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Comics' Corner


LAST MONTH, KELLY GULLIVER competed against other budding Territory comedians for a chance to represent the NT in the national Raw Comedy final.

Despite the NT comp being just her second stand up performance, she took out the title. Will Crawford caught up with Kelly for a chat.

Kelly, congrats on your win at Raw Comedy! What was it like to perform in front of 650 people?
Epic. Such a buzz, I loved every moment of it!

You’re an acclaimed poet and a Wild Words regular. How does poetry compare to stand up and did your poetry background help?
Absolutely yes, they are both very cathartic. Poetry is deep and can take you both in to and out of a dark place. It helps me to work through feelings of pain and confusion. 

Comedy is light and fun. It’s exhilarating because you receive constant feedback throughout the performance. They can both be used as a form of healing and storytelling. Writing poetry and reading it to my friends at Wild Words has given me the confidence to do this.

What do you get up to when you’re not winning stand-up competitions?
I work as a financial counsellor and am the NT representative for Financial Counselling Australia. I’m a mum to three teenagers, I play the ukulele and netball, enjoy cycling and solo car karaoke. My all-time favourite thing to do is to spend time in nature, camping with friends and family.

What was the inspiration behind your Raw Comedy routine?
I had a completely different set prepared. But I went to a yoga workshop with the intention of coming out of it feeling at peace and loving myself sick in preparation for my heat. It was born from there! Literally three days before the heat... The story I told on stage is about what happened at that workshop – well my little twist on it anyway. 
Who encouraged you to enter Raw?

My good mates Darren McCallum and Shele Parker Black from Wild Words. 
How did you set about writing  the routine?

I imagined saying it to a friend in my head, and then I wrote that down. I’m a bit of a storyteller – some of my poetry does that too. I have always enjoyed recounting funny stuff to friends (with a little drama). Then I re-wrote it and re-wrote it, over and over. Every time I did this, I identified bits I could chop and bits I could add to make it funnier. I also wanted to be clever with its structure, so it finished with a bang, tying all the good bits together.

Attending a comedy writing workshop with Amy Hetherington two days before the heat helped me a lot. Performing it was epic, but the writing process was also very satisfying.
What did your friends say when they saw your perform?
They said I was very brave and funny, so I think I’m going to keep them. Especially as I haven’t had to buy my own drinks since… 
What advice would you give to others wondering if they should  try stand up comedy?
Do it! And believe you can do it. Nothing is achieved by telling yourself you can’t do it. Let your faith be greater than your fear!

RAW Comedy National Grand Final

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