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Lesbian comedian up for top comedy award

Thu 21 Apr 2011 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Billy T nominee Urzila Carlson Lesbian comedian Urzila Carlson is heading into a set of shows at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival armed with a nomination for the prestigious Billy T Awards. The South Africa-raised Aucklander has been nominated for the biggest prize in New Zealand comedy after jumping to prominence through her hilarious routines, which involve everything from lesbian jokes to ex-pat digs. Carlson had to go through a gruelling set of auditions in front of a panel of around 15 judges to get into the finals. She says the next day most people had heard through the grapevine whether they had made the cut or not, but by 3pm she hadn't heard anything. Then she received a call telling her she was through, which she says what “a bit of an unexpected mindfuck”. Carlson says she wasn't expecting to be nominated as she has only being doing comedy for three years. However it comes of the back of being named New Zealand's Best Female Comedian by The New Zealand Comedy Guild last year. The Billy T Awards are run by the New Zealand Comedy Trust to inspire fledging comedians and guarantee the growth of the live comedy circuit. The four other comedians nominated in 2011 are Nick Gibb, Joseph Harper, Nick Rado and Cameron Murray. The winner will take home the coveted Yellow Towel and a $5000 cash grant from the New Zealand Comedy Trust. Previous winners include Paul Ego; Jan Maree; Ben Hurley; Dai Henwood; Justine Smith; Sam Wills; Steve Wrigley; and last year's winner Rhys Mathewson - the youngest ever recipient of the Billy T Award. Carlson says whether she wins or not, the nomination has catapulted her career forward and her phone has been running hot since. “I'm just going to milk it for all it's worth,” she laughs. She will perform her show The Truth According To Urzila Carlson at The Basement from May 17 – May 21, while final judging for the Billy T Awards will take place on the Last Laughs festival night. A full feature with Carlson will follow on, where she will talk more about her success in the past year and the rampant flirtations of ‘straight' women at her gigs.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 21st April 2011 - 4:39pm

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