Article Title:DeAnne Smith wants you to Get Into It!
Category:Performance
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:24th April 2015 - 11:26 am
Published by:GayNZ.com
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Story ID:16733
Text:Comedian DeAnne Smith is coming to New Zealand for the first time, and she couldn’t be more excited. “For years all my friends on the Australian circuit, all the comedians, have been just raving about what a fun festival it is and how beautiful it is. People just always have a great time there,” she says. American by birth but living in Canada, she has spent plenty of time in Australia since her comedy career took off, but just never made it down to New Zealand till now. “I had an Australian girlfriend so I did what I always do, and follow girls around the world, and let them make important life decisions for me,” she says wryly. “I started coming to Australia with my Australian girlfriend and I just discovered that I love it.” Smith’s first comedy show was at an open mic night in Montreal in 2005, when she was 25. “Just from that first open mic it never stopped,” she recalls. “I used to write humorous articles and I thought ‘this will just be easier if I get on stage and say this stuff instead of writing this stuff’. And then I discovered that it wasn’t easier AT ALL! But it was actually just a lot more fun.” Since then she has travelled the world, won awards appeared on TV and radio and most importantly just made people laugh a hell of a lot. There is plenty of humour in being a lesbian of course, and Smith has fun with this - she says 20-30 per cent of her audience tends to be gay or lesbian. “I have a lot of fun with that line, where I’m not speaking entirely to one group or another,” she explains. “I think it’s fun for the lesbian audience to see themselves reflected. And I think it’s fun for the ‘general’ audience to get a little taste of our world and feel like they’re in on something.” Smith also seems to attract a lot of teenage male fans, and she isn’t really sure why. “But I don’t mind it at all. I think it’s the greatest! I guess I have been described before as ‘nerdy but dirty’ and maybe it’s that little element of dirtiness that gets them involved. I mean, I’m kind of like a teenage boy, that’s my spirit in a lot of ways, so it’s not so crazy that someone might see that and connect with that, and have goofy chuckles over sexual stuff.” Connecting with the audience is one of her favourite things about being a comedian. “I like seeing how each group comes together in a different way, and then working with that. I tend to do a bit of audience interaction and keep every show different, so that I can remember which night was which night and make it fun for myself so it’s not like a script that I’m just delivering every night.” At a recent Melbourne show she was due on stage but saw there were people at the bar waiting for drinks, but no bartender, so she jumped behind the bar and started serving people. “I was like ‘I hope you have the right change because I don’t know how to work the register’." When she got on stage she saw there was still nobody at the bar, so went back and got a bottle of wine and started sharing it around. “It was just a way to make it silly and fun and it turned out to be a really fun show.” Her New Zealand International Comedy Festival show is called Get Into It! because that’s what’s she’s going to do. “I do pretty personal comedy. It’s super funny but it’s definitely a bit personal and vulnerable. So that happens,” she says. “There’s jokes about my ex, there’s jokes about my new girlfriend. It’s a pretty gay show. There’s jokes about a failed one night stand. It’s all in there.” Smith expects the audience to ‘get into it’ as well. “I love talking to the audience a little bit and there are some moments where I have people participate. I like to see what other people’s personalities are and the personality of the group is.” She’d love you to come and say hi after the show. “A lot of people tweet at me that they were there, but I like even more when they’re like ‘hi’, in real life, ‘it’s me’.” Mostly Smith would just love to see you. “Just come check it out. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed. And if you are I’ll give you money out of my own pocket.” DeAnne Smith’s Get Into It! opens at The Vault at Q Theatre in Auckland from Saturday night, then runs from Tue 28 April – Sat 2 May, at 7.15pm each night. Tickets here  Jacqui Stanford - 24th April 2015    
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