Comedian Anna Piper Scott Is The Host Of Her Favourite Kind Of Party

Anna Piper Scott is so many things. She's an award-winning trans comedian, she's witty, controversial, hard-hitting. . . She might even be an inspiration.

Anna Piper Scott - Image © Mark Gambino

It's only appropriate, then, that she name her new show 'Such An Inspiration'. Since storming on to the comedy scene four years ago with 'Queer & Present Danger', Anna has made quite the impression – winning awards and glowing reviews all round.

Now she's back for more this fringe and comedy festival season with material covering court jesters, Dave Chappelle, and the sheer annoyance of still having an opinion about sport post-transition.

We learn more about Anna as she brings her show 'Such An Inspiration' to the masses.

Who is Anna Piper Scott?
Anna Piper Scott is a trans woman, comedian and the voice of a generation. She’s one of the strangest heroes of all, a child of the atom, sworn to protect a world that hates and fears her. . . Wait, no, that last bit is the X-Men. Sorry.

How would you describe your relationship with the world of the performing arts/comedy?
Where did it begin? I think like most comedians, I started being funny as a nerdy little reject in school. When you learn to make jokes, you get to control why the bullies are laughing at you. You also end up becoming friends with the entire English Department, which won’t do anything for your popularity. I think it’s why I’m so anti-bullying now – I’m just trying to prevent future comedians.

What are you bringing to audiences in 'Such An Inspiration'?
Laughter! I cannot stress this enough. Jokes. Laughter. Joy. Fun! I made the mistake of writing a stand-up show with complex themes, and a narrative arc, and big ideas. And then all the reviews talk about that, instead of the dumb funny bits. Like the five minute section where I act out a straight guy’s first time in a gay bar.

What has been a highlight in putting this material together for audiences this year?
The audiences themselves! My shows draw in such a weird mix of people – old, young, cis, trans, straight, gay. All sorts of jobs, education levels, experiences. The other night I said “I love this audience. I feel like none of you would ever be invited to the same party”. And then I realised, my show gets to be that party. My favourite kind of party, where no one gets to tell me off for talking too much. The other highlight was the audience member who gave me two joints after a show. That’s what I call an ally!

AnnaPiperScott MarkGambino2
Image © Mark Gambino

And when it comes to writing material for a show, what’s the biggest challenge for you?
I’ve got ADHD and my prescription is probably a little stronger than it needs to be. I’ve got no problems with writing material, I just have problems with sleeping afterwards.

What drew you to stand-up?
You always know when you’re doing well as a comedian. You never have to guess. When you’re dealing with insecurity, and imposter syndrome, and low self-esteem, but you still desperately want to be creative, it really helps to have a room full of strangers vocally approving every single correct choice and silently judging every bad one.

Why do you think it’s such an effective method of performance/communication?
One of the big obstacles to communication is that people are stubborn. We don’t want to change our minds. We’re all like, “Ugh, I already came up with some opinions, don’t make me change them. I don’t want to have to learn and grow and broaden my worldview. Gross, stop”. But it’s so hard to be stubborn when someone’s making you laugh.

What advice do you have for young, aspiring comedians looking for an in/an opportunity to get started?
I think anyone trying to be a successful comedian in Australia should try really hard to be born into a rich family, attend a private school and have extremely supportive parents. You should also try to be straight and white and especially cisgender. That all really helps. Seriously though, if you’re not those things, you might have a tough time getting past gatekeepers. But the audiences who get to see you – especially if they are like you – are gonna be really bloody grateful.

Describe 'Such An Inspiration' with any song lyric you like.
“You're the voice, try and understand it, make a noise and make it clear, Oh, whoa We're not gonna sit in silence, we're not gonna live with fear, Oh, whoa” – 'You’re The Voice', John Farnham, 1986

Anna Piper Scott Tour Dates

20 January-5 February – Perth Cultural Centre – The Parlour (Fringe World)
17 February-4 March – Rhino Room – Drama Llama (Adelaide Fringe)
13-23 April – The Motley Bauhaus (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)
11-14 May – Brisbane Powerhouse (Brisbane Comedy Festival)

This story originally appeared on our sister site, scenestr.