Originally from South Africa, Urzila Carlson is the accidental comedian who stepped up to the stage for the first time in 2008, and then went on to win best new comer award. At the time she was employed as a graphic designer, and the only reason she agreed to perform open mic –“ just that once” – was because she was bullied into it by her zealous, supportive work colleagues.
They had decided Urzila Carlson is one funny lady that needed to be heard. And the rest is history.
Urzila has since accepted her calling in life, and has racked up an impressive array of awards for her stand up including ‘Best Female Comedian’ at the 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 NZ Comedy Guild Awards, and the coveted TV3 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD at the 2013 and 2014 New Zealand International Comedy Festival.
Urzila Carlson is a spontaneous woman. In 2006, after reading an ad in the paper about immigrating to New Zealand, and knowing nothing about the country except the Whale Rider movie and the All Blacks, she packed up her bags and three months later was enjoying life under the long white cloud.
Count on Urzila to bring a few brave anecdotes to the TEDxAuckland stage, sprinkle that with some side splitting laughter, and you’ve got yourself a winning just do it formula.
Ten Questions with Urzila Carlson
What is your favourite word?
What is your least favourite word?
What turns you on?
A clean house, time, good humour, a summer’s breeze, sunset and good wine.
What turns you off?
Dirty anything, foot dragging, pen clicking, people addicted to their phones, and rudeness.
What sound do you love
Rain on the roof, kids giggling, a stream on a quiet day, the ocean any day.
What sound do you hate?
Anything repetitive, pen clicking, and Justin Bieber songs.
What was one of the naughtiest things you ever did as a kid?
I accidentally burned down half of our house.
If you could break any rule as an adult, what would that be?
The speed limit on my way home when I have to pee.
Who makes you laugh the loudest?
My fiancé, she’s hilarious in a dry unintended way.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 21 year old self?
You don’t need to be as honest as you think you need to be, sometimes it’s ok to lie about your feelings.
By Jamie Joseph