Right now comic Hannah Gadsby is riding an extraordinary wave of success.
Her latest, and possibly last show, Nanette, has won just about every award going, including the top prize at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival.
The show is the story of Hannah’s experience growing up as a gay woman and an explanation of how she’s mined that life for stand-up comedy.
In it she refuses to edit the uncomfortable bits from her personal story, she leaves it all in.
In her own words, she’s not interested in making audiences “feel better” any more by giving them a laugh to break the tension. She makes them confront some of their own possible biases and prejudices against her.
I suggested we interview Hannah for 7.30 because I found that concept really interesting and I had noted how much acclaim her show was getting around the world.
But I was a bit worried about interviewing her, truth be told.
Her public persona is somewhat depressed and awkward and I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to have a good conversation on camera.
I should have remembered that people’s public personas are rarely a full reflection of what they’re like and as soon as Hannah arrived, I could see that she was going to be fantastic.
We yapped away like a couple of biddies over the back fence and that didn’t change once the cameras rolled.
It’s one of my favourite interviews of the year so far because she was so interesting and thoughtful.
Here are five things she said that really stuck with me:
Toning things down
Bizarre things happen to Hannah, so she has to tone down the more implausible parts of her life to make it more believable for an audience.
Comedy has its limitations
Despite being a comic, she can see the limitations of stand-up comedy because you always have to keep the laughs coming.
The same sex marriage survey is personal…
She thinks a No vote would be devastating and has seen an increase in people being hateful.
But she thinks it’s also unfair to no voters
Despite being gay, she understands that some No voters have genuine concerns.
She loves art but…
As a former student of Australian art history, she thinks some people speak like wankers when they talk about art.