Catherine Bohart: ‘Fair play to the manifestation girlies and vision boarders, but I have very much been seeing how it goes’

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Catherine Bohart: ‘Fair play to the manifestation girlies and vision boarders, but I have very much been seeing how it goes’

Catherine Bohart
Words by Tyler Jenke

For Irish comedian Catherine Bohart, the fact that she’s been in the game for ten years now might be enough to make her feel “physically sick”, but it also inspires a heartfelt sense of gratitude.

“I didn’t expect anything [when my career began] in all honesty,” she admits. “Fair play to the manifestation girlies and vision boarders but I have very much been ‘seeing how it goes’ since I started and I’m shocked and thrilled to find I’m still here and it’s a job apparently.”

It’s this go-with-the flow attitude that now sees her coming to Australia for Melbourne International Comedy Festival. As she looks back on herself first venturing into comedy, she admits a sense of “compassion” and pride for who she was and how far she’s come.

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“That girl was trying her best. She wasn’t good but she was trying,” she remembers. “Plus, I’d failed so much at so many things by the time I started stand-up that I’m actually so proud of myself for trying something new.

“I think I’m much more certain of what I think about things on stage now. Initially, I was checking with the audience on everything, asking if they also felt the way I do. Now, I think I’m telling them how I feel and hoping they come with me but if they don’t, I’m happy to be the weirdo.”

Bohart’s new show, Again, With Feelings, sees her taking on a number of personal topics; death-obsessed parents, queer reproduction, and a disenchantment with adulthood. But with such an introspective look at herself, Bohart admits that being vulnerable isn’t difficult, it’s a necessity.

“I don’t know how to do it any other way,” she admits. “The reason I’m funny is because it’s a tool of resilience, a coping mechanism. I’m funny because bad things happen.

“Plus, who the hell wants to watch a comedian win? I find that so boring. I only want to watch a comic who seems like they’re telling the truth about their lives and if that doesn’t involve hardship or failure then I’m just not buying it.

“I do think I do it with a very light touch and I think Australian and Irish people have very similar senses of humour,” she adds. “We are comfortable laughing at ourselves and talking about dark things.”

Those dark things have been enough to see her visit Australia previously for the MCIF, and resulted in her falling in love with the city. Frankly, the fact she’s coming back should be proof that she’s telling the truth.

“It’s a testament to how much I loved the last visit that I’m willing to do a direct flight from London to Perth and then fly to Melbourne,” she says. “I know you’re all chill with long haul flights but I’m a claustrophobic woman with OCD. When I tell you I love it in Melbourne, I mean it.

“The audiences are so up for it, open minded and funny themselves. Plus, they get behind the festival and are willing to see people they don’t know, that’s so rare and special.”

Alongside her upcoming solo show, she’ll also be presenting a live recording of her podcast, Trusty Hogs, with Helen Bauer. Instead of the planned nature of her regular show, the podcast takes on a far more informal tone – something she’s looking forward to.

“The main difference is that I don’t prep or worry about it,” she says. “We would be hanging out and screaming at each other even if no-one listened so it’s much more relaxed and we have such a natural dynamic because we’re actually friends.

“Plus, on the podcast we have so much interaction with our listeners because they write in with their problems and update us on their lives. Stand up is more of a one-way street.”

With so much on offer at the Comedy Festival this year, Bohart also admits that any potential recommendations of other artists to check out are clouded by her fondness to experience Melbourne’s café culture.

“I promise every pic on my Instagram will be me stuffing my face for the month so I’ll recommend things as I go but man, I get hungry just from hearing the word Melbourne,” she says. “The thought of eggs and coffee will get me through my hellish ride in the sky tube!”

Catherine Bohart will be performing at The Westin Three from March 28 – April 21. Get tickets here.