“Avoid the feelings, make jokes and cry in secret.” | Judy Alfereti gets frank about sex, mental health and Vanilla Ice for Don’t Talk To Me About Love

Tell us about the show you’re bringing to Glasgow Comedy Festival.

Don’t Talk To Me About Love is a one woman show about love, sex, mental health and Vanilla Ice. It’s basically a stand up show, but with more narrative rather than quickfire jokes.

It’s the first one woman show I’ve ever written, and I debuted it last year, having had zero stand up experience. It went really well, so I thought I’d give it another whirl. It’s funny! 

But the thing I like most about it is how honest it is. It really doesn’t hold back, and everything I talk about is 100% true.

What inspired you to write a show about your quest for love?

Around 10 years ago I started writing a blog and one of the main topics was my disastrous love life. People loved it. In six months it had over 88,000 views! I told a bunch of funny and honest stories about dating and people really related to it. 

I stopped writing it after 6 months (I got a boyfriend, and the dynamic of it changed), but I always wanted to perform it on stage in some capacity, and here we are! The show isn’t a word for word retelling of my blog, but has the same writing style and subject matter.

What is the relationship between mental health and relationships?

I have Borderline Personality Disorder which involves having a lot of attachment issues. Quite intense attachment issues. So if I like you, I will want to spend every single moment of every single day with you and get so infatuated with you and never want to leave you. Which has caused a lot of problems in relationships, I’m sure you can imagine! 

The interesting thing with BPD is that relationships are very black and white, so it’s all or nothing. I’ll either be super attached or will have a wall up and not let you get close. So we’re either best friends or not friends at all. It’s not healthy.

This show sounds like it’s likely to touch on some intimate stories. How personal is it likely to get?

Oh, it gets hella personal! It’s a very frank show. I talk about a lot of things I discussed with my therapist, so get right in about my mental health issues. I talk about my abortion, my number of sex partners, low self-esteem, and coping with all of this by having more sex. It doesn’t get graphic as in physical description of sex acts, but it really is laid bare.

Is it difficult putting personal things out there on stage?

Not particularly. At the start of my career it was, but now I’m very comfortable talking about personal issues. I think it’s important to talk about mental health to remove any stigma attached to it. Mental health is so important but I know a lot of people struggle with admitting they have issues and need help, so if my show can encourage even one person to be more honest, then it’s worth it.

What is your trick to finding the funny side of heartbreak?

If you don’t laugh, you’re gonna cry! I don’t know if this is a BPD thing, or a me thing, but I’ve mainly had a positive approach to life and am able to brush things off well. Maybe I’m just avoiding dealing with my feelings, because the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else, but then the cycle continues. Yeah, that’s it – just avoid the feelings, make jokes and cry in secret.

What do you hope people take away from your show?

That loving sex is okay and perfectly natural. Having mental health issues is okay and don’t be afraid to get help. It really does help to talk about things, particularly with a therapist – someone neutral who is there solely to help you. 

And also it is important for the audience to know just how hot I am in real life.

Are there any other shows you’re looking forward to at Glasgow Comedy Festival?

I’m really looking forward to doing my other shows. I’m doing five improv shows including an improvised soap opera with The Bitchdel Test and putting the fun back into funeral with Trojan Hearse. There are a bunch of shows I would love to see, but I’m so busy with my own stuff, working full time AND university that I sadly won’t have the time!

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to break into comedy?

Just go for it. Get up on stage and go for it. Find an open mic night, and see what works.

I would recommend doing some improv to help build confidence. Things don’t always go to plan on stage, and having improvisation skills can really help in a pinch. I co-run an improv workshop for womxn, HER-larious, and seeing performers develop confidence, and learning to keep going when things go wrong is an invaluable skill.

Judy is performing Don’t Talk To Me About Love at Glasgow Comedy Festival on 24th March.

Book your ticket here.

You can keep up with Judy’s work by checking out her website and following her on Facebook and Twitter.