At Leading With Humour we are bridging Science, business and entertainment. We believe you don’t have to take yourself seriously to be successful and we bring you tools to laugh your way to the top and live a life full of laughter! We regularly bring you humour superheroes to inspire you. With Humans of Comedy we want to understand the human behind the comedian. Today we meet comedian Victoria Shortley.
Humans of Comedy Interview
Who is the human behind the comedian?
Just your average kind of gal. If average means being a bit of an outsider and never in with the cool things, always living in a retro era. I love music and dancing – freestyle. Love to do an Elvis impression here and there.
How did you start comedy?
I did a beginners’ course at the Laughing Horse in February 2020, just before the first lockdown. I don’t know if lockdown was the world’s way of saying stop it, stop it now but, if it was, I ignored it.
Well, it was a cold winter’s day and I thought there must be something fun I can do. And I thought ‘ah, yes stand up comedy!’ I have always had the ability to get up and make a fool of myself, so what did I have to lose? I also love writing so that was the perfect option to write and perform my own material and hopefully make people laugh and have them enjoy it.
How was your first stand-up experience?
It was scary, and I was very nervous. But people thankfully did laugh, so I thought phew. Even getting one laugh would have been a win for me at that time. Luckily, I got a few more. It was in The Comedy Pub in London, in a tiny room and no mic, but it felt good.
What was your biggest failure?
I try not to see anything as a failure, more of a learning curve. I have had gigs that haven’t gone as well as I hoped but, I just got to learn from it and move on.
What was your biggest success?
Performing at The Brighton Fringe with 5 other comics in a show called Insanitized. We were all new, we had not done many live gigs due to the pandemic. So to be able to perform live at a festival, even on a smaller scale was fantastic for us.
What is your best memory?
Too many to mention. Comedy is forever creating new memories for me.
What is your favourite comedian?
I have loads, Ricky Gervais, Peter Kay, Sarah Mcmillican, Jayde Adams, Lou Conran, Sara Pascoe. I also love The Two Ronnies, Morcambe and Wise, Dave Allen and I adored Benny Hill too when I was younger.
I like that some of those comedians I have mentioned are versatile, can write scripts wonderfully and act as well and it just makes for a much richer tapestry of comedy and comedy-drama. God, that makes me sound really pompous and luvvie, I’m really not.
A book or show you recommend?
This Country, Afterlife, Car Share. These shows you can just keep on watching.
How comedy transformed you/shaped you as the person you are today?
It’s just made me less self-conscious. Before the thought of putting myself out there and grabbing every opportunity just freaked me out. But now, I want to actively pursue things out of my comfort zone.
What lesson did you learn from comedy?
It’s not a case of getting up on stage and winging it. A lot of thought has to go into it and it is tough, especially on Zoom, knowing how your jokes may land. But you have to take each gig as it comes and no gig is the same.
Victoria is one of our “Comedian Therapist” performing stand up in our “Comedy Therapy Practice” aka Virtual Comedy Club. Book your ticket.
Leading With Humour is an innovative consultancy and learning & development company. We are dedicated to developing leadership and emotional intelligence through humour. We offer a variety of training and coaching programmes and business services dedicated to leading and living with humour and laughter. To discover YOUR sense of humour and how to laugh your way to success, take our FREE Humour & Leadership Quiz