Emma Helleur talks with Urzila Carlson.
The full interview is available on theHits.co.nz
Win a double pass to the New Plymouth Show on the Hits Taranaki Facebook page.
Emma: Let's start with Netflix because you're featured in the stand up comedy series Comedians of the World. How did that come about?
Urzila: They put together this list of comics from around the world, and I got the call for New Zealand.
When we got to Montreal, all the different comics were there from all over the world, sharing their stories of where they were when they got the call from Netflix, and everyone had these amazing stories, like "I just got off a flight from Milan".
They said "where were you" and I was busy splitting logs with a log splitter, when my phone rang. I took the call and it was Netflix and they asked if I wanted to come over to Montreal and record a special.
My brother was helping me and I said to him "I just got offered a Netflix special" and he goes "you better fire up that log splitter cos we only have it for another hour and we still have two cubes to go". It's like you could not get a more West Auckland story than that.
Emma: Have you noticed more international attention since it went live?
Urzila: Yeah absolutely! My Instagram followers shot up by about 50 thousand.
I had this group of ladies from Sweden who got in touch and were like "please come to Sweden" and I'm like "you're literally the only people I know there and I don't think that's a big following". They said "look we're going to tell all of our clients to watch it and we're going to get you more fans", and I go "what do you do?"
And they're just a whole lot of strippers who just sat down one night and watched my Netflix special and now I've got this following of strippers in Sweden.
Emma: That is amazing! Are you going to use your new found fame to promote tummy fit tea or anything like that, become an influencer?
Urzila: No thank you, I would rather head-butt a nail than become that. I'll never promote anything on my social media. I just think there's enough people that do that.
Emma: So let's talk your tour. It's called the Token African Tour. Because in your own words "Africans have become the new 'must-have accessory'. Everyone knows one, works with one, is dating one...
Urzila: I think more people need to go visit. Like there's so many horror stories, but there's a lot of great things you know.
When I got back from South Africa in September I made all these video clips for them, and my friend who is also a comedian, Irene Pink, said "I didn't realise you identify as African?"
I said, "I don't, I am African", you only put the 'identify' in front of it if you're not. And she said "yeah but you're too white" and I thought, well I can't really say that's racist but, you know, that's racist.
So I thought I would do that DNA thing, to find out exactly what my make-up is. When I got my results back I was completely blown away, I was like "holy s*^t". So I decided to write this show Token African to talk about that, growing up in South Africa, moving to New Zealand and stuff around that.
I've done the show in Auckland and Wellington and it's pretty well received because everyone knows a South African.
Urzila Carlson "Token African Tour"
TSB Showplace. Saturday July 20.