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Bec Hill

What comedy most inspires you?

I really enjoy watching people who do a type of comedy that I don't do - improv, sketch, musical, mime, etc. It reignites a love for performance and a curiosity in me, which often leads to bigger and bolder ideas for each of my shows.

Which comedian most inspires you?

Touring with Sarah Bennetto taught me to be less scripted. Sarah is so unabashedly herself. She's very loose and conversational onstage, which is just so refreshing and enjoyable. It gave me the confidence to stop writing out my shows word-for-word and to start being more present in the moment. I'm quicker on my feet now and feel like a better comedian for it. But don't tell her I said that.

Which comedian scares the shit out of you because you know you'll never be that good?

Oh geez, like... everyone? Every time I gig with Sara Pacoe, she has a brand new 10 minutes she's trying out. Every time. I don't know how she writes that much. I've been working on a new 10 minutes for about 6 months now.

Why and how did you get into comedy?

In high school, I used to write jokes and be like, "I'll give these to a comedian so they can tell them on stage." I never thought that I could be the comedian. And then, the year after I finished high school and was just bumming around at home in Adelaide trying to work out what Uni to go to, I entered a stand-up competition for a laugh (pun intended) and it went surprisingly well. And now, 13 years later, I'm here.

What drives you to do what you do?

A mix of attention-seeking, the need for external approval, and the satisfaction I get from giving myself a challenge and then doing it.

Describe your perfect Tuesday.

It starts with a sleep-in and ends with me eating my dinner in the bath while watching TV on my phone.

Describe your worst experience on a coach.

Remembering this actually makes my stomach churn. In Australia, my (now) husband and I caught a coach from Melbourne to Adelaide. We had a flight back to the UK the next day. The coach stopped for lunch in one of those tiny country towns surrounded by nothing for miles. We came out of the cafe to notice the coach had left without us - and there's only one once a day - sometimes every few days. My husband managed to cut through a side-street (honestly, it was like an American movie chase-scene) and stop it. When we got on, the driver and the passengers all yelled and swore at us, saying we'd delayed them and they would miss their connecting buses in other country towns (side note: they didn't - the driver radio'd the other drivers and they waited). I spent the next 5 hours trying to hold back tears from the stress of thinking we were going to get stranded in the middle of nowhere and miss our flight home, and then the relief of making the bus, only to have an entire busload of people hating on us for the rest of the trip. It was really awful.

Best sofa you've ever slept on?

My mum's old brown leather sofa. I slept on it for 6 months when I accidentally infested my room with bedbugs after a backpacking trip. These are great questions by the way.

Best piece of advice a comedian ever gave you?

I have 2 great pieces of advice. 1 (from Aussie comic, Justin Hamilton, when I started out): practice your set while holding something in your hand as a microphone. That way when you get on stage, you'll know what to do with your hands. 2 (from Jarlath Regan): If you're dying on stage, don't undermine yourself too much. It's easy to get a pity laugh when you acknowledge a gig is hard, but if you do it too much, the audience will lose any remaining confidence in you, because you don't even have confidence in yourself.

Worst piece of advice a critic ever gave you?

I've probably had bad advice from critics, but I've done a good job of not remembering it, as I clearly didn't think it was good advice haha. But one thing that always sticks in my mind was the opening of a review which went, "Entering the stage like a child who has dressed themselves for the first time..." Like... this isn't a costume. This is just how I dress. It made me laugh.

Tell us a joke.

This isn't a joke, but it reminded me of when a comedian friend from Australia was visiting and we went to a little country pub and the barman found out he was a comedian and said, "Tell us a joke!" And my friend sighed and said, "A comedian walks into a bar, and the barman says, "Tell us a joke!" and the comedian STABBED HIM IN THE EYE." I ended up awkwardly laughing and paying for the round.

What's the furthest you've travelled for the least amount of money/open spot?

When I first moved to London, about 9 years ago, I remember going to Nottingham to do an unpaid spot and it was horrific. After my spot I went to the loo and overheard 2 audience members discussing how sorry they felt for me.

Best chicken you've ever tasted?

Rotisserie chicken. The stuff that comes in a bag from the supermarket. The skin on that is always incredible.

On a scale of 1-10 , how hungry are you right now?

Damn you!

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