Ellyn Daniels finds the humour in her most psychologically demoralising moments in what she describes as an “unapologetic, soul-bearing tale of one girl’s journey from humiliation to liberation”.
Hello Ellyn, How are you today?
Hello! I am a bit tired today because I have been worrying about a lot of things I have no control over, but I am also excited because I will be taking off to London soon and one of the most comforting moments I ever experience in life is looking out an airplane window onto the green patches of Blighty, knowing I will soon be walking amongst some of the funniest and loveliest people in the world.
At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?
Quite closely. One element of the blurb, “finding salvation through stand-up comedy” requires a bit of imagination on the audience’s part, as is not conveyed literally within the narrative of the show. I don’t do my stand-up act and explain to you all the ways expressing myself in that way has saved my life, but I hope you will understand that the fact I am performing a solo show for you instead of having died from bulimia or alcoholism- related causes conveys the salvation I have found through comedy. The show covers much more content than the blurb indicates, so the audience will get more story than they were expecting.
Have the momentous events of 2016 affected your comedy in any way?
My comedy tends to be less political and more personal and relationship oriented, however, the election of Donald Trump has made me angrier about the rampant misogyny in our society and more compelled to point it out, rip into it and join forces with other artists seeking to dismantle it.
Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?
I am sharing a flat with my sound designer and friend, Adam Fazel and the collection of visitors we have passing through during the month. Adam is an extremely positive guy with the most optimistic outlook on any situation in life I have ever witnessed, so he will continuously tell me things like “everything happens for a reason, and for the best reason” and in exchange for that kind of motivation, I will listen to his girlfriend problems and advise as best I can. We have worked on a lot of projects together over the years so we have our flow and I am extremely grateful he’s going to be with me at the Fringe.
Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?
What if I just listed a bunch of children’s shows? Honestly, I am excited about seeing all the shows I can while I am there. I haven’t had time to sift through and pick out what I feel I must see. I think that will be my task on the flight over. I know I will see Maria Shehata’s show. That’s all I know for now.
Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?
I am looking forward to some classically drab UK weather. I am looking forward to seeing the city and the castle which I’ve not visited since I was 15, and the nostalgia that might invoke. I am excited to get to know other artists that will be performing and to feel the inspiration that comes from performing every day as part of such a crazy (I’ve heard) and massive festival. Oh, and I am very much looking forward to the train ride from London to Edinburgh. I love trains and train stations.
What celebrity death hit you the hardest in 2016 (mine was Wogan)?
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.
Anything I want? Ok. Here goes. I am tired of being afraid. I have spent my entire life being afraid. I’ve been afraid of home invasions, body fat, lung cancer, HIV, losing money, not making enough money, having an ugly vagina, having a smelly vagina, not being successful, being stupid, not speaking Spanish well, not being desirable to men, being judged by women, not telling people I love them, telling people I love them, never living up to my potential, not having the potential I think I have, not being funny, having bad breath, not contributing anything worthwhile to society, wasting my life doing silly things because I am afraid of what people will think of me if I did the things that are really in my heart, etc, etc, etc. I want to stop being afraid. The one thing I have found that helps me have more courage in life is talking to another human being and sharing my fears with her/him. Thank you to anyone who read this, because you have given me the courage to be honest today. I love you and I am grateful to you.
Ellyn Daniels: Emotional Terrorism
3-26 Aug, 9pm