Interview :: Sydney Comedy Festival :: Lou Sanz
April 24th 2012
Nick La Rosa
Friendly, funny and full of frivolity, Lou Sanz has a lot to offer to Sydney audiences in her upcoming Sydney Comedy Festival show Neverending Storage. Exactly what is to come out of Lou’s storage, you’ll have to go and see for yourself. But for what she thinks about herself and life in general, she confided in FBi’s Zoe Ferguson.
Zoe Ferguson: Your comedy show Neverending Storage is about an abandoned relationship in 2005. You have spent six years (and eleven thousand dollars) in renting a storage unit and now in 2012, it’s time to unpack it all and see what’s inside. Do you find that making light of a broken heart is a coping mechanism?
LouSanz: The show is a way of me walking through it again, not necessarily coping with it. By the time I wrote it, I was beyond the pain. The combination of the end of a relationship and story-telling would be funny, I thought.
How did it evolve into a comedy show?
I was telling my producer about my situation, well my fucked up story more like, and she said ‘hey, that’s a show right there!’ so it went from there.
Is there a twist in the tale or something we don’t know about yet?
Yeah – it’s not one relationship but two! One triggered the opening and filling of the storage unit and the other emptied it. That’s happened over a five-year period, though.
TimeOut Sydney have positioned you in-between Carrie Bradshaw and Emily Bronte – do you identify with either of these women?
Not really, no. You can almost call it a ‘literary cabaret’ you know? People think that because I write and perform I’m like Bradshaw, or something. Sometimes I think people just want to draw comparisons between other writers, and other females, but it isn’t necessarily true.
Do you find that being shocking in comedy gets more laughs?
Yeah I do, but there are two sides to it. I think that unless it comes from a truth or context, it’s less effective […] Shock comedy loses its impact; it loses what it’s trying to say because the shock drowns the message. Recently audiences seem to be more sensitive as well. For example in my 2011 show Not Suitable For Children, given the title and a disclaimer stating ‘not suitable for children’ a family still brought a child – and then they got defensive when they thought the material wasn’t suitable for a child. I mean, really.
Do you think the ongoing debate about whether female comedians are funny is just over-analysis; picking hairs to spark unnecessary discussion?
Yeah, I do. Personally I didn’t know what women weren’t funny until I was in comedy – there’s a lot of criticism out there and I don’t agree with it myself, I know a lot of very funny and smart women in the business.
Who are your favourite fellow female comedians?
Claire Hooper – she’s such a funny, quick-witted woman! She supports a lot of comedians by having an open house to guests, reads works and directs emerging female comics’ stuff. Working with her on the Standz and Hopper show was really fun, we had wanted to work together for a long time. Separately you might not notice similarities between us but when we’re in the same room we have a lot of fun. Felicity Ward and Geraldine Hickey are funny and inspiring also. There’s a lot of new girls on the scene as well, which is exciting to see. I get inspired by local talent – it’s interesting to see what people are doing here, and it’s also important that people go see that talent, to support the locals.
Your onstage persona? Is it Sasha Fierce-esque?
[laughs] I don’t have a name for her, no, but there is definitely a heightened sense of self-importance! Lou Sanz is braver than Louise Sanz, for sure, probably a bit more deluded too.
Are you nervous for Wednesday night?
I haven’t done this show before, I’m a little bit terrified. The show is very new, and I take a few more risks than usual. I’m going to jump off cliff and I’m taking a couple of things with me. There’ll be a bit of audience interaction, probably a bit more than previous shows. And some crude animation. Yep, there will be PowerPoint slides [laughs] I enjoy having an ongoing dialogue with the audience, it gets me out of my own head.
What are five words you’d say about your show, to sum it up?
Storage it’s funny. It is. [laughs] Yep.
Who: Lou Sanz
What: Sydney Comedy Festival show Neverending Storage
When: 25 – 29 April
Where: Factory Theatre
How much: $15 tickets here