Parenting came before comedy, and most of my comedy is about parenting.
My eldest child, Mischa, is now 12 and her little sister Bowie is 3. Mischa had nine years of being an only child and she definitely had a funnier childhood. At one stage she had three bouncy castles. Why does anyone need three bouncy castles? They were all different! One had a slide!
And once I got on the roof with an air blower to make it "snow" in summer. That was a very bad idea. Luckily it didn't rain.
My parenting is very different now. I'm sure that when they grow up, my children will have two completely different stories about my terrible parenting style.
I did my first stand-up show about five years ago, at a raw comedy event in Wellington. I'd always been involved in the arts – children's theatre, performance art – but this was the first experience of stand-up. It was really exhilarating, I had a great reaction, and it was lots of fun. I can't remember what the show was about: I think it's probably best that I've blocked that memory.
After this I kept performing and started moving up the ranks. Then I got pregnant. There was a shift in reaction when I was pregnant on stage, which I can't really explain. But it was all fine. This coincided with other mums appearing on Netflix specials and the like (Ali Wong with Baby Cobra was an inspiration), so I felt that I wasn't alone. But I wasn't aware of other mums doing stand-up in New Zealand at the time. Definitely no pregnant ones.
Motherhood is so funny, and mothers are so funny. They have to be. Although General Admissions deals with the experiences of parenthood, it's surprising to me how universal this is. Everyone seems to be able to relate to it, even people without children. We've all been kids. I think kids are just like adults, but they don't know better.
Being a mother and a stand-up comedian is challenging. It's a juggle, it's like a game of Jenga, all of it. Sometimes I can take family away with me when I tour, and I've always felt super supported, so I'm lucky.
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My kids are absolutely not lurking around comedy bars: that would be completely inappropriate because some of the content is pretty loose. But my 12-year-old would like to be. She likes to chat back, and she's much funnier than me, so she would spend the whole show heckling. People keep asking me when she's going to start to do her own show, so I've got some competition there.
I used to have a notebook for writing down my ideas for shows, but it got sent to school one day by mistake, and that wasn't great! So now I just note things down on my phone during the day while I'm looking after my kids. And I'm a terrible sleeper so I organically just think of things and make lots of notes during the night.
I wasn't the class clown, probably because I was home-schooled. But I was pretty outrageous. I have female siblings, and I had to try extra hard to make them laugh. I think I was always considered the least likely person to have a "normal" job. No one saw office work in my future.
I called the new show General Admissions because I wanted a name that broadly covered a whole lot of subjects. It's also a play on people getting tickets! The show doesn't have any heavy messages and I don't give the audience much to think about. I want them to leave just as dumb as they arrived and have a laugh. It's super funny, not at all challenging, and not just about punchlines.
As told to Joanna Mathers
General Admissions, Auckland, tonight, The Classic, May 8. Wellington Bats Theatre, May 11-15. For more information visit comedyfestival.co.nz/