New York comedian Desiree Burch wowed us at the Funny Women Awards on Wednesday with her hilarious take on walking the streets of London and how her figure misleads New Yorkers from behind. Having danced on to the stage to collect her prize from our founder Lynne Parker, we caught up with the 2015 Funny Women Awards winner…
Funny Women: How does it feel to be the winner of the 2015 Funny Women Awards?
Desiree Burch: It has been 24 hours of sunshine since the win on Wednesday night. Lots of lovely facebook likes and twitter follows and kudos from people I haven’t heard from in a minute. I stood in the shower Thursday morning with my body aches and my lack of sleep and tried to assess if I felt any different. I thought, “This is the body of a winner” and stood a little taller. And that ached too.
FW: What inspired you to enter the Funny Women Awards?
DB: I was encouraged to do so after doing a short spot on a Funny Women mixed bill show in Brighton. I have known other comics who have done the competition and have known about the work the organization has done for years. Now that I have moved to London, I realized this was my shot.
FW: How would you describe your comedy?
DB: Brash, thoughtful, loud and ranty, but with a tenderness to it – at least for the underdog, which I sometimes feel I am. I talk a lot about my perspectives as a big woman, a black woman, and a woman woman. Those insights can be new and insightful to some, and inclusive and comforting to others.
FW: You’re a New Yorker, what made you decide to move to London?
DB: A boy. Because I had gotten to my mid-thirties and hadn’t done anything big and potentially foolish over a boy yet. Seemed about time. Plus, in my forays into performing in the UK, during Fringe festivals, it seemed like there was much more of a culture for live performance.
FW: We think you just gained a lot of fans! Where can we see you perform next?
DB: I am currently on tour with the live shows of the top 5 podcast “Welcome to Night Vale.” We are in Cardiff tonight, Bristol tomorrow and London Monday 28th to Wednesday 30th September. I head to the States in early October to perform and present at the NerdCon Stories convention, and will be doing shows with Funny Women after that – come to Komedia in Brighton on 24th October! There will be various other stand up spots happening soon. Those who want to know can follow me @destheray on Twitter.
FW: Who are your favourite funny women?
DB: Retta, Carol Burnett, Maria Bamford, Monique, Mindy Kaling, Kristen Wiig, Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers, Wanda Sykes, Amy Poehler, Debra Wilson, Kerri Kinney, Kristin Schaal, Tig Notaro, Aisha Tyler, Kitty Flanigan, Margaret Cho, Aparna Nancherla, Diane Spencer, Bea Arthur, Lily Tomlin, Melissa McCarthy, Carolyn Castiglia, Sarah Millican, Sheryl Underwood, Katherine Ryan, Aisling Bea, Dana Alexander, Tiff Stevenson, Jen Kirkman, Debra-Jane Appleby, Abigoliah Schamaun, Leslie Jones, Maya Rudolph, Kerry Godliman, and Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer from Broad City.
FW: Any advice for anybody thinking about entering the Awards?
DB: Dig into your darkness and your difference. There is comedy gold to be mined from it when you share it with those who need to hear it. Try different modes of performance and develop your stage presence and your sense of ease with people. Be honest with yourself and your audiences. When audiences like and trust you, they’ll more easily go places with you.