Pic: BTG100521ONEN2 Caption: Te Rina is a Kiwi comedian
Sidebar: Returning to Pahiatua with a brand new set of funny people
A One Night Stand was one of the highlight events in Pahiatua in 2020 and now the crew from DIY Comedy are bringing back another show, this time with a familiar face and a brand new line-up of performers on Saturday, May 15.
Hosted by former Pahiatua woman Maggie Malone, the show features Kitty Fitton of Wellington, Mike Osborne from Wairarapa, Dave Wiggins of Whanganui and will be headlined by Te Rina Taite, who has recently returned to New Zealand after five years on the Sydney comedy circuit.
Maggie has become a regular pro in the Manawatū region and she got her start in the 2018 Raw Comedy Quest in Palmerston North and also won Best Newcomer and Best Female Comedian at The Comedy Hub awards that year.
"I was very surprised at how quick that came about. People kept telling me I'd be good at comedy and I started to wonder if maybe they were right.
"With my 50th birthday looming, I decided to do a comedy course before I got any older and see if I could make people laugh. I never imagined it would lead to where I am now," says Maggie.
Since then, she has gone one to be one of the stars of the Manawatū scene and has gigged professionally with the likes of Cohen Holloway (of The Māori Sidesteps and Hunt for the Wilderpeople fame) and Billy T winner Cori Gonzalez-Macuer.
Maggie has overcome horrendous stage fright regularly when she performs, but believes it's all worthwhile when you hear an audience laugh.
"I felt nauseous and nervous before my first gig and I still feel the same before every gig since then. I feel great once it's all over though. The first time I relaxed on stage, got a laugh from an audience, it was absolute magic," says Maggie.
Other than the stage fright, the travelling to and from gigs is a challenge, says Maggie.
"If you want to get stage time you must travel because we are in a smaller region. We have the shows in Palmerston North but there's lots of comedians competing for space there. So, you may end up travelling to Wellington or some of smaller towns nearby. It's all worth it though when you connect with an audience and you hear the laughter," she says.
■ Headlining the show, Te Rina is a Kiwi comedian who returned to New Zealand last year, having gigged on the competitive circuit over there. As well as comedy, she's also a radio star and a competitive quizzer. You may have seen her on Aussie episodes of Millionaire Hotseat, Pointless and The Chase).
A former Olympic swimming trialist, Te Rina Taite should have been an Olympic swimmer for New Zealand – basking in the glory, selling her upcoming wedding photos to the women's mags for thousands of dollars and raking it in from television and media appearances.
Instead, she threw in the towel after missing out on selection in 2008 and decided to pursue comedy, and she hasn't looked back since.
"I decided after missing out on Beijing it was time to give it up," she said. "I couldn't see myself doing another four years.
"I'd given everything to swimming and it was keeping me from other interests and passions I had. One of those was making people laugh."
Taite gravitated toward the stand-up scene in Sydney after attending a course for comedy film writing. Two years later, she was regularly appearing on circuit shows, such as Comedy on Edge, Big Poppa Sean's Comedy Quiz and Roast Battles.
She came back to New Zealand last November and has been gigging around the country ever since but is predominantly based in Wellington.
"I enjoy the change of pace in Wellington. Also, it's nice to be around people that could actually pronounce my name properly," Taite said.
"But both Wellington and Sydney have some top-quality comedians coming through and they're really cool scenes to be a part of."
Taite believed if you couldn't achieve your dream, change it until it's achievable.
Part of her act involves dissecting the "questionable" life choices she made to get where she is today. Although some hadn't worked out, they had at least given her some good material.
"I've found that comedy is the best way of washing away the sins of the past and I have no problem in sharing them with people if it gets laughs," Taite said.
Warning: May contain adult themes and coarse language.