Eleanor Conway is coming to Leeds tomorrow night and is halfway through her UK tour! Excelle talks exclusively to music journalist turned comedian Eleanor to find out all about her tour and the sudden change in career! Click here to grab your tickets
How did you get into comedy? Are you doing it on the side of your music journalism career?
I’m just really concentrating on the comedy stuff at the moment. Yeah I’m just concentrating on putting the tour together and writing it. I’m traveling all the time at the moment so that’s pretty much my focus. I always thought I was a bit funny and I had to like fight against the constraints of the music industry. I just wanted to tell my story and be a bit more creative I guess. So I just started going to a couple of open mic nights and I was a bit scared but over time and as I got a bit more sober, I just was like I want to give this a proper go and then I wrote the show because I was bored and I wasn’t drinking and I was desperate to have something to concentrate on rather than thinking about drinking, so I just wrote the show and it’s done really well.
So have you gone from complete party girl to straight edge?
Yeah, it’s boring and it’s really freaking me out. Getting up on stage is definitely my new adrenaline.
How do come up with your material then? Is it just experiences?
Yeah, it’s pretty much what I can remember; I’ve had a quite mental life. The show is about the extremes I go to in life, like I’m massively extreme in the way that I tackle things, so like if I do tinder, I’m not going to just do tinder now and then, I’m really going to do tinder. It’s like having a drink, I’m not just going to drink one, I’m going to drink loads or if I want to go away with a new partner, I’m going move half way around the world with him, that’s the kind of extremes that I go to. It’s just a tongue in cheek way of looking at my extremities and how I’m really battling against trying to be more calm and moderate.
Does it worry you how audiences will take in about how personal you are?
At the beginning I was worried that people were going to judge me because I don’t come across like a saint in this, I’m a bad girl and I don’t come across well in some parts of the show. I think there’s a certain amount of awareness that I bring to the show that people think that oh well it’s in the past and behind me now, and it can act like a warning to every one else. I think everyone has their dark secrets and they might not have done it in the same way as I’ve done it, but they will be able to relate to it or they may know someone else who’s done it.
Is there anywhere in particular you’re looking forward to playing?
Bristol, Manchester and London have all sold out. I’m looking forward to playing every date, I’m just so grateful that I’m able to do this. I’m looking forward to Barnsley and I’m really looking forward to coming to Leeds because that’s where I started.
Have you ever played anywhere that you’ve forgotten your material and had to wing it?
[Laughing] No, I’m a professional. I have a little cheat sheet at the side of the stage just incase I forget what to talk about next. It’s just like one word to remind me.
Whats the hardest gig you’ve played during your comedic career?
When I first started out I put together this chat show idea, we hadn’t rehearsed it and one of the guys on the show was quite high profile so half the audience had just come to see him, and half the audience had come to see the show. The night was going horrendously, there was like 200 people, we put too many breaks in and it was just horrible. It was hot and sweaty, they were all restless and then I thought oh don’t worry the headliner will save it and then she said oh I got to go my kids are sick. It was the worst gig of my life.
Or another one, I was doing the same chat show no one had turned up, and then a group of 18 people walked in as it had started. I was like don’t worry you can pay for the tickets in the break, and then the first act went on and insulted the group so much they left in the break. So I didn’t make the money I needed to make to break even, in the end I was just sat crying.
Would you say you have a bit more of a thicker skin now than when you started?
I don’t know, yeah I do, but I’m a bit more vulnerable on stage, I’m more myself and people really like that. People like seeing someone being honest and vulnerable and they will cut you a lot of slack. I’ve been really embraced by audiences, a lot of mum hugs at the end. There’s a few dark bits in the show where people are dabbing eyes, but overall it’s been a really great and I couldn’t wished for a better experience.