“If you tell me a secret I won’t tell anyone apart from 400 people in a dark basement.” | Fiona Ridgewell talks honesty, confidence and the Funny Women 2020 finals

Tell us about you/your act.

I’m a bit of a gossip onstage, to be honest. If you tell me a secret I won’t tell anyone apart from 400 people in a dark basement.

What’s your favourite thing about working in comedy?

Meeting different people everyday, I feel like it’s enriched my life. I have lots of friends from all different walks of life that I don’t think I would have met behind a desk at an office job. 

What challenges have you faced working in comedy?

Most of the challenges have come from me, a lack of confidence and a lot of self doubt. 

How do you think that comedy as an industry can better address these issues?

I definitely got over these issues by performing regularly. Creating room for more than one woman on a bill so we can get the stage time would definitely help create confident female acts.

How do you feel reaching the final of the Funny Women Awards 2020?

I’m really excited and a little bit proud of myself. 

How has COVID and the restrictions on live performance affected your approach to this competition?

I’ve definitely felt more relaxed when it comes to the performance, but more driven when it comes to mindset. 

Has doing this competition in the current circumstances changed how you’ll approach comedy when things go back to normal?

I’ll definitely trust my instincts and be myself, I won’t rely so heavily on the audience’s feedback to reassure me as to whether a gig is going well. 

How do you think comedy in general is likely to be different post-pandemic?

I think every gig will count, I found I’ve enjoyed every gig I’ve done post lockdown as I don’t take any gig for granted because there was a point where I thought I might not get the opportunity to perform at live gigs again. 

Aside from the competition, what else have you been up to over lockdown?

I really want to make comedy my sole income. I want to be on 8 Out of 10 Cats, Live at the Apollo and Strictly Come Dancing (because as it stands I’ve wasted £16,000 on a dance degree).

Do you have any advice for other women looking to get into comedy?

Do it! You won’t regret it!

Fiona is performing at the Funny Women 2020 finals on Tuesday 22nd September 2020.

Book your ticket here.

You can keep up with Fiona’s work by following her on Twitter and Instagram.