Georgie Carroll always wanted to be famous when she grew up. She wanted to be Britney Spears, in fact. But then her grandmother told her to go and get a “real” profession – so she became a nurse. It’s a role she has loved since becoming qualified in 2000.
But it seems that the little girl’s dream of fame was not completely lost. It was just delayed by a bit. Georgie’s comedy sideline has really taken off in audiences across Australia, and she will be one of the stars of the upcoming Brisbane Comedy Festival from February 26-March 2 with her show “Treat Yourself”.
“Comedy just kind of crept up on me when I was nursing,” Georgie says.
“Nurses are a very funny group of people, and there’s one of me on every ward, but people kept saying I should give comedy a go.
“So I went to an open mic night, and invited the whole hospital along. Normally about six people come along to these things, but I filled the room with my nursing friends. After that, I got booked a lot.”
Georgie is a relative newcomer to Australia, having moved here from England with her family in 2009 following a drunken – but ultimately very clever - suggestion by her husband.
“I grew up in a big country town, and did everything young – got married, had kids, bought a house, got settled in a profession,” she says.
“I was happy but at around 30 found myself wondering if that was it. I thought there just could be more. So when my husband came home drunk one night and said we should go to Australia, I knew it was the adventure I needed. I had the visa forms filled in before he woke up the next morning – having forgotten his idea!”
This blend of nationalities and nursing experience has finely tuned Georgie’s funny bones, and she has won many significant comedy awards, appeared as a regular panellist on “Have You Been Paying Attention?”, and sold out shows internationally.
She says that about 60% of her audiences are made up of nurses – but her humour transcends the profession.
“Nurses are very funny because they’ve got to be!” Georgie says.
“It’s very rare to meet a nurse who isn’t funny. Even the dry ones have a kind of gallows humour.
“I think also that we can get away with a lot as nurses in terms of humour, because at the end of the day, we care for people.
“At my shows, nurses always laugh at the jokes, but it might take others in the audience around 20 minutes to click in and laugh as well. Maybe they see that it’s okay to laugh because we all are.”
So what’s next for Georgie, considering the current upward trajectory of her comedy career?
“At the moment I’m still managing to juggle both nursing and comedy, but I feel as though I have reached a point where I need to decide on my path,” she says.
“I love both careers equally, but both require complete commitment in order to do them well.”
Don't miss Georgie's show Treat Yourself at the 2019 Brisbane Comedy Festival between 26 February and 3 March.
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