The cost of staging a one-hour show, writing comedy while pregnant, and performing with your heroes on stage are some of the topics discussed in the third episode of NZME's new comedy podcast, Billy T' Billy.
The podcast is giving this year's nominees of the prestigious Billy T Award at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival the chance to seek advice from former winners – as well as discuss all things comedy and what it's really like being a comedian in New Zealand.
Today's episode features 2021 nominee Lana Walters with 2010 winner Rhys Mathewson.
Walters is a first-time Billy T nominee who has written and performed for a number of Three shows, including Jono and Ben, 7 Days, Funny Girls, New Zealand Today, and most recently with The Project.
Walters is also an accomplished improv performer, and most notably is part of the rotating cast for modern Auckland icons Snort.
In the two years between being nominated for the Billy T Award and actually getting to perform her show – after 2020's festival was cancelled due to lockdown – Walters has become pregnant. It's one of the topics she'll be discussing in her 2021 Comedy Festival show, Problem Areas.
In 2014, Rhys Mathewson won the Billy T for his show Rhyspect. He is the youngest person to ever win the award – picking it up at 19 – and of all the winners taking part in this series, he has held the title the longest.
Mathewson has since gone on to win the Fred Award for Best Show and has made regular appearances on TV shows, including The Project and 7 Days, as well as taking his shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
He returned to the Comedy Festival with his first show in three years, Heartless Joke Machine.
For the third episode of Billy T' Billy, the two discuss what it meant to Matthewson to win the award so early in his career, and how it has shaped his career over the last 10 years. Walters also discusses how much of her pregnancy she has worked into her show, and the two discuss the highs and lows of taking part in the festival.
A new episode of Billy T' Billy will be released each day this week.
In Episode 1, Brynley Stent talk with her Golden Boy and Taskmaster co-star Angella Dravid, who won the Billy T Award in 2017, about performing dark comedy, favouring sketch over stand-up, and finding the funny in going to prison.
In Episode 2, James Mustapic sits down with 2014 winner Guy Montgomery to discuss the competitive side of the industry, podcasting and webseries, and the great lengths one audience member went to to voice his opinion.
And in the final episode, Josh Davies and 2016 winner David Correos take a break from putting the polishing touches on their shows to discuss the process of joke writing, representation on stage, and filming your worst gig for a documentary.
Follow NZ Herald for more comedy reviews – including the four Billy T nominees – throughout the rest of the International Comedy Festival.
To listen to today's episode, listen to the podcast above. CAUTION: CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE
You can subscribe to the podcast here:
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/nz/podcast/billy-t-billy/id1566464891