Interview: Felicity Ward
Nominated for this year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award, recently found on BBC Radio 4 with her own series, plus her own Netflix special, and still a regular co-host on The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Felicity Ward speaks with Victoria Nangle about tech, time and time travel.
Hi Felicity, how are you today?
Very good. I’m enjoying watching some young people try to pose “naturally” for their Instagram account. The awkwardness of them trying to look relaxed just looking over their shoulder, leaning on one leg, towards a clock tower is brilliant. I hope someone is making short films of them.
You have been incredibly, unbelievably, time-defyingly busy in the last 12 months, with a Netflix special, your own BBC Radio 4 series, podcasts, TV appearances, international acclaim… tell us you have a secret time machine! What would you do if you had a secret time machine?
I’d go back to the first town meeting of Daylight Savings’ discussions and tell them ‘no’. I’d tell them that we hate it. It makes everything worse in winter. The cows will get used to the time staying the same.
As said, you have been busy. What is your favourite medium to work in and why?
Live stand up is always my favourite. But The Guilty Feminist Podcast is probably the most fun for the least preparation time, so that’s ideal really: Big, fun audiences, hanging out with my mates, making new ones, and making jokes.
I’m enjoying watching some young people try to pose “naturally” for their Instagram account
And what would be the most useful practical tip you wish you’d been given, concerning the work and life events you have pulled off recently?
Ironically, that cutting back my live workload would make me love stand up more, make me better at my job and give me the mental space to create other kinds of writing (i.e. not just stand up material).
When you first start out in stand up you have to get as much stage time as possible and that is literally the only way to get better, but having the mentality that you need to keep doing every gig (ten years later), or keep up with other peoples’ schedules (when I didn’t have the capacity to do that) was a lie I told myself.
Part of your Radio 4 show explores your relationship with technology – what invention yet to appear would make your life easier, and why?
An alarm that blocked my phone until I got out of bed, had breakfast, had a shower, and meditated. That’s actually not a bad idea… Felicity Ward 2018 ©®
What is your favourite part of your tour show when you perform it?
I’ve spent two years writing this show in clubs so it’s pretty densely packed with jokes, but the part I get the most joy from is literally making a squeaky fart joke in the middle of the show. I drag it on as long as I can. Once I got three minutes out of it.
I’ve been really enjoying listening to The Guilty Feminist Podcast, with you on it. I especially like the opening of the show with “I’m a Feminist but…”. What has been your most recent ‘Guilty Feminist but…’ moment?
I’m a feminist but… recently got a big job that I’ve been working really hard towards, that felt substantial to get, as a woman, and the first thing I did was buy £150 worth of makeup and skincare products, some of which I still don’t know what they do.
Who would be your dream guest on The Guilty Feminist, and what would you ask them?
Julia Louis Dreyfus, and I would ask her if she could adopt me.
Can you tell us anything about the sitcom pilot you’re currently writing for Australian telly?
It’s already written and based on a time in my life where I stopped drinking, left my fiancée and moved back in with my mother. I did a stage show called The Hedgehog Dilemma in 2012 and it’s off the back of that.
What is the secret to a happy life?
If I knew that I wouldn’t be a comedian. I’d be out there making millions, doing my favourite thing: telling other people how to live. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured it out yet… but I’ll let you know if it happens. No doubt, you’ll hear me banging on about it if it does.
Felicity Ward Is Busting A Nut, Komedia, Wednesday 24 October, 8pm, £12/10, www.komedia.co.uk