Even in 2017 women can still feel few and far between in comedy, but the 2018 Billy T Comedy Award nominations have bought attention to a crop of diverse faces. Amongst them is Laura Daniel, already familiar to viewers of TV Three’s Jono and Ben and Funny Girls, who has cracked a new audience in the acclaimed stage show Two Hearts which will be running in December at the Q Theatre. She tells us about her new gig, growing up, and succeeding in a notoriously tough industry.
What was your reaction when you found out that you had been nominated for the 2018 Billy T Comedy Award?
Absolutely stoked! And even more stoked that we are nominated next to a dope line up of our friends.
What was it that originally drew you into comedy?
The money! Just jokes, I would of deffo picked a different career if that was the case. I love performing but most of all I’ve always loved making people laugh, so the idea of being able to do that as my job is an absolute dream.
You are performing this month in the show Two Hearts. Tell us what it’s about?
Two hearts: Auckland World Tour is arena sized pop-music spectacle in a non-arena sized venue. Joseph Moore and myself team up to make a musical duo, kinda like Broods, but we’re not Broods, and we tell Jokes. We perform about 12 orginal songs whilst incorperating all the elements of a pop show using confetti, HOT dancers, songs, video, merchandise and costume changes. It’s a WILD time. Imagine a Selena Gomez concert, but all of Selena Gomez’s songs have jokes in them, and there are two Selena Gomez’s and one of them is a boy. And Selena Gomez is even better at singing.
Did you ever see any other career for yourself growing up? Were there ever times where you thought that you should be doing something else?
I look back on the things I did when I was a young teenager; I used to make parody videos to the likes of Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson with my friends, we even remade the movie Titanic (I played Jack of course) and held a red carpet screening at a community hall in Palmerston North, so I look at what I am doing now and think yup, this makes perfect sense. Sure, there have been times where I have been unemployed for very long stints and so bloody broke that I’ve had to scrape by, doing romaming character work, or dressing up as a cow and joining a flash mob… It’s enough to make anyone question their life choices!
Most embarrassing moment in your career?
I got sent some flowers to set on Funny Girls on what just so happened to be one of our directors last days, and as I was leaving I had them in my hand and she ran up to me so genuinely excited that they were for her. I was about to pretend that they were and just hand them over, not noticing the big card with my name on it. And just at that moment, my crush walked past and laughed at me. Okay I made up the last bit to be like the embarrassing stories in Girlfriend magazine.
How do you chill out in your spare time? Any hobbies?
I play Werewolf with a regular group of friends. Though in saying that, if you’ve ever played Werewolf or Mafia or any time of accusation based roleplaying game, there is zero chill involved.
Do you have Christmas plans sorted for this year? Are there any traditions that you follow?
I’m going home to Palmy this christmas with my two older brothers, where our festive Christmas tradition is playing poker and gambling all our Christmas money.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Recording an Album in LA because hopefully some big shot producer would have watched Two Hearts and mistaken us for actual pop stars and we would of just like … never corrected them.
Do you have any advice your women (or anyone!) looking at a career in comedy?
TRUST NO-ONE. (But also be bold. Take Risks. Back yourself. And if it’s something you really want to do never give up! You may need a tough skin but the more of you we get into the industry the bloody better!!!)
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
My voice teacher at drama school told us on the first week that if you are going to have marijuana, eat it, don’t smoke it to avoid ruining your vocal chords. I mean I’ve never gotten round to actioning this particular method but it’s good to know. An actually good piece of advice I got was that if you lose your voice, don’t talk at all and only ever use your voice in the shows, and afterwards wear a sign around your neck saying “Can’t talk I’m resting my voice.” Not only does it help your voice but you get to feel like you’re Beyonce for a day.