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A different point of view from a female comedienne
FEMALE comedian may once have been seen as a dirty phrase, or two words that didn't match up.
Yet, things are changing in the comedy world and women acts are rising to prominence, showing they can make audiences spill their drinks with fits of laughter, just as much as their male counterparts.
One such beneficiary of the seemingly new attitude in the industry is Jo Caulfield.
Now a regular on one of the top television stand up comedy shows, Mock the Week, Jo told Freetime it's still not entirely easy being a woman but she's turning her gender to her advantage.
"Women offer a different point of view," she said, explaining why she believes her sex can be a plus point.
"All the men, they're trying to battle amongst themselves trying to be different and therefore I'm more interesting because I'm the only woman."
"It's tricky. On the stage I think nobody ever doesn't laugh because you're a woman. That's a fallacy.
"Sometimes you can come out on stage, sometimes audiences think oh, it's a woman because they haven't seen many.
"It's unusual for them. As soon as you're funny they're absolutely fine with it. You just have to make sure you play both sexes."
The comedian, who will play The Elgiva in Chesham this month, said: "You don't want to be just up there just going I'm ugly and can't get a boyfriend, you should be making women feel better about themselves. In terms of live work I don't think it's prejudiced in that way. If you're funny, you'll be booked.
"I often get more work because not many women are getting booked because people ask for women."
Despite that, however, Jo, admits things perhaps haven't entirely moved on when it comes to comedy on the small screen.
She said: "Television is different, it's bizarrely sexist. It seems very unrepresentative to put on a show and have all the show be men.
"You look and think it's not representative of the world but the world is still ruled by mostly white middle class men.
"TV is still a little bit like that or they panic about women, they say we need one let's get a pretty one and it'll be fine."
Jo who approaching 50 years old now, started when she was 28 but having become an established figure, hasn't looked back. So what motivated her in the beginning?
"I always from when I was a kid got a thrill from making people laugh, that's where it started," she said.
"Particularly at school I could get away with stuff begin badly behaved if I was funny, it helped if you could make people laugh. It's that thrill in your stomach, I liked that. I didn't realise you could make a living out of it.
"I was drifting around, I had a band, I had a market stall I didn't know what to do, I just wanted to work for myself."
And nowadays, that's exactly what she does.
She will perform on Thursday October 4 from 7.30pm at The Elgiva Theatre, St Mary's Way, Chesham, Bucks HP5 1HR.
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