Capital's freshest laughs get a salty edge

HANNAH MCKEE
Last updated 07:11 05/05/2014
alice Brine
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ
FOR THE GIRLS: Alice Brine is one of the Wellington comedy scene's newest stand-up stars. She only started six months ago.

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In comedian Alice Brine's career she has opened for Dai Henwood and Ben Hurley, made it to the finals of the Wellington Raw Comedy Quest and is featuring in NZ International Comedy Festival shows - pretty impressive for someone who started stand-up six months ago.

Brine, 24, says she's always had a thirst for theatre - with a triple degree in film, theatre and media studies - but it was after seeing the amateur stand-up show Raw Meat Monday at Fringe Bar that she got very itchy feet.

"Normally you have to wait about a month to get a spot but I just begged the woman running it. I said to her 'I'm ready, it's fine, let me go for it'," Brine says.

That is still one of her favourite gigs.

"If I watched the recording I'd probably cringe at what I said though. At your first show you have a lot of support by friends and family. Now I'm doing so many they say they can't really afford me. But I remember seeing one woman laughing who wasn't my friend and thought that was cool."

Stand-up is by far the most difficult type of performance Brine has ever had to do, she says.

"You don't have a perfect script, you have to change the tone depending on what the vibe is. You're just basically acapella talking at a bunch of people while they stare at you and don't talk back, and the aim of the game is to make them laugh."

The only woman to make it to the Raw Comedy Quest finals, Brine says stigmas around women and comedy amuse her.

"Often people will tip-toe around the topic so I address it, but it's not like that in the comedy scene. Outside people get excited because there's old stigmas that [women comedians] only talk about divorce and being vulgar, so I like to play on that to make light of it."

Brine, whose day job is in information technology, says reaching for bigger crowds each time is her main comedy goal for the moment.

"There's about seven comedians like that in Wellington; they literally write code all day and then make people laugh at night."

She says Wellington's supportive comedy scene has helped her create a platform.

Brine missed out on entering the 2014 Comedy Festival, as the cut-off came just before her debut.

She will however be opening for Professional Newbies, at Kitty O'Shea's from May 6-10, and In Stereo, also at Kitty O'Shea's from May 13-17.

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- The Dominion Post

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