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On Doug, Dogmas And Ruby Rose

22 January 2016 | 1:59 pm | Hannah Story

"I'm a bridge. My comedy is the abridged version of my life."

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Hannah Gadsby's new show
is not finished (she describes it as a "festering wound"), but she does know that it will feature her dog, Doug. "Originally I wanted to tour with my dog Doug, Douglas. I since thought 'That's not a great idea, what if he doesn't enjoy being on stage?'"

So what is it about? "I've been thinking a lot about celebrities at the moment. I've spent the year working on my garden and hanging out with my dog and thinking about Taylor Swift."

The subject matter doesn't seem surprising, considering Gadsby spent much of 2015 campaigning to become #RubyRoseUnderstudy, posting to Instagram pictures of herself mimicking Rose. Rose hasn't noticed. "I don't really want to interact with celebrity, I just want to mimic Ruby Rose. I don't want to be her friend — nothing against her. Because it's ludicrous... I don't understand why she's posing like she does, and posts all these things. I kind of get it on a level: 'It's a job, she's a model,' but then you look at those pictures and it's like 'What the fuck are you doing?'"

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"I've spent the year working on my garden and hanging out with my dog and thinking about Taylor Swift."

In 2015, Gadsby also appeared in the third season of Josh Thomas' comedy Please Like Me, her second as Mum's friend, and now roommate, Hannah. She says that experience has been "quite a privilege" and that herself and the person presented on screen are the same, but different. "It really is the same person, just a number of years ago. Sometimes people talk to me, I feel like they talk to me like I'm a different human — I'm like 'It's me! I'm right here!' I'm actually very confused about who that is. I'm much more chipper than that Hannah though. Josh doesn't want me to be chipper."

She does admit that she's not a method actor. "It's acting! I think acting's weird... It's not like I'm going 'This is me a few years ago.' I'm going 'There's a room full of people I've gotta say these words.' It's more just panic when I'm acting. And then they just go 'Oh can you do it this way?'"

But on stage Gadsby is truthful to herself. "I'm fairly myself on stage — it might be a little bit bigger. In performing you become a bigger person so to speak, but generally it's not a persona at all. Sure some of the stories I write, they're true to form, absolutely true to form, but I might for the sake of time merge two stories… I'm a bridge. My comedy is the abridged version of my life."

Does she ever need to search for fodder for her comedy? "I'm a magnet for shit! But I do find myself saying yes to things I know I wouldn't do. A few years ago I'd say 'Absolutely not, I'm not gonna do that,' and now I go 'Ok! Yeah, sure.' It's not a conscious decision, I don't go 'Yeah, sure, I'll do that, could be a joke!' I think I've just changed the way I live life. I have to be a lot more open and I'm thinking about more things, whereas before I did comedy I don't think I actually thought. And now I'm like 'I've got to write an hour, I need thoughts,' so I find myself doing more things. Thoughts are very important."