Lisa Casey is an award-winning stand up and sketch comedian. HeadStuff’s Joe Kennedy talked to Lisa about performing, writing, and inspiration ahead of her appearance at the Bray Comedy Festival which runs from February 24th-28th.
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So Lisa, where do you get your stand up material? Mostly from your own experiences or from pop culture goings on?
My material is basically some real life experiences that have gone through the tumble drier in my head. It is sort of like fantasy clinging on to reality, it lives in a world like this one but is more whimsical and where much tomfoolery is to be had and words like tomfoolery are strongly encouraged.
Do your sketches intersect with your stand up material?
My sketches tend to be more reality based than my stand up, I don’t really know why that is but I do like exploring different avenues so who knows, maybe someday my sketches will intersect with my stand but for now they don’t really… But that could change at any time, it could be as soon as this interview goes out and this whole section would have been a lie.
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What’s your process for writing? Do sit down and force it or is it more moments of inspiration?
Moments of inspiration, I’ve tried forcing it and it doesn’t work. A bit like when my overweight Shih Tzu Bella doesn’t want to walk any further, if I pull the lead and try forcing her she plonks her fat ass down and resists. But if simply tell her how wonderful she is and how exciting this walk is going to be in a high pitched voice she moves. So my point is… Forcing it doesn’t work…I think that was my point.
What comedians/TV shows/writers have influenced your comedy most?
When I was a nipper I was inspired to make (sort of) sketches by watching TV shows like Only Fools and Horses, Steptoe and Son and Porridge. In my teens by Little Britain and the Catherine Tate show and Sacha Baron Cohen’s movies, at the moment I’m really enjoying The Mighty Boosh and Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy.
Standup-wise when I was younger I would have been inspired by Tommy Tiernan, Jason Byrne and Chris Rock. At the moment I feel more influenced by Steven Wright, Russell Brand and Noel Fielding.
More inspired than influenced, I try my best to be myself and all that jazz. But then I could be massively influenced by somebody new by the time this goes out and this section too would have been a lie.
What happens if the crowd don’t laugh?
If folk don’t laugh its okay, there are so many reasons why this could happen but if they’re just not feeling you overall that’s fine. I’m not a people pleaser as not everyone is going to like your stuff, you just gotta keep going and have faith in what is right for you.
I enjoy escapism in comedy it can be up to the individual if they want to come with you on an idiotic journey or stay here on a wobbly bar stool. But then all of this could be invalid if they’re laughing on the inside of course.
Who are you most looking forward to preforming with/meeting at the festival?
I won’t say I’m looking forward to seeing one particular comedian as there are too many fantabulous acts lined up. Niamh Marron, Fred Cooke and Joe Rooney will be there and are some of my favourites in Ireland and lots more wonderfully wonderful comedians. I would be naming them all day long it’s going be a fantastical affair I tell you!
What are your plans for 2016? More gigs, festivals?
Well the Bray festival of course! I’m considering a move to the UK so going to head over a few times this year and do some gigs, if they understand me over there that is. I have a very strong Dundalk accent.
You can catch Lisa Casey and lots of other great comedians including Seann Walsh, Fred Cooke, Karl Spain, Joanne McNally, and Eric Lalor at the Bray Comedy Festival 2016 taking place throughout the town from Wednesday 24th to Sunday 28th February.