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  • Writer's picturesophiasalmassi

Isabelle Farah

April and May were very hard trying to find work and also work out who I am given that my personality seems to be defined by being in sweaty rooms with lots of other people.

What comedy most inspires you?

I like comedy that has lots of feelings in that have come from the bottom of someone's gut. I love Disney films as well.

Which comedian most inspires you?

Oof, impossible to give one. Katherine Ryan and Felicity Ward for very different reasons.

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

I always strive to be that good, but sometimes I watch some really unique acts and wish I could do *that style* - Katie Pritchard makes really silly songs that make me weep with laughter.

Why and how did you get into comedy?

I trained as a classical actress and had been temping for quite a while and needed an outlet. A lot of people had told me to do it and it seemed like the natural time to do it!

What drives you to do what you do?

Absolute need for attention.

Describe your perfect Tuesday.

Get up, outdoor swim, eggs for breakfast, some writing, a call from my agent offering me both a really great creative job and a really well paid commercial, some scrolling through Insta or Twitter, Whatsapp groups being busy but not unmanageable, Lebanese dinner, wine. Ideally it's 25 degrees as well.

Describe your worst experience on a coach.

When I was 18 Megabuses were basically just old London buses so didn't have cushioned seats or toilets and so I sat through an uncomfortable a four hour coach to Leeds next to a child and her vomit.

Best sofa you've ever slept on?

My own, regularly.

Best piece of advice a comedian ever gave you?

Your best material will happen when you write the things that mean the most to you.

Worst piece of advice a critic ever gave you?

Not a 'critic' but some people who don't or have never done or have no experience writing comedy will say "I think you should talk about this on stage" and honestly if you take the advice from the comedian in 9 and the advice from the critic in 10 doesn't match up then I just don't bother (but smile politely and say yes...)

Tell us a joke.

I left my permanent, secure job in February 2020 to be a more full time creative AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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

Red Raw at the three Stands (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle) and honestly it was 3 of my favourite gigs ever.

Who were you looking forward to seeing in Edinburgh/Mach this year?

I love people's debut hours and quite a few people who started around the same time as I did were due to do theirs. It would have been a great year to be there, SOB!

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

0. I had some fish and veg for dinner and then some cake for puds. NOM.

How has lockdown been for you?

Very up and down. I had big plans for 2020 (didn't we all) and lost all of my work in one fell swoop. April and May were very hard trying to find work and also work out who I am given that my personality seems to be defined by being in sweaty rooms with lots of other people. My local reservoir opened up for swimming in June and I've been going there 2-4 times a week which definitely keeps me sane(r) and I got a contract job working from home. On the plus side, I don't have to commute anymore and now I chat to my neighbours. I bought a bike so now have overcome my fear of cycling places. I'd like it to be over now so I can go back to my life. But in the grand scheme of things I've been ok so far. Just need to get through the winter....

Have you been more or less productive?

A bit of both. Some days I wasn't productive but I managed to get out of bed and not scream all day which may not have been productive but it was an achievement.

Anything else you'd like to say?

Yes. There is a Charity called Maytree who, in normal times, offer a short residential stay for people experiencing suicidal thoughts. Obviously that's not possible at the moment but they are offering telephone and email support until they can reopen. If you are, or you know someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts, that's where I'd recommend you contact (or Samaritans.) I know GPs, A&Es, and NHS Mental Health Services are stretched to the limit and I hope more people are able to access places that are able to help them when they need it. My cousin died by suicide in 2017. It's not a funny story or thing to say but hey, it's a practical bit of information that might help you or someone else one day! xx

photo credit : Stephanie Claire Photography

For more information on Maytree :

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