• Sat, 9, Apr, 2016 - 5:00:AM

A ‘Big Feminist Cocktail Party in the Stars’: An interview with Tessa Waters

Hey Tessa! How's it going?

It’s good. I’m just sitting backstage in a little break between shows. So, I’m doing a little bit of napping.

Are you a fan of napping?

Oh I love a good nap. I’m very good at napping anywhere as well, like I can just find a little corner of any room and just have, like, a little power nap.

So you’re coming to NZ with your show Womanz. Tell me about it!

Womanz is a funky physical comedy. The show won four comedy awards last year, and I’ve toured it all around the world. I’ve never been to New Zealand so I’m bringing it for the first time there, which is really exciting. [The show] is celebrating everything that there is about being a woman... Including men! So it’s a very inclusive sort of fun, feminist, clown show.

Womanz sounds like the most fantastic person to be around, I love her tagline ‘manic pixie love-child of Cher and Mr Bean... a sexually liberated goddess from the stars’. Are you and Womanz much alike?

Yes. Very much Yes. She’s probably like, a little bit more glittery than me. She gets away with a little bit more than I do as well.

Do you think we all need a persona to take on in real life?

I don’t know if we need it, but it’s always fun to! I’m always surprised and excited about where I can go and where I can’t often go as myself onstage. So I think it’s good to have some alter egos that will allow you to play a bit more, and maybe get a bit more cheeky than you normally would.

Some people aren’t on board with the magical world of sexual liberation like they should be. What would you say to the haters?

I would just say start dancing! Have a bit of a booty shake, have a cocktail and then just see how you like it. You know, it’s not about excluding anyone, its about inviting everyone along to the big feminist cocktail party we’re having in the stars!

You get to invite three people to sit with at a dinner table. Who do you choose and why?

I would invite... Diana Ross because I think she would bring drama and glitter. Frida Kahlo, again because of the drama, but also kind of like artistic and because of the integrity perhaps. And then Jim Carrey, just for lols!

What would you serve?

Lasagna. It’s the king and queen of food.

What is the best thing about comedy?

I guess I am interested with what makes people laugh. I really enjoy figuring out and seeing the differences between different people, different ages etc. I might dance in a certain way which maybe makes one person crack up over the person next to them, and [they] laugh completely differently! I am endlessly fascinated by how we figure that out, and that you can never assume anything.

I think I read somewhere that your favourite kind of comedy is just... fart jokes?

Totally. They’re the queen of jokes. If in doubt, fart joke. Even if someone hates a fart joke, you do it and then they’re like ‘ughhhahahaha’. They just might be annoyed as well. There’s no fart jokes in the show though acually. But it’s very much inspired by that kind of high-brow humour.

What advice would you give to yourself when you were just starting out with comedy?

You know, I was actually talking to someone about this last night. It’s always a bit, you know, serious, but I think it’s about your own voice. Believing in your own voice and believing in what makes you unique, as opposed to someone else. Not trying to be another act, or not comparing yourself to another act. Finding what makes you giggle, and just going for it. Be your own special kind of dickhead.

Quickfire round:

One thing you think is underrated?


Instagram or Twitter?


Sequins or tassels?

Oooh... sequins. That’s tricky though.

Best pizza topping?

Salami. Also good on its own, in any capacity.

One place you'd love to visit in NZ?

I wanna go to where the seals are. I’ve seen videos of little baby seals by a waterfall! I wanna go there. Because of obvious reasons.

Tessa Waters is in New Zealand next month as part of the International Comedy Festival. She has shows in Auckland from the 3-8th May at Montecristo, and in Wellington from 10-14th May at Fringe Bar. See the International Comedy Festival website to book tickets!


  • Comedy /
  • New Zealand International Comedy Festival /
  • Tessa Waters /
  • Womanz /
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