Shazia Mirza is an English, award winning stand-up comedian and writer, who’s deadpan delivery and sharp witty one liners have helped shape her into the household name she is now. I was lucky enough to catch Shazia in between her busy schedule to have a chat about all things Bear Grylls, comfort zones and future goals.
Kicking off the interview, I asked what to expect from Shazia’s upcoming tour, to which she said she would be talking about the world, Brexit and her travels in the South of France where she managed to stumble upon a nudist beech. Where she thought about how those “women wore absolutely nothing and a few days later France banned the burka” – she’s got a “whole routine about it”. She comments on how the French are quick to ban covering up but believe it is ok to be naked. Shazia also said she will attempt to touch upon modern feminism which she comments that she “does not feel a part of”. Throughout her show she will relate all her material to the periodic table which is based on facts, which she says people don’t rely on anymore.
Shazia has worked all over the world in a number of different environments. When asked where was the weirdest place she performed, she said at comedy night not too long ago in Pakistan she had a personal armed body guard which is something she obviously isn’t used to. Shazia clearly isn’t afraid to get out of her comfort zone; when I spoke to her she had just finished filming ‘The Island with Bear Grylls‘, a Channel 4 reality show that puts a group of celebrities on a deserted island in the Pacific to fend for themselves . Shazia told me it was the “worst experience of her life” but at the same time she told me take the opportunity if I ever had it. “Do it once, do it well” she says.
I asked her about what future projects she would be involved in but unfortunately she couldn’t tell me about them but she kept with the theme, telling me she will be getting out of her comfort zone. I asked if Shazia set goals for herself as she evolved as an artist; she told me she turns down most things and that she does and only pursues things that will make her a better comic. “After going on the island with Bear Grylls you feel like you can do anything”.
Shazia’s last tour was seen as controversial by some; I decided to ask if she felt she had a role commenting on contemporary issues; she told me that she just “says what she wants”. But with thought of course; “we live in a world where you can insult absolutely anyone”, she mentions.
Recently, I went to Hot Water Comedy where Shazia is set to perform and it was dominated by men. Not just in term of performers, but the audience aswell. When I asked Shazia about it she said its always been that way. I asked if she saw it changing and she tells me it is and there are more women getting into comedy but it still remains largely dominated by men.
When asked if she felt she had to be a role model and challenge the male dominated industry she said she will just focus on being a good comic and if she can achieve that then naturally she will become a role model and hopefully it can inspire other girls to follow in her footsteps. Her advice for aspiring comics was simple: ‘Be genuine’.
The full interview is available to listen to below and you can catch Shazia on her upcoming tour dates here.