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Funny Women Stage Award – Interview with Aine Gallagher

Post 2014 Funny Women Awards we caught up with finalist Aine Gallagher who, with her awkward self stylings had the audience in hysterics and impressed our panel of judges. 

Funny Women: So, how does it feel to have come second in the 2014 Funny Women Awards and what's next for your comedy career?

Aine Gallagher: It feels amazing to have come second, I genuinely was not expecting it at all. The standard in the whole competition was so high – I am absolutely thrilled. What's next? That's a really good question. I really enjoy doing comedy and I'm starting to build some nice momentum with it. I know I need to use this opportunity, whether that means just getting myself out there more and doing more gigs in the UK and Ireland. I think it will give me a lot of confidence to keep going with it and to promote myself more. I'd love to put my own show together. As long as I'm enjoying it I'll keep going.

FW: What attracted you to stand up comedy?

AG: I always say it's because I'm an attention seeker. It's hard when you get older to be like this because you have to act more like an adult. I find stand up the perfect outlet for expressing myself in this way!

FW: Where do you get your ideas from for your material?

AG: I have always had a dry sense of humour. I find it really interesting that people have their own innate sense of humour. I honestly don't know where my material comes from, I think it's part of how I am programmed to think. The character I use has developed over time as I've been doing comedy. I like to take everyday events and try to look at them from her unique perspective. I've realised that when I allow myself to be in her frame of mind then I don't need as many 'jokes', things just have to be told as she sees them and it can be quite funny.

FW: Why do you think audiences like socially awkward comedy so much?

AG: Ha! I think it's a nervous thing. Maybe because it's different and not what people are expecting. There is always that tipping point at the start, where I'm not sure if it will go down well or not. I love the initial period where I've said one or two lines, it's silent, people are trying to gauge what exactly is happening and then the first gag comes. If it goes well, it's magic, and I know the set will be ok. If it doesn't, then it can be a long seven minutes. Trust me, not all audiences are fans of 'socially awkward comedy' as you put it!

FW: You've done stand up in both English and Irish, do you have a preference? (Watch Aine perform comedy in Irish here!)

AG: English! Definitely English! I'm not a fluent Irish speaker and it's hard before you do a set worrying if your grammar is right, let alone if you have any good jokes. I think doing the Irish comedy has been brilliant for my development though. It's taught me a lot about how to structure jokes and how to use your weaknesses to your advantage. Sometimes I do get more of a buzz from a good gig in gaeilge – just because I have to work harder for it to go well.

FW: Any advice for people thinking about entering the Awards next year?

AG: Do it. It's a great competition to be part of. I do feel I was lucky that I entered at the right time. I had a few gigs under my belt and I had developed my own style. It's a  great opportunity and you'll meet some great people. If you know what your personal edge is then definitely go for it.

Follow Aine on Twitter @AineGallagher3 to keep up to date with her gigs and ponderings. 

Pictured top: Aine Gallagher

Pictured bottom: Comedy Writing Award winner Megan Heffernan, Comedy Shorts Award winner Sally Cancello, Stage Award winner Jayde Adams, and Stage Award runners-up Lauren Pattison and Aine Gallagher.

Photographs by Grace Lightman.