Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Juliette Burton: Page 2 of 2

6. What do your parents/children (delete as applicable) think of your job?

My parents aren’t into comedy or the theatre. They don’t see my shows. They’re a farming family. This industry doesn’t make a lot of sense in that world. Edinburgh Fringe is during harvest. In August last year I called them up to delightedly say I’ve sold out every show and I’m getting good reviews. My mum replies “that’s nice dear…the barley’s nearly in.” A great way to stay humble.

The only children I have are imaginary. But they love what I do and couldn’t be more supportive, imaginarily.

7. What’s the worst thing about being a comedian?

Constantly analysing your own work; listening back to myself after gigs. My director said I need to “be kinder to my former recorded self – difficult I know” – difficult?! It’s flipping impossible! Now I’m meant to be kinder not only to myself but to the twonk that got me in this situation?!

8. I think you are very good at what you do (that’s why I’m asking these questions). What do you think of you?

Thank you for the compliment. It’s important to thank people for compliments, I’ve been told in therapy, and to not follow up that thanks with any other information that might help me to avoid hearing the compliment e.g. “thank you, but…” or “thank you, I didn’t think I was that good…”

My therapist has also told me I need to be careful of avoiding questions.


9. How much do you earn and how much would you like to earn?

I’m sorry Dad! I’ll start earning more soon! Sorry, just having flashbacks to being back on the farm for Sunday lunch there… 

I earn the respect and admiration of audiences…I hope. I’d like to earn the respect and admiration of thousands more… 

10. How important is luck in terms of career success – have you had lucky breaks?

Luck means nothing without hard work. Hard work means nothing without talent. Talent means nothing without persistence. Persistence means nothing without a dictionary.

11. Alan Davies has said that comedians fall into two categories - golfers and self-harmers. The former just get on with life, the latter are tortured artists. Which are you – or do you think you fit into a third category?

Is the third category “tortured artists who don’t understand golf”? That one. 

I’m a mental health survivor who’s been sectioned under the mental health act, in and out of hospital loads and who talks about it in their shows. Isn’t is obvious within which category I fit? 

However I tend not to fit into boxes. But I’m double jointed so I have fit into Ikea boxes after unpacking flat packed furniture, just for fun.

12. Who is your favourite person ever and why – not including family or friends or other comedians?

The person who laughs loudest at my shows. 

And the people who work at my local curry house. They are always so lovely. They gave me a Christmas card. I go there usually once a week. I think they might miss me during August when I’m away in Edinburgh.

13. Do you keep your drawers tidy and if not why not? (please think long and hard about this question, it's to settle an argument with my girlfriend. The future of our relationship could depend on your response).

During preview season I’m so busy my whole house is a tip. But you’ve asked me to think long and hard about this one. And I’m not a fan of conflict – I’d rather spread what unites us than divides…so I’ll think longer and harder and get back to you. Come see the show and I’ll give you an answer then.

Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect is at the Gilded Balloon from August 2 - 27. Tickets here.


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