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Eleanor Conway

14th June 2023

Interview: Chris Richmond

Photo Credit: David Titlow

You've definitely heard of Eleanor Conway - or at least seen her videos. She bitingly quizzes the general public - although, by her own admission, it's mainly 'women and gay men' that she gravitates towards - on her TikTok channel to hilarious and honest results, poking and prodding her subjects about topics that most are scared to venture towards. But despite her new-found fame on TikTok, she's a stand up comedian by trade, and she's about to embark on a trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where she's taking her new show, Talk Dirty To Me, which is certain to live up to the no-holds-barred approach that its title promises.

First of all, it's so lovely to interview you - you're absolutely hilarious on TikTok, so I'm really excited to hear how your comedy process works. Your upcoming show, Talk Dirty To Me, is coming to the Edinburgh Fringe in August. What can you tell us about it? What can we expect? 

Thanks so much, TALK DIRTY TO ME is a high energy, sex positive banger.

You've done a number of tours before, but what's the inspiration for this particular show? 

I think we’re in a weird time for heterosexual relationships. Mothers are working just as much as fathers but they’re still doing most of the mental and unpaid labour when it comes to domestic life. Add in a very large orgasm gap for straight women when it comes to having sex with men and it really begs the question of where is the pleasure in relationships for straight women? During lockdown, I saw how frazzled people were with kids at home, and I really started to feel great about the fact that I was single and childfree. 

You've really utilised TikTok as a platform to help escalate your career. When you first started on the app, did you ever anticipate that it could help boost your visibility so hugely? What advice would you give to any up and coming comedians who want to make a mark on the platform? 

I hoped it would and it’s been brilliant. With live comedy and solo shows you put a lot of work into crafting something and with social media you get to bring and audience into that. I think you need to create the content that you want to do. Don’t just copy everyone else because it works for them. There are so many different ways to create content and build an audience. Create something in your unique style and perfect that. Don’t just be a carbon copy of someone else. 

What inspired you to start interviewing everyday people as part of your act? What are some of the craziest answers you've heard from the public over the years? 

I saw these young American ‘bro’s’ asking drunk women what their bodycount was and I thought I’d be better at it and get more interesting answers to be honest. I mainly gravitate towards talking to women and gay men and I low key love the fact that I kind of ignore the straight male gaze, which I think annoys some commenters. Some of the craziest answers I’ve had from people - it’s always NHS nurses. I had 2 nurses tell me about what people come into A & E with. A lot of fruit and everyday objects up the bum. Which is mad. Surely people have heard of butt plugs? Anyway…

You've been on mammoth 100-date tours, and performed across the world with your stand-up gig. Do you still get nervous? How do you psyche yourself up before a gig? Are the audiences different in other countries, and if so, how? 

I usually try and tell myself some affirmations before a show. But I try not to do too much stressful stuff right before. I think audiences in America are wild. I went out last year to do some dates in New York and the East Coast and I loved it. They’re really brilliant and up for it. Australian audiences are also proper up for it. I think if you’re an overseas performer international audiences really do appreciate the effort you’ve put into making the effort to come over and perform for them. 

What's your process when it comes to creating material? What inspires you the most? Do you have any tricks or techniques for if the creative juices aren't flowing? 

I usually create shows from experiences and stuff that is bothering me culturally. I got a lot of insights from TikTok when writing this show and it’s amazing how information and experiences are shared in 2023, we didn’t have the pool of experience from other women in the 90s. If we had, I probably wouldn’t have made some of the same mistakes I did. My phone is full of voice notes of ideas I think are super profound but when I listen back to I roll my eyes. My best bits of insight are when I’m in the shower or walking.

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Eleanor is performing at Top Secret Comedy Club on 13th July and will be performing at Edinburgh Fringe from 3rd-27th August.

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