How To Be A Black Woman In A White Man's World

21 March 2016 | 4:49 pm | Staff Writer

"Shiralee is no longer gonna take it laying down."

Shiralee Hood, Indigenous comedian and 2009 winner of Deadly Funny, returns to MICF following a recent national tour with the Aboriginal Comedy Allstars, a tour that she says had her in side-splitting laughter. Her latest show, Rock The Boat, developed with Nazeem Hussain and Meshel Laurie, is designed to take on "the system". She says she loves to laugh, and doesn't like to talk shit: "All tooth comin' at ya; let's rock the system with the funnies. Survival of our mob inspired me."

Hood describes being stopped by security on her way into a show - "He said 'This is for the entertainment...' I said 'I am the entertainment!' They stopped me because I'm black or a woman." It's an experience from which Hood was able to mine a joke, but highlights nonetheless the kind of inequality that Hood addresses in her show. She describes herself as a "black woman in a white man's world", and her description of her show is a like a rallying cry:"Life gets tough, difficult and confusing — Shiralee is no longer gonna take it laying down. Let's take those bloody subjects in the most hilarious style. Bring it on. Ring the bell, sound that siren, tap those sticks, 'cause it's time to rock the boat!"

But that's not all she says her hour of comedy has in store - there's also "attitude, sexiness, challenges and a style of rock". No surprises there, considering Hood says she has always wanted to be a comic - and if she weren't a comedian she'd be "dying".