Felicity Ethnic – The woman with many faces.
Felicity’s sharp, intelligent and observant wit enables her to connect with her audience; young, or old, male or female, taking them on a colourful and sometimes unexpected journey through the various compartments of life.
What can the audience expect from Naked Truth II?
Naked Truth II is not the every day, run-of-the-mill comedy show that audiences go to, where you get a number of comedians one after the other get on stage and deliver their brand of humour. I am not saying there is anything wrong with this kind of comedy show. Naked Truth II format is very different. Its about sketches that are funny and relevant AND some stand up. There’s a nice mix of music thrown into the mix. There are some surprises in store, the last show we had a few sketches, and I did a long stand up stint, and was joined by surprise guest Kofi - one of the Lovers Rock artistes.
I want people to come and trust my judgement, that they will have a good time, and also trust that when I say there will be a surprise, there will be a surprise.
You are an accomplished character comedienne, actor and playwright. Do you have a
preference and if so why?
No I don’t, I actually enjoy all of it. Doing the characters allows me to be a bit of a fool. Actually I am very much like this at home. I enjoy writing, but would love someone else to write a script just for me. I write whatever is in my head and whatever I feel passionate about and try to make it humorous, because a lot of the subject matter is really serious.
What inspired you to start writing ?
Actually I use to write poetry; that had nothing to do with playwriting. After having my children, I joined the Oval House, I didn’t just want to be just a mum or someone’s girlfriend or wife. For two hours a week at the Oval House I could be someone different. My acting and writing developed from there.
What was the first play you wrote about
The first play I wrote was a play called ‘Murder at Club Dasheen, Dasheen’ At that time I was a double act ‘Ethnic & Miniority’ We had developed many characters at the class we attended at the Oval.
Can you recall one of the first characters you created?
One of the first characters I created as part of the double act of ‘Ethnic & Miniority’ was a Rap group called: ‘Ackee and Saltfish’.
What were some of the challenges getting your first play produce?
It happened organically. Oval House gave us (Ethnic & Miniority) a lot of support. They saw something, and gave us that push. I remember the Oval House had asked us to host something, I thought they were joking. It wasn’t until we saw the flyer we knew they were serious.
I did not set out intentionally to be a comedienne, I was doing the classes at Oval House as a way of escaping being a parent 24/7. I just went with the flow, and everything worked out, believe it or not.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really! At times, I might sit in an open public place in my local area, in the summertime. I will just sit, watch and listen to passers by. Listening to conversations that really have nothing to do with me and take some notes. But, other than this, I tend to always carry pen and paper with me, so if I get a vibe or something pops into my head I can write it down.
What’s the nuttiest thing you ever did on stage?
I think the nuttiest thing I ever did on stage was Big Titty Pearl’s workout- that really got the audience in stitches. Yes, she definitely is one of my nuttiest characters.
Did you ever considering doing anything else other than being a c haracter
comedienne, actor and playwright?
Well to be quite honest, when I was growing up I wanted to be a model. That was because then I was skinny and tall. I also considered being a singer. I realise that I thought you have to be really beautiful to be a model, but looking at other models realised that you don’t have to be beautiful. I had a car accident, and was thrown through the windscreen. This decided it for me that I was not going to be a model but a singer. But my singing abilities weren’t that great, I am sure if I sing I could empty a veune.
Do you get the chance to sing with some of the characters you have created ?
Yes, I do get the opportunity to sing but only in character and the audience don’t mind as they know I am not serious.
Do people still refer to you as one half of Ethnic and Miniorty?
Only people who actually remember us back from the Black Comedy days, who willl ask what happened to Miniorty and still show that interest, but on the whole, ‘No, not really’.
Do you feel you have created your brand as Felecity Ethnic?
Yes, I do I like to think that I have worked hard in developing the characters and myself as a c haracter comedienne, actor and playwright.
You have received awards for the Best Female Comedienne, ‘ Black Entertainment
Comedy Awards & Creative Economy Community Awards. What has it meant to you
receiving these Awards?
Its nice to receive some kind of recogniition for the work I have done over the years. I am quite a shy person – the fact that others recognise the years of hard graft, it makes me think its all been worthwhile.
I am not into the fame thing. I do my shopping like everyone else, I like to think I am like everybody else. I like to make people happy, and laugh, sometimes unintentionally. This is very much me. This is who I am. It’s nice to be recogniesed for what you do, that people really appreciate you.
What are you most proud of achieving?
I am proud of doing what I am doing and actually loving what I am doing. I think that’s a major achievement for me. I am also proud of being a mum that’s really important to me. My children centre me; out there I’m Felicity, and at home I am mom.
What are your future plans?
I have all these ideas busting out at the seams. There are somethings I can’t talk about at the moment. But what I can say, is that I am going to keep on doing what I am doing. Doing the stand up comedy, do more character stuff. You know I started off doing the characters, once I stopped hiding behind the characters, I relised I could do stand up, I was scared but the trasition really wasn’t that bad, once I got my feet wet, I realise OK this is actually quite nice I can do this. We need to give the audience something a little different to interchange their minds or the business will die.
I enjoy what I am doing, and I am not going to stop, hopefully I would like to do it for another 10 or maybe more years.
What I would actually like to do now is some movies and I am exploring this possibility.
You can see and catch up with Felicity Ethnic
The NAKED TRUTH II
The Broadway Theatre
London SE6 4RU
Sunday 24 th February 2013
Show Starts: 8.00pm
Doors Open: 7.00pm
Questions designed by: Black Women in the Arts
62, Beechwood Road, London E8 3DY
Tele: 020 7923 7658