This was a bumper year for the Comedy Writing Award, with a funded development prize with Sky Studios up for grabs as well as £1000 cash and a Funny Women Tatty Devine necklace. As always judging was tough but the panel decided to award the multi-talented comedian, actor, and writer Ruby Carr for her mockumentary about magicians. We caught up with Carr to talk about winning, her creative process and what she’s up to…
Funny Women: How does it feel to win the Funny Women Writing Award?
Ruby Carr: Mad.
I almost didn’t send in my script. But my (lovely, smart and extremely talented) friend Kathryn Higgins forced me too, because why not? At first, I was just proud that I put myself forward for a writing competition. Then I was ecstatic when I got long-listed, then I was flabbergasted when I was shortlisted, then I couldn’t believe it when I was in the top three. So winning. It was the best thing and I didn’t see coming.
I love writing, but I have struggled for a long time with confidence. So winning is my undeniable fact that I can do it, should do it and will do it.
FW: How did you get into comedy?
RC: Honestly. I lied at a house viewing to join a house share. I wanted to sound more interesting than the three other people who were viewing at the same time as me and I panicked and said “I do stand up.” a week after moving in I did my first spot.
I have always wanted to try stand up, I used to work in theatre and storytelling has always been what i have been passionate about.
FW: Tell us about your script.
RC: In the pay by the hour entertainment industry, party magicians are the lowest form of entertainment. This mockumentary follows Sammy, who is adamant that party magicians are still relevant. We follow him as he causes more drama than necessary at children’s birthday parties, accidentally becomes a drug mule and an informant for the police.
FW: Can you share a little about your writing process?
RC: I think everyone struggles with the idea of sitting down to write something. Personally, I am prone to mistakes and being distracted. But when I want to write I will find the most mundane task, like pairing socks, play instrumental music in the background and allow my mind to wander. Then I write a list of every idea, moment, visual, dialogue I thought of and see if any of them can be combined or fleshed out. And as mundane tasks are everywhere, I always have access to a notebook or Google doc (I’ve got a five-year-old Google doc of trash ideas, but still useful!)
FW: Any advice for people thinking about entering the Awards next year?
RC: If you haven’t written it yet. WRITE IT!
If you are waiting for motivation or inspiration. Don’t. Motivation and inspiration are fleeting and fickle and will never last long enough. What you need is determination and to push through.
Also! Stop being precious and get the first draft out. And I’m really sorry but the first draft will be the worst version. It has to be! Every version after the first draft will be better and better. So, rip off the band aid, give yourself permission to be a bit shit and write it!
FW: Who are your favourite Funny Women?
RC: I’m too scared to write a long list of everyone I love in case I miss someone! But I’m gonna say someone who I fell in love with this year. Emily Bampton is so funny and is absolutely storming it. Keep your eyes peeled for her! I’m excited to see her at Saima’s Comedy Corner on Wednesday, 2nd November, at 2 Northdown (also on the line-up is another favourite Sikisa!)
FW: What’s next?
RC: A little bit of everything!
Of course, I’m working on developing this script with Sky Studios who sponsor this Award, but I also have three other concepts I’m working on. I’m also working with some friends to write and make some sketches.
I’m writing a new stand-up show about my obsession with buying the weirdest things off eBay (I might have bought a ghost – see the show to find out).