’t drop out.
Since then I’ve told fellow comedians that I had all my family watch my first set and they’ve been horrified. I don’t know if I was very brave or very naive!
“I think I may have a superstition about wearing silver shoes for comedy gigs.” – Amy Trigg
Tell us about your stand up routine and the style
I’d describe my style as a one woman character sketch. I like creating characters who we all recognise and I always like my characters to have some kind of likability factor. My current set is about a group of lovable employees at a company called AMT ltd. They are having a company workshop about their approach to disability. They have all the best intentions but not the best execution. I’m a wheelchair user myself so a lot of the set is based on things that have actually happened to me. I don’t want all of my stand up to be based around disability but it’s totally something I want to explore because it should be explored.
You won Colchester comedian of year in 2016 what was you initial reaction to this/ tell us about the event
This was the competition I mentioned earlier! The first heat was my first stand up set and the final was my second. I was chuffed to win and slightly overwhelmed! It didn’t really feel like a competition, everyone was super cool and supportive.
It’s such an awesome buzz when you find something that you love and want to get better at. I think I had a very kind start in comedy so I consider myself very fortunate. I wore silver shoes for both gigs and now I think I may have a superstition about wearing silver shoes for comedy gigs. They are great shoes…
You are also one of The Phoenix Remix winners for ones to watch in 2017 how does that make you feel?
Pretty rad. I’m a bit of a geek and read loads of the blogs in one sitting the other night…I really like the improv diaries.
Who are your stand up inspirations and why?
Kate McKinnon. I think she is probably who inspires me most right now actually just because I think she’s fascinating to watch, everything about her character work is so intricate and I love that.
I struggle with this because there are so many and it changes on a daily basis but right now I’m going to say Amy Schumer. I read her book recently and laughed so hard I started crying on a bus. I think she’s an incredible writer, a great actress and she has her head screwed on so doesn’t take herself too seriously which I feel is reflected in her stand up. I heard someone bad mouthing her the other day and got really defensive. I’ve got her back.
“Since throwing myself into comedy I’ve become a much happier person. If you’re feeling low go to an improv class. ” – Amy Trigg
How do you go about writing a joke?
I normally improvise on my own in my car or in the shower and then write a sketch. When I’m happy with it I’ll turn it into a one woman sketch. I guess that makes me sound like I have no friends “Oh man, I wrote this three person sketch but no one wants to play with me, I guess I’ll play ALL the parts!” That was basically my childhood unless my friend Jess or my cousins were over.
I’d love to recreate some of the sketches I wrote when I was eight. I also like running with an idea and seeing where it goes. I’m conscious that I run the risk of over thinking so I try and be spontaneous sometimes. The other night I went on stage and improvised some ukulele playing…I can’t play ukulele.
Female comedians are becoming bigger and stronger in the comedy world why do you think this is and whose your favourites and why?
I think it’s about time, am I right?! When I was a teenager I wasn’t really aware of any great female comedians which is horrendous because they did exist, they just weren’t as publicised as male comedians. I guess the internet makes it so much easier for people to get known now – friends share videos of new comedians and I can watch them and start following them on twitter before I leave the house.
Stand up comedians who may not have been given as many opportunities ten years ago suddenly have a platform and can prove themselves. I adore Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. Their books got my into improvisation which got me into stand up. Similar to Amy Schumer I admire how they work across different platforms: TV, film, improv, sketch etc. They also create a lot of their own work which is so important, especially for female comedians.
I wish I had a time machine so that I could go back in time and give 15 year old Amy a copies of ‘Yes, Please’ and ‘Bossypants’. I was going to add some quotes from those books here but rather than me listing thirty inspirational quotes why don’t you just google ‘Amy Poehler quotes’ and ‘Tina Fey quotes’? You’re welcome.
What are your plans for 2017 and where can people see you perform?
Next year I want to do as many stand up gigs as I can and write as much new material as is humanly possible. I’m very aware that I’m a baby as far as stand up is concerned so I want to learn and get better. It’s tough finding accessible open mic nights so if you know one then hook me up! I’m also working with my improv troupe. We’re Essex based and there’s not really an improv scene in Essex so I would like to sort that out. I’d also like to write a sit com, star in a hit new comedy film and marry Darren Criss.
If you want to find out where you can see Amy perform in the new year foliow her @amytrigg