Ellyn Daniels’ new Edinburgh show is about how she finds inner peace in a frantic and demanding world through performing stand up comedy. Whether through her work as a ballet dancer or model, Daniels unpicks her past struggles with mental health in an honest yet humorous way. She will be performing at Just the Tonic at The Caves throughout August.
1) What excites you most about the Edinburgh Festival?
I am most excited about being able to perform my own show every night for 22 nights and being able to see lots of other artists performing in my free time.
2) What was/is your first Edinburgh show about?
My first Edinburgh show is called “Emotional Terrorism” and it’s about emotional abuse, hypochondria, bulimia, sex, my relationships with and to men, the loss of a dream, the loss of innocence, shame, alcoholism, a desperate search for validation, failure, insanity and redemption.
3) Does your comedy attract a certain type of audience?
I’m not sure. I think my most recent stand up has connected much more with female audiences than anything I’d done prior. “Emotional Terrorism” seems to connect with a broader range of people than anything I’ve ever done, but I haven’t identified any specific type of audience that I attract.
4) What is the worst experience you’ve had with Edinburgh accommodation?
Showing up and finding out my reservation never went through and I have no accommodation and having to beg Just the Tonic to let me sleep in the venue.
5) What is your most treasured memory of your comedy career so far?
Walking away from Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green after having performed this past January, heading towards Whitechapel tube station and suddenly realising that I used to walk to Whitechapel tube station every day for a year when I was 19 studying dance in London (and living in Whitechapel), and at that time I never imagined I would one day perform stand-up comedy for a huge crowd of people on a Saturday night just up the road. I couldn’t have named one stand-up comic at that time. I knew absolutely nothing about it. To be honest, I was a depressed, alcoholic, bulimic teen and I wasn’t sure I’d be alive in 10 years. It was such an amazing moment walking away from that club, because I realised our perception is so limited and we cannot see what kind of wonder the future holds, but we can believe in it.
6) What shows will you definitely be seeing at the festival this year?
I will see Lauren Pattison’s “Lady Muck” and Maria Shehata’s ‘Wisdomless”. I haven’t had time to browse through and mark every show I feel I need to see, but I know I will watch both those women.
7) What do you hope to gain from the Edinburgh Festival this year?
I hope to get deeper into my show and the emotional nuances of the performance and to connect with audiences, make them laugh and leave them feeling inspired. I hope to meet other artists and watch their work and leave feeling motivated to continue creating.
8) What do you imagine your last ever show will be about?
I think my last show will be about fear, and what life could have looked like without it.