Ellyn Daniels: Emotional Terrorism Q&A

Ellyn Daniels trained as a ballet dancer, dancing professionally until she was scouted by a modelling agent in Paris aged 17. Ellyn’s career has taken her to LA, New York, Paris, Milan and Barcelona. In LA Ellyn caught the acting and stand-up comedy bug and she had somewhat of a career change.  She has been working on the international comedy circuit in Los Angeles, New York, Spain and the UK since, as well as continuing with her modelling. Ellyn is at the Edinburgh Fringe with her one woman show Emotional Terrorism, sharing her different life experiences including the pressures faced in dancing and modelling, her first steps in the acting world, the highs and lows of working in Hollywood to her lowest point on the edge of suicide, and then ultimately finding salvation in stand up comedy. We caught up with Ellyn to talk about her show and her many careers!

Funny Women: Tell us what Emotional Terrorism is about.

Ellyn Daniels: Emotional Terrorism is about ballet, modeling, bulimia, family, betrayal, STI’s , fear, love, disillusionment, addiction, desperation, a misguided quest for fame, broken dreams, failure, comedy and redemption.

FW: What prompted you to go into comedy?

ED: I was in Los Angeles acting and I kept running into people who told me I was funny and should do stand-up. Also, I noticed early on that when I was acting in serious scenes in acting classes, people would laugh. At the time it was really frustrating but now I see that it was leading me towards the path that I’m on now. So, in retrospect , I’m really grateful for those embarrassing moments where I’d be pouring my heart out on stage, sobbing and the whole class would be cracking up.

FW: You have had three careers already in your life, which has been the most nerve-wracking? 

ED: Honestly, I’ve just now learned how to deal with my nerves in a productive way. For most of my life I was terrified and I had no means of dealing with that other than drink and drugs so all of my careers were nerve wracking because living life was nerve wracking. Now I can spend 18 hours on a modelling shoot or perform stand up in an empty venue for one person and not be incredibly nervous. For me it’s less about what I’m doing and more about what’s going on internally.

FW: Have you any advice for people who want to get into comedy?

ED: Perform whenever you can. Just keep doing it. And never forget to live life so you have something to bring to the stage!

FW: Who are your favourite funny women?

ED: Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, Joan Rivers (may she rest in an amazing party)  Katherine Ryan, Issa Rae, Janeane Garofalo.

Ellyn Daniels: Emotional Terrorism is on at Just The Tonic (The Big Room at The Caves) until 26th August (not 14th) at 9pm. For tickets click here or Pay What You Want At Venue