Women like Mandy Nolan adore her. So do men for that matter! Mandy has been entertaining audiences as a Stand Up Comedian for nearly 30 years, bringing to the stage a diverse range of humour relative to current affairs and social issues. She performs the way her audiences think, with comments punching out hard and fast like the thoughts you would usually stifle in your mind. Mandy doesn’t stifle her thoughts, and the results are a mix of warm, insightful outbursts and honestly funny observations – which is why she is so well-liked.
Mandy’s brand of humour developed when she began on the Stand Up Comedy scene as a 17-year-old, and she admits that she didn’t really know what she was doing in the male dominant industry. “Audiences were so wild back then,” she remembers. “People threw beer bottles at your head if they thought you were crap!”
Mandy has always had the ease of spontaneity, and is skilled at projecting her opinion of the world in a comical way, without being too offensive. She became somewhat of an accidental comedian, because people continually asked her to perform at their events. “I eventually realised that the majority of my income came from performing and writing comedy,” she recalls, “so I guess that made me a comedian!”
For the first 10 years though, anxiety would kick in up to two weeks before each performance, and in her own words, Mandy would ‘puke’ almost every day. “Clearly I don’t feel that way anymore!” she laughs, referring to the comfortable layer around her mid-region. She still, however, experiences flutters of excitement and the buzz of adrenalin before each performance.
“You’ve got to be a bit nuts to do this and not care what people think,” she says. “Learn not to take it personally, which is actually a good life lesson.”
Not only has Mandy cemented herself as a leading Australian Stand Up Comedian, she has also taught over 1,500 others the art of comedy. Her most successful proteges have featured on the national and international stage, and include names such as Hannah Gadsby, Paul McMahon and Ellen Briggs. Mandy teaches a basic format of how to write comedy, but for her it’s more about what people have to say. “I want them to find their voice,” she explains. “Make sure they know what they have to say and that it’s relatable to their experiences and their audience.”
Ellen Briggs and Mandy decided to collaborate and have created ‘Women Like Us’ – a two-hour show in which they both give audiences a one-hour full comic blast. Since 2015 they have performed over 60 shows nation-wide at comedy festivals, capital cities and regional towns. Having performed at the Caboolture Sports Club in October this year, they will soon be back, with a show at Kilcoy’s Exchange Hotel early in 2018.
‘Women Like Us’ tells the stories of how it is to be a woman and the demanding, often contradicting expectations today’s females experience. Mandy and Ellen are brutally honest, at times self-depreciating, but never cruel or pretentious in their recount. “All women can relate to our stories,” Mandy said. “The pressure of what you look like, work, family, social media. All the everyday ‘B.S’ that we go through while pretending that we’re on top of it all.”
While Mandy and Ellen have different styles of performing, the success of their show reveals how well they get along. “Comedy generally is a really solitary thing,” explains Mandy, “and it’s really nice to have someone on the road with you that’s like your best friend.”
Audiences around Australia offer glowing reviews for ‘Women Like Us’ with five star comments such as, “Two totally relatable ladies who hit the nail on the head of charismatic female comedy,” and, “Once again the girls were hilarious with their performance, entertaining the crowd all night.”
As for Mandy, comedy has been a huge chapter in the infectiously funny story of her life so far. For as long as she continues to find humour in her life, she will continue to entertain audiences with her warmth and wickedness for many years to come. “I’ve been at it for the long haul now and things just get funnier,” she muses. “I love going out and bringing shows to people who might not otherwise go to see live comedy. I’ll be at it for a long time to come!”
Laughter to our ears as more and more people, including celebrities such as Olivia Newton-John and Allan Langer, embrace Mandy’s diversity and commitment to her profession. An extremely talented lady, visit Mandy’s website, mandynolan.com.au to learn more about her.
‘Women Like Us’ has a website of its own – womenlikeus.com.au – where you can find upcoming tour dates, read about the two women behind the performance and see the glowing reviews from past performances.
‘Some people learn comedy, and some people just are comedy’. Much like Mandy Nolan.