A creative and imaginative mind is put on full display in 'Dear Future Ex-Husbands'.
NIDA graduate and award-winning comedic actor Annisa Belonogoff is debuting the show – which is based on real life experiences – around the country.
It's a performance focusing on the female logic of everything from family, friends, dating, society, coffee and bathroom antics. Basically. . . Nothing is off limits.
Annisa moved to Sydney two years ago and has been working the city's stand-up scene since.
Here, Annisa answers some questions about being a woman in comedy, inspiring people and writing material that suits herself before others.You’ve mentioned that you’d like to empower both men and women in your show. How do you set out to do this?
I have met so many women who are just unbelievably funny, they smoke men out of the water with humour, but there is still this stigma that women aren’t or can’t be funny. I like to write to embrace the female form, to allow women to own our perceived flaws and turn them into our super power. We are powerful beings. I have men come up to me after shows and say things like “I don’t find female comedians funny, but I found you hilarious”. I want to inspire men to explore more work done by females in this male-dominated arena. There is a growing demand for female comics and I want to inspire men to be avid supporters not just in this industry but across the board.Did you write this material with anyone in particular in mind?
This first show is for me, and single girls like me. There is still so much pressure on women to be, act, look, talk, walk, dress a certain way to attract a man. Heaven forbid you don’t attract one in time before your youth disappears. . . Who will look after you? I wanted to point out the ridiculous nature of the culture, that is still so potentially damaging. ‘Dear Future Ex-Husbands’ is all about dating in the digital age, and more. When did you begin writing the show and how long did it take to put together?
I wrote the first version of the show in August 2018 for Sydney Fringe Comedy, but it’s changed and developed since then into more of a journey of my experiences; I cover a lot of topics. Why do you think the show works?
Because it’s true. It’s the thing women face every day, constant scrutiny. I think men enjoy the show because they get to see a part of a woman's journey that they have no knowledge about. You moved to Sydney a few years ago. Have you found that move has helped for your creativity? Why do you think it has, if so?
Yes, definitely has, just more opportunities to try new things creatively. Also has allowed me to grow a thicker skin. . . This work ain’t easy. What, in your opinion, is the biggest misconception about comedians?
That we are funny all the time. “Tell me a joke” is one of the biggest things that annoys comedians. I usually respond by saying, “you wouldn’t ask a heart surgeon to perform heart surgery on you for free, would you?”And what has been your biggest challenge in compiling the material for this show?
Working with the right people and letting go of other people’s opinions. Some people won’t see or understand your vision, or they want to make it their own. I think when it comes to your art, you have to make your art. When it’s yours you can back yourself 100 per cent, every time. What’s the ideal audience reaction to ‘Dear Future Ex-Husbands’?
That they have fun, they relate, and women take this pressure off themselves to be this constant female goddess. It’s so much more fun to make life a little more messy.
'Dear Future Ex-Husbands' Tour Dates
22-24 January (Corner Bar at Windsor Hotel) and 25-26 January (Mint Nightclub) – Fringe World (Perth)14-15 February – Drama Llama at Rhino Room (Adelaide Fringe)19-21 March – Royal Exchange Salon Theatre (Newcastle Fringe)25 March-5 April – Club Voltaire (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)