Homecoming of hilarity
Albany-born funny girl Amy Hetherington is coming home to perform at the Albany Arts Festival. Shannon Smith spoke to her about what to expect.
What is it like to be coming home?
I’m so excited and nervous and pumped. I’ve been doing comedy for five years and this will be the first time I’ve performed at home. I can’t wait to see lots of friends and family in the crowd. I think it’ll be really hilarious seeing my old teachers, family friends or sports coaches while I overshare strange stories about getting stuck in a wetsuit.
How did you get into comedy?
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I started comedy when I moved to Darwin in 2013. But people in Albany may remember I was never shy and really enjoyed being the centre of attention, so for them it wouldn’t be a surprise. I never had any “real” talent like singing, dancing or acting, so this is my way to get on the stage and in front of people. But I definitely think Southern Edge Arts in Albany has a lot to do with that confidence and my love of performance.
What’s it like to be asked to perform in your home town? Do you have a bit more material when you know about the town better?
It’s half-terrifying and half-humbling. I think comedy is a very vulnerable art form and to have people in the audience who have known me my whole life and know some of the stupid things I did as a teenager in Albany will make it a bit more intense. But definitely knowing Albany makes it easier to get the material together. A lot of my comedy is storytelling and I have plenty of stories about my childhood, especially unsafe parenting decisions made by my dad. I am so grateful for Albany Arts Festival for including me in the program.I’m so excited to see humans I haven’t seen in years.
Tell me about your show.
People can expect really positive comedy with a bit of audience interaction and crazy storytelling. This show will have stories about the weirdness of living in the Northern Territory (might make you grateful you live in Albany), stories about Dad and his dangerous optimism, a mishap with a wetsuit and the challenges of feeling sexy in a sweaty tropical city.
Have you always been a joker?
I’ve always been an idiot and a lot of my stories are based on dumb things I do, so that’s made it really helpful to get material. I’m a storytelling comedian, I like to overshare and I like to see the positive in weird scenarios. I do a lot of audience interaction because I really like how it makes every show different.
When did you think “yes, I am going to do this as a career”?
I like this question. I don’t think I ever thought of it as a career, it just sort of happened. It feels like I tripped and fell into the kitchen and someone said “welcome chef, this is what you do now”. I mix comedy with my business as well, so it’s been nice to use it as a tool to help people communicate and create ... and it’s absolutely humbling to be able to tour around Australia and have people I don’t know come and see my shows.
Any warnings — “Grandma, don’t attend the show”?
My grandma actually came to my show in Perth a couple of years ago. She laughed so hard at a really inappropriate joke, her false teeth fell out ... cutest, sweetest moment ever. Anyone is welcome. Only warning is there may be some crowd interaction and if you know my dad (Rob Hetherington), you might learn more then you bargained for.
Amy Hetherington will perform at the Albany Entertainment Centre as part of the Albany Arts Festival on FebruaryFebuary 9 at 8pm. Tickets are available online at ptt.wa.gov.au or at the box office for $28.
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