Sera Devcich is a New Zealand stand up comedian based in Wellington. She made her stand up comedy debut a year and a half ago and since then has been on TV3’s 7 Days, a roaming reporter for TV3’s The Project, as well as gigs all around the country.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
Batshit crazy, there were eight kids in our family and we always had other kids living with us as well, it was a mad house. We as a family were fairly infamous for being a hot mess, we were late and often forgot a family member when we left. I was the eldest girl and probably the biggest shit stirrer in the family, we fought like cats and dogs. It wasn’t uncommon to find me and one of my sisters with a fist full of each other’s hair screaming at each other “you let go first”. In saying that we were like a mob, nobody messed with one of the siblings without the rest getting involved. We were brutal to each other but if anybody else said a single negative word about one of the others, hell hath no fury. It sounds horrible but there was a lot of love, we would sneak into each other’s room late at night and laugh and sing songs or call the youngest sibling a turtle until they cried. Dad would lose his rag and storm through the house threatening to turn off the power. When the siblings get together now we love talking over the old times of mischief, it’s like story time with the clampits.
How did you get in to stand up comedy?
I signed up for an open mic night on a Monday and just had a crack, then they moved me on to try a pro show that same weekend and it was terrifying. Vaughan King made me open a little cupboard and inside it said “don’t fuck it up”.
What was your first gig like?
It was terrifying but also awesome, I’d been involved in the theatre and the arts for a long time. Stand-up comedy allowed me to dictate my own material and performance which was very freeing because there is such a lack of funny roles for women. I was instantly hooked.
Why do you think comedy/acting/entertainment is important?
Performance is the study of humanities, and hopefully we can all agree that humans are important. I think we go out to watch performances to see somebody tell a story about a life that isn’t their own, but we also go to see something of ourselves on stage, it’s that recognition despite maybe having a different background or whatever that makes a joke funny or makes a drama compelling. What may be unimaginable in our own day to day life comes alive and we find threads of the person’s performance that are woven through our own life and we work out that we aren’t all that different.
What’s your proudest moment of your career so far?
I was pretty proud of getting on the 7 Days panel.
What’s it like being a parent and an entertainer?
It’s shit, like honestly not ideal at all. It’s a huge ordeal to organise care for a child outside of typical childcare hours. I’m lucky I have some supportive people in my life who help, but as mothers when we got released into the work force they only really released us for 9-5 work, by the time I get to a gig I’ve often lived through a ceremony where I’ve had to sacrifice half my marbles to the gods of burnt chicken nuggets and guilt. Unless you’re reading this as a booker, in that case, its no trouble at all, please employ me.
If you could give one piece of information to a young person wanting to get in to stand up comedy what would you tell them?
Don’t, joking, kinda. I guess firstly get to an open mic night, then write ALL the time, lastly if you carry on try and be the worst performer in every room, not like try and be really crap but aim to be in a position where you are inspired (and shamed) into getting better.
How do you think the NZ entertainment industry is different to the rest of the worlds?
In terms of comedy it’s hard to comment I have ventured past NZ, but what I have noticed is that there’s a huge amount of growth in NZ comedy at the moment and I think that’s a testament to the Top Rank comics in NZ just being really good people who want to support and grow the industry.
What is your Comedy Fest show like and why should people go and see it?
Our Comedy Fest show is about life so if you’re alive I think you’ll really enjoy it. There’s a strong debate going on between Savanna and myself as to whether I should at some point get a horsey back ride from her during the show, I think its integral. I’ll be doing a lot of parent stuff as per usual and I don’t know what Savanna will be doing, all she’s really told me is she’s not giving me a horsey back ride even though we don’t have the budget for me to get an actual horse, she’s being very difficult to be honest.
Buy tickets to Sera Devcich and Savanna Calton’s 2017 Comedy Festival Show here: https://www.comedyfestival.co.nz/find-a-show/unstoppable/
To find out what Sera is up to like her Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/SeraDevcichComedy/?fref=ts