Comedian Ellen Briggs.
Comedian Ellen Briggs. Patrick Gorbunovs

Funny lady set to spill beans on 20 years of married life

MEET Ellen Briggs - mother of two, wife and comedian.

With just two years experience, she snatched first prize on the National Foxtel Comedy Channel's Be a Comedian and earned a spot on Stand Up Australia.

Ellen will be performing at the Yaralla Sports Club with Lindsay Webb for the next Sit Down Comedy Club on Wednesday, January 8.

For further details call 4979 8270. For your chance to win a double pass to the night of laughs, enter each week at www.yaralla.com.au.

This week Ellen answers some questions in order to prepare Gladstone for her upcoming performance.

How would you describe yourself?

I'm often described as a "girl next door" type (although these days I'd probably fall into the middle-aged woman next door category), which I guess means people think I'm ordinary.

I'm probably like a lot of women that people live next door to. They look like everyone else, seem to be normal like everyone else, but they're actually quite strange and not ordinary at all once you get to know them.

What's it like being a mother, working in the comedy industry?

I've been a mother the whole time I've been doing stand-up, so I don't know any different, but I imagine if I wasn't a mother, I'd get home after a gig, stay up and play some X-Box or PlayStation until 3am and then wake up at midday and play some more before I have some toast and go to work again.

Having to get up and get the family ready for the day after late nights, and having to think of what's going to happen to the kids while you're travelling or working can be a huge stress that you wouldn't have if you only had to look after yourself.

When you think about doing shows or going on tour, you have to think twice about who will be with the kids. They do write some of my best gags for me though - without even realising it.

I'm probably like a lot of women that people live next door to. They look like everyone else, seem to be normal like everyone else, but they're actually quite strange

Tell us about being a finalist in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2007 for the raw comedy competition?

That was an incredible experience actually. I had only been on stage three times before I was in that final and performing in front of 2000 people in the Town Hall.

It was daunting, exciting and terrifying all at the same time. It's a great springboard for new comics and it certainly gave me opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

What has been your most embarrassing moment as a comedian?

I did a show with Akmal Saleh where I was the support act. My name wasn't on the poster, or the tickets, and so when the host started to announce me, they thought that Akmal was coming on stage.

When they saw me, they immediately started talking, most of them got up to go and get another drink and I panicked and started really racing through my material and just basically dying on stage.

When I walked off after an excruciating 15 minutes, I got the slow clap from one of the few people who was still paying attention. I walked straight outside and waited for Akmal in the car so I didn't have to face anyone.

Tell us what we can expect when you perform in Gladstone?

You can expect to hear a woman inspire a whole town to change the way you live. That's actually a lie. No-one would want to change the way they live after seeing me perform.

You can just expect to laugh yourselves silly at my expense, you'll learn about my home town of Mullumbimby, about the poor bloke that I trapped into marriage, and what married life is really like after 20 years, as well as my opinions on everything from TV to Christmas.

Would you rather turn into a monkey every time you sneeze or turn into a male (human) every time you cough? (And why)

Well, turning into a monkey would be cool. There was a time where I could muster up a wolf whistle from a worker in a building site, but recently when I walked past one, I sneezed and just got a "bless you", which is nice, but made me feel very old indeed.

I would have liked to have turned into a monkey and freaked that polite young bricklayer right out! I could have scampered in and stolen his Chicko Roll, chocolate milk and Picture magazine before he even knew what hit him.

I don't think I'd like to turn into a male when I'm coughing, because whenever men get the common head cold it nearly kills them, doesn't it?



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