Stand-up Comedy & Lie-down Laughter
Doing stand-up comedy began in 2011 as another fear to conquer, I ended up loving it! Along with deep sea diving it was another case of “feel the fear and do it anyway”, to quote Susan Jeffers.
2007 was the year I came out as trans. My first gig was almost as terrifying, but in the end, almost as exhilarating. Fear and fun have been closely allied ever since.
I remember school when one had the choice of being a bully, being bullied, or being the class clown – I chose the latter. Many comedians have similar stories and many have mental health challenges.
Making fun of yourself – before someone else does, is a defence mechanism. It is also, comedy wisdom if you want to be ethical and attract empathy. Putting yourself down, in a tongue-in-cheek way, rather than attacking others is the comedy high road. The low road attracts hecklers and picks on the audience, minorities, and plays on negative stereotypes. That said, I often make the joke that as trans I am doubly lost, being unable to either read a map or ask for directions.
For all my cleverly written material, the best laughs always came from embarrassing real life stories and narrative humour. It both exposes oneself and draws people in.
I guess, the most extreme example of that was a major suicide attempt in 2012. Three months afterwards, I was mocking myself in a deadpan stand-up at a Pride fringe event. Someone came up to me afterwards and said how good it was, and how it was so believable, as if I’d actually done and felt all those things – I had! Truth really is stranger and often funnier than fiction.
Feedback seems to have drawn attention to two features of my material – that it is intelligent and that it is often naughty – sapiosexual filth! It is actually not that dirty I just have no limits to self-deprecation, transparent tales of trans embarrassment, and finding a triple-meaning in every word, not being satisfied with mere double-entendres.
One is always, in the end, upstaged by children and animals, and my most laughs came from relating the ear-greasing push-me-pull-you tale of a British Bulldog that got stuck in my cat-flap.
One gig blurb ran: “Mental madness and lexical lewdness from Katy Went who clutters her way through life with a mind like a cross between the multi-laned M25 and a broken sieve that lacks the ability to distinguish between the good, bad and downright inappropriate.”
“Educational filth, occasionally funny, always interesting”
“Katy Went with the filthy mouth”
“Sharp and intelligent”
“Exceptionally engaging and fascinating”
“Making fun of the darker moments in life, with some (really) long words and lots of lewd innuendo…”
“Bailiffs & Vampires, bloodsuckers the both of them, same rule applies though – don’t ever invite them over your doorstep”
“Gays tend to come out of the closet whereas Trans prefer to go in them, only in Narnia do you go through them. C.S.Lewis’ unpublished 8th volume A Transvestite in Narnia never got beyond the first page as she refused to leave the Wardrobe!”
“Did you know that, on average, women use 15,000 words a day while men use just 7,000? That makes me Superwoman. I’ve been trying to talk my way into passing as a woman!”
“When I was on sleeping pills the pill advice said ‘To avoid side affects try getting up slowly.’ – Is mid afternoon slow enough?”
“Stand up comedy is an oxymoron as I do my best work lying down”
“Thesbianism – that’s an acting lesbian till I get my membership card”