Tor is a Perth based comedian who runs the Fremantle Comedy Factory. We asked her a couple of questions about the Perth comedy scene and the diversity disaster that was the 2018 Perth Comedy Festival.
What do you think makes good comedy?
Being relatable. If you talk about subjects everyone has gone through and then have your own funny opinion about it…that’s good comedy.
Would you say it’s easier to be a male comedian than a female comedian? If so, why?
I believe it is easier for men in the comedy industry. No doubt. Because there’s still a gender power struggle. Woman have to work harder to gain the trust of the audience while men are almost given it immediately. I don’t think that’s the audience’s fault. It’s just that the world has been run by white men for so long that we have faith in that silhouette. But change is coming, and so is the feminist winter.
Why do you think a lot of comedy festivals over program male comedians and under program female comedians?
I don’t believe comedy festivals are purposely programming more males than females. If they are, that’s some sick shit. I do believe there is a still a large female gap in the industry. I have found that women aren’t as interested in being funny and that has to do with gender standards being pushed upon us from a very young age. But we are in the middle of a new feminist movement. Women want to be heard more than ever and we should be! If you are a woman who wants to get on stage, do it! I’m listening and so are rooms full of paying customers.
How did you feel seeing the line-up for the Perth Comedy Festival, as someone who works to support emerging female comedians in the industry?
There’s a Perth Comedy Festival? Just kidding. But seriously, I don’t think the festival is well established to begin with and the fact that there’s a low quantity of females being represented doesn’t show much diversity. How does the audience decide to see a show, unless they are a fan already, will it be the white straight man or the other white straight man?
Why is it important for audiences to hear comedy from female comedians?
It’s important to listen to woman in comedy because we are half the population. We are people too that have thoughts and opinions that matter. If you are are consciously deciding to not see a woman do comedy, there’s something messed up about that and you need to rethink that decision, immediately. Anytime I hear anyone say, “You were pretty good for a woman,” I immediately reply, “Yeah I know, can you believe it? And I’m on my period!”
Who is your favourite female comedian and why?
My favourite comedian, who happens to be a woman, is Sarah Silverman. She’s a strong, unapologetic and hilarious. She’s not afraid to be dirty, political, sexy, silly, basically, she’s the man! lol
What’s your favourite donut?