Comic Katherine Ryan looks on the bright side
LIZ CROSTHWAITE • Published 23 Feb 2013 07:30 0 Comments
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POSITIVITY: Katherine Ryan
The world can be an ugly place, but Canadian comic Katherine Ryan refuses to wallow or whine. With her signature honesty and potty mouth, the self-described 'Elmo of comedy' is tackling the negatives and turning them intno positives - making lemonade from those lemons, if you will.
"I think it comes naturally to me, I have always kind of looked on the positive side or the sweeter side," Katherine told me. "I don't want to people to think the show is all sweetness and light, there's some ugly stuff - don't bring your kids! But even when bad things happen - even when really depressing things happen - you can find the positive angle. I have always done that, but now I do it more, on purpose. I think that so much comedy is whinging now and the audience find my North American perspective quite refreshing."
The London-based mother-of-one, who has dealt with skin cancer, the autoimmune disease lupus and divorce in the past few years, added that us Brits had some way to go in matching North America for sunny positivity.
"I like it more in the UK than I do in Canada, I feel more at home here. But the general level of friendliness is lower here. So I'm extra friendly, like Elmo. If Elmo was a female, adult comic who told rude jokes, I would be Elmo."
With her Nature's Candy show, dealing with topics including her sexual antics, teaching her daughter 'stranger danger', and, until recently ("I have had enough now - I think they all need to go to a convent!") Geordie Shore, Katherine's material balances the shocking, domestic, and downright surreal.
She explained: "Some people think I'm doing a character, some people think I'm trying to shock people, but I just speak very openly and honestly about my life. My friends and family, who are not comedians, go through the same things that I do. My observations are very honest.
"I always say to my daughter, if you always tell the truth you can always relax and not worry about what's a lie and what's the truth. Some of it of course is hyped up and heightened for comedy's sake. I think audiences want you to hold a mirror up to their lives, in some ways, where they can recognise themselves."
Her three-year-old daughter is also a rich mine for comedy tidbits: "So many people are like, 'eurgh, kids, I hate kids', but my daughter is with me right now and she's so cool.
"My comedy does not come off as particularly mumsy, I don't think, because I see her like another person, like someone else who lives in my flat - but who I love! I think kids are like basic representations of humanity: 'This is how I feel and I love this and I'm hungry and I'm tired and I hate that."
Katherine Ryan is at The Firestation, Windsor, on Friday, March 1. Tickets at www.firestationartscentre.com
This article appeared in Bracknell News 21 Feb 13