I caught up with the beautiful Irene Pink last Friday at The Classic. Here’s a scary photo of us. Read more below to see the Interview.
I’m here at The Classic with the gorgeous Pacific Island Princess, Irene Pink, who people might know from some fantastic TV work as 7-Days, AotearoHA, A Night At The Classic, Pulp Comedy and Stand Up for Christchurch. I saw you first, here at the classic, a long time ago. But when did you start in comedy?
Uh.. I just started at telecom. 1997.
Long time then, 15 years now. So who, or what encouraged you to get on stage for the first time?
I was sort of going out, I say going out, I was just fucking this guy, and he was a comedian, and he wasn’t very good, and I thought I was funnier, and then he dumped me, and I thought I’d have a go at it myself, and so I did.
Fair enough, so when and where was your first gig?
It was at Kitty O’Brian’s, upstairs, where Scott used to hold comedy nights. It was a RAW night.
Cool, so I understand you spent some time in London a wee while ago..
So about eleven years ago, my husband and I went to London, and we lived there for five years. We went there in 2001, and basically got into comedy full time, which we did, and yeah it was good. I got bad stagefright and stopped doing it. It was a hard time actually, not easy.
You’ve done some touring, I understand you toured with the lady bunch, what was/is the lady bunch?
The lady bunch was Me, Michelle A’Court and Justine Smith, and we basically took the arts on tour, around the middle of small-town NZ, so basically we went to the south island, and they don’t like Aucklanders, and they don’t like Polynesian Aucklanders even more, and thought we were prostitutes basically, but no, we had a good time.
You did a solo show Metamorphosis, in Dunedin, and moved onto Wellington and Auckland.. was this your first major festival show?
My first one in about 10 years. I did a few before I went to London, but I don’t really like doing solo shows, I get a bit lonely.
But your show in 2011 with Justine, “I’m Sorry I Said That”, how did you find that?
We had a lot of fun doing it, we both don’t like touring on our own, and also doing a half hour of standup is a lot easier than doing a whole hour.
So what’s your writing style? Do you carry a notebook with you and write down all the funny things that happen, or do you brainstorm, or do you riff it all? What happens?
I find actually nowadays, twitter is a really good way for me to write. I’m not a prolific writer, I did a show because you have to write, but it’s not something that comes easily. But twitter gives you the chance to be more disciplined, so you should write something. I’m only on twitter to be funny, I don’t want to be on there talking about my lunch and all that shit. So it just gives you a bit more discipline.
So building your material into a set, do you just try to come up with the segues to make it flow, or trial and error, or do you bounce them off your other half?
Oh yeah, definitely. If I write something new, I definitely ask Chris if he thinks it’s funny. He does the same to me as well, so it’s good having a partner who knows comedy.
The big questions: Do you have any pre-show rituals? Do you bow down and pray to Mecca, do starjumps, or anything like that?
I get quite bad stagefright, so I tend to go very quiet and do a lot of pacing. I can’t talk people. People will talk to me and I can’t really talk to them.
What’s your favourite venue you’ve ever played?
Probably the classic – it’s our home. I painted the greenroom when it first opened, so it always feels like it’s home.
Funniest touring story?
(Removed Pending Approval by the comedian involved)
What would you say your favourite Gig you’ve ever performed in your entire career is?
Probably one of the Galas. When the Galas go well they are amazing. And in London when I won a competition there.
What’s the most memorable heckle you’ve ever had?
It wasn’t a heckle, it was these cunts basically singing. That was their thing. They would sing if they didn’t like you. They would just sing loudly, so that people didn’t perform.
Alright, so, Comedy Festival 2012, You’re doing a gig with Justine Smith, what can we look forward to?
It’s basically a sketch show that has film pieces, and live action, and puppets, and music, and it gets Justine and I basically trying to pitch to a TV Exec our show ideas.
It’s the first week, (May 1-7) in wellington at Batts. And then it’s 8th-15th in Auckland, at the Herald in Aotea.
If you want to find out more about Irene, you can check out her twitter page: @IreneCPink