Young Geraldton comic Casey Clark gets International Comedy Festival call-up

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Casey Clark, 17, has always enjoyed making people laugh but she never thought she would perform at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Camera IconCasey Clark, 17, has always enjoyed making people laugh but she never thought she would perform at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Credit: Francesca Mann, The Geraldton Guardian

When Casey Clark tried stand-up comedy for the first time earlier this year, the 17-year-old had no idea she would end up performing in front of 2000 people in Melbourne.

After taking out the unofficial Class Clowns heat in Geraldton in March, Clark travelled to Perth for the national secondary school comedy competition.

Although the Geraldton Grammar student did not win the Perth heat, a week later she received a call from producer Wes Snelling, letting her know she had been selected as a wild card entry.

“I was very surprised. I didn’t think I’d get this far,” Clark said.

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“I did Class Clowns because it was my last year to do it and I thought why not give it a shot, it seems like it could be fun and I could meet some cool people.

“I wasn’t expecting to get all the way to Melbourne, it was really insane.”

Clark was among 14 competitors from around the country, and one of three finalists from WA, to take part in the Class Clowns national grand final, held on April 20 during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

This was the fourth year in a row Geraldton had been represented in the competition.

Performing at the Forum Theatre to about 2000 people, Clark said it was a “nerve- racking” experience but was an amazing opportunity to pick up invaluable information.

Just six weeks before her national performance Clark started writing her script, basing her set on her experience as a Year 12 student anxious to enter the adult world.

Although Clark did not place in the top four, she has not let that dull her passion and is determined to continue developing her skills.

“I want to try and base all my comedy off of stuff that’s happened in my life,” she said.

“My sense of humour is sort of real basic, you can do something super stupid and I’ll laugh at it.

“But that’s the thing about comedy, it can be super simple but if it makes people laugh, that’s the whole point of why you’re doing it.

“I think that’s why I really like comedy, to be able to take people out of what’s happening in the real world and make them laugh and smile.”

Originally from Karratha, Clark moved to Geraldton with her family in 2011.

Although she had always enjoyed watching comedians and making her friends and family laugh, Clark never dreamed of becoming one.

But after the family saw locally produced stand-up show Smells Like Meme Spirit at Funtavia last year, Clark’s mum signed her up for The Comedy Emporium’s Young Guns improv troupe.

“I was very scared the first day I went, I knew no one,” Clark said.

“But it was a lot of fun and I made some real good friends that day.

“I always find improv sort of easy because it’s basically word vomit, I don’t have to think about it a lot.

“The whole comedy community is really supportive, they really love seeing new people come and try and get involved.”

Clark isn’t just creative in the comedy field, she also has a penchant for drawing.

Currently studying multimedia and technology at Central Regional TAFE as part of Year 12, Clark was planning on going to university to study video-game design.

After discovering she isn’t a fan of coding, she has shifted her attention to more arts-based courses and is considering pursuing comic book design.

With a desire to pursue comedy further and a new-found confidence, Clark said she was glad she built up the courage to take that first step.

“To anyone that would like to get into comedy, just do it,” she said.

“You might be scared to do it, but you don’t know what you’re capable of unless you try, and you might surprise yourself.

“Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes better; once you’re ‘perfect’ at something, there’s sort of no point doing it any more, but you can always do better.”

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