She discovered her love for comedy as a teenager

She discovered her love for comedy as a teenager

Australian comedian Mel Buttle will perform in the city over the weekend.

Mel Buttle took to comedy after attending a workshop.

From high school drama teacher to comedian, Mel Buttle has never looked back. Discovering her funny bone as a teenager, the Australian used to crack jokes for her friends and family.

It was nearly a decade before she took it up again after attending a comedy workshop. That soon turned into regular open mic events, then it became comedy competitions, and now she’s touring India with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Performing in India is an experience she admits to being nervous about, but is a huge honour.

“I have to speak a little bit slower but people are laughing and getting into it. Everyone gets my references,” Mel says.

Mel is an established comedian in Australia, having performed at festivals for nearly 10 years. Her work has also led her to host various radio and television shows.

She recollects that she was very shy when she first started out. Her sets would be full of quick jokes. Now, with more confidence behind her, she fits together meaty stories as a part of her performances. Writing and overseas travel are just two of the upsides of being a comedian, she says. “I love that I get to work for 20 minutes a night.”

Getting to attend Australia’s Logie Awards, a ceremony celebrating television achievements, was also a career highlight. “I’ve been watching that on television every year since I was allowed to, so getting to go to that was huge.”

But she doesn’t want to keep all her eggs in the comedy basket, and she also works as a dog walker in Australia, which provides her with good comedy material. “It’s something else to do and is a little bit of exercise and takes the pressure off. I like to do something outside comedy.”

When asked about what it’s like being a woman in comedy, she admits it’s not something she’s paid particular attention to. However, she says, there appear to be a lot more female comedians in India than her Australian hometown of Brisbane. Thanks to the MeToo movement she says the climate is changing in Australia.

“If you don’t include women on the bill, people will say something. The only people who have given me problems are people who should retire.”

Despite being a comedian, she says there’s no pressure to be funny all the time and she tells new people she’s a teacher to avoid disappointing them. “Once I meet people and feel relaxed I’ll start cracking jokes.”