After her triumphant win at the 2019 Funny Women Awards, we caught up with Laura Smyth, whose comic trajectory has been impressively steep! We talked with Laura about winning, the other finalists and of course her prize, which is to be mentored by Funny Women’s patron, Jo Brand…
Funny Women: How does it feel to win the Funny Women Awards?
Laura Smyth: I feel like I am in a film or a dream. It’s such a huge contest with such an awesome alumni, I can’t quite believe I won. Especially considering the finalists. Some of them I know from the circuit and am a total fan – Helena Langdon (my arch rival) and Jen Ives (the funniest person on Twitter). Celya AB and Kemah Bob were in the London semi so I knew how awesome they were. Liz Guterbock and Siân Davies – I saw their respective shows in Edinburgh – both so phenomenal, really moving as well as funny. Shelf, Sarah Mann, and Charlie George I met and saw perform for the first time on the night of the final and are all pretty much the loveliest people I have ever met, not to mention bloody hilarious. I cannot wait to see them perform again. The whole night was like a dream. A dream where everyone was funny and Liz Guterbock made us all feel safe and sparkly.
FW: You have only been going a few months, did you expect all of this so soon?
LS: No way. I entered the contest with a video of one of my first performances just because I thought ‘why not?’ It was a great surprise to get to the heats. Then I got a great audience response at the heats so hoped I might make it to the semis. Getting to the London semis felt serious; the standard there was so high that winning it was mind-blowing. I was more relaxed at the finals because just being there was exciting. For me being on the open mic circuit is the best feeling in the world because stand-up is something I have dreamt about for so long. Having another comic like my set is such a buzz for me, even the occasional bomb is alright because it is all part of such a great process. Making a whole theatre of people laugh, not to mention industry judges is even more exciting. I certainly didn’t think that could all happen in less than six months.
FW: What’s next comedy-wise for you?
LS: Keep gigging as much as possible and writing. I want to really work on shaping longer narratives for longer sets. I always have lots of different ideas. I love spoofing things so that might be something I develop for somewhere other than videos and voicenotes for the family WhatsApp group!
FW: You’re going to be mentored by Jo Brand as part of your prize, what are you hoping for from our new Funny Women Patron?
LS: How to be an absolute legend. She has always maintained such a distinct voice and style throughout her career so she is totally incomparable. I hope to hone and maintain my own distinct voice and style so hopefully she can help me with that. Failing that I’ll just copy hers.
Look out for Laura Smyth at future Funny Women events across the UK!