I’m a comedian. I’m also a long distance driver and complete stresshead – although I think they fall under the job description. Last night I drove 12 hours in total to and from my place of work. Driving through country lanes when your only companion is the vague crackling of “middle of fucking nowhere FM” that your radio can vaguely pick up can be tedious, but I bloody love my job. This year in Edinburgh I did a show called FOMO. For those of you who don’t know, FOMO is an acronym which stands for Fear Of Missing Out. I know that because I googled it. I then had to google what “acronym” meant. I constantly worry that I’m missing out. I mean even now typing this I’m worried I’m going to miss the end of Homes Under the Hammer. I NEED to know if they sold on that two bedroomed detached in Slough or rented it out for zero profit.
I’m so scared of missing out that I even downloaded Pokémon Go to see what all the fuss was about. Now I can’t use my phone properly as I’ve used up all my data trying to hatch an egg (I still quite haven’t worked out how to use it). Social media fuels my FOMO, because it’s so easy to compare yourself when you have constant updates of everyone you’ve ever met and their achievements, including people I’ve never met (I need to be stricter with accepting friends requests. I’m starting to think it isn’t the Real Bon Jovi I’ve accepted. The mutual friend we have in common is my mum).
I’m so glad we never had social media throughout history. Can you imagine what that would have been like? Over on Facebook Henry VIII would have updated his relationship status for the fifth time this year. Elvis would be constantly checking himself out of buildings. Van Gogh would always sign off using a sunflower emoji (and maybe an ear). Sir Isaac Newton wouldn’t yet have discovered gravity because he was too busy Instagramming pictures of apples. The Mona Lisa wouldn’t be smiling – she’d have a dog nose and a long tongue.
I’m performing my show for the last time this Sunday as part of the Women In Comedy Festival. It’s a brilliant festival that showcases many amazing, talented and diverse performers who just happen to be women. You should come. I mean you wouldn’t want to miss out, would you? For £5 you get to see both myself and the brilliant comedian Eleanor Tiernan. I’m sure you can spare £5. Unless of course you’re the person who just sold the house on Homes Under the Hammer for a loss. I NEEDED TO KNOW!
The amount of time myself or my colleagues have had people approach us after gigs saying “I don’t normally like female comedians but I liked you” is innumerable. It still happens a lot. We are not a genre – we are unique and diverse and this festival showcases that.
I’m also performing as part of the end of festival show at Manchester’s brilliant Frog and Bucket comedy club on 30 October. It’s worth coming to that just because I’m going straight to a Halloween party after, so I’ll have to perform in my costume. I don’t think you will have ever seen one half of The Shining twins do stand-up before.
The Women in Comedy festival is a two-week celebration with shows on every day on 20-30 October, beginning and ending with shows at the Frog and Bucket Comedy Club. Hayley Ellis performs at Gulliver’s, Manchester, 23 Oct and at the Frog and Bucket, 30 Oct.