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Standup an ‘accidental outlet’ for Nikki Payne

Comic Nikki Payne enjoyed four solid shows at Yuk Yuk’s in St. John’s this past week.
Comic Nikki Payne enjoyed four solid shows at Yuk Yuk’s in St. John’s this past week.

Nikki Payne is turning 40 in January, but she doesn't feel like a grownup yet.

“It’s amazing how at 40 you don’t feel 40. I don’t have nearly the world experience that I thought I would have,” said the Canadian comedienne.
“You know, on the exterior, I look like a grownup. My car’s paid off. The mortgage is almost paid off. I contribute to my RRSP before the deadline. So it all looks like a grownup, but it’s actually very scary, and I’m really not sure if I have my shit together as well as it looks.”
She figures a lot of grownups can relate to feeling more vulnerable than they let on, and that inspires a lot of what she talks about in her shows these days.
Though well known and well liked for more explicit subject matters, she’s been focusing her famously aggressive style of humour on grownup stuff these days — like property taxes.
“Boys outrage me less now. Sex outrages me less. Sex bores me. (Laughs) So I feel like a lot of the things I’ve been talking about sort of really circle around vulnerability, actually, and how vulnerable being a grownup makes you feel.”
She said her audience seems to be changing along with her, and that a lot of people can connect with jokes about this stage of life.

Shy offstage
Despite a confident presence onstage, Payne said she's actually pretty quiet and shy offstage.
“I guess, like in any art form, you sort of find your voice up there,” she said.
“I don’t know if it was overcoming my general shyness or if there was a lot of things that I had to say, because we all have an aggressive side, so maybe it was that. Probaby a mixture of a lot of things, ‘cause certainly what I’m saying is authentic. ... I truly am myself out there, it’s just a different side of myself.”
She said she feels lucky that she gets to say the things onstage that she wishes she had the courage to say offstage.
“So I guess it’s an accidental outlet.”

Nothing off-limits
There’s no topic Payne thinks is off-limits, and she doesn’t necessarily draw an immovable line anywhere.
“I believe thoroughly that you can talk about just about any subject as long as you’re being honest about it, and I also believe that you can talk about anything as long as you’re willing to back it up. If you can face the consequences of what you’re saying like a grownup, go ahead and say it.”
But that doesn’t mean she’s out to upset anyone — she said her goal is for her audience to be happy, and for them to walk out of her shows feeling less stressed out, “and feel maybe a little bit more connected to each other in their worries and a little less alone.
“Certainly I don’t have a goal of upsetting people.”
In other words, she’s not about to pull a stunt like Nicole Arbour did with her controversial video “Dear Fat People" any time soon.
Payne didn’t find that funny, and she’s got a feeling Arbour got the reaction she was looking for.
“I’m not in her mind, but having seen some of the other things that she’s done over the years, I think she knows full well what she’s doing, and I think everyone reacted exactly how she had hoped, unfortunately. Unfortunately, I think it worked out perfect,” said Payne.

St. John's shows
She’s returned to Newfoundland last week with four shows at Yuk Yuk’s on Kenmount Road.
The first three shows proved to be so popular that management added another.
Payne, whose father is from Rocky Harbour, has enjoyed past performances for audiences on the island.
“What can I say? they’re generally good.
“Anywhere you can get a heckler or something like that, but I don’t recall ever having any great trouble with anybody in St. John’s," she said.
‘They love comedy. They get it. They’re there for a show.”

The Telegram

“It’s amazing how at 40 you don’t feel 40. I don’t have nearly the world experience that I thought I would have,” said the Canadian comedienne.
“You know, on the exterior, I look like a grownup. My car’s paid off. The mortgage is almost paid off. I contribute to my RRSP before the deadline. So it all looks like a grownup, but it’s actually very scary, and I’m really not sure if I have my shit together as well as it looks.”
She figures a lot of grownups can relate to feeling more vulnerable than they let on, and that inspires a lot of what she talks about in her shows these days.
Though well known and well liked for more explicit subject matters, she’s been focusing her famously aggressive style of humour on grownup stuff these days — like property taxes.
“Boys outrage me less now. Sex outrages me less. Sex bores me. (Laughs) So I feel like a lot of the things I’ve been talking about sort of really circle around vulnerability, actually, and how vulnerable being a grownup makes you feel.”
She said her audience seems to be changing along with her, and that a lot of people can connect with jokes about this stage of life.

Shy offstage
Despite a confident presence onstage, Payne said she's actually pretty quiet and shy offstage.
“I guess, like in any art form, you sort of find your voice up there,” she said.
“I don’t know if it was overcoming my general shyness or if there was a lot of things that I had to say, because we all have an aggressive side, so maybe it was that. Probaby a mixture of a lot of things, ‘cause certainly what I’m saying is authentic. ... I truly am myself out there, it’s just a different side of myself.”
She said she feels lucky that she gets to say the things onstage that she wishes she had the courage to say offstage.
“So I guess it’s an accidental outlet.”

Nothing off-limits
There’s no topic Payne thinks is off-limits, and she doesn’t necessarily draw an immovable line anywhere.
“I believe thoroughly that you can talk about just about any subject as long as you’re being honest about it, and I also believe that you can talk about anything as long as you’re willing to back it up. If you can face the consequences of what you’re saying like a grownup, go ahead and say it.”
But that doesn’t mean she’s out to upset anyone — she said her goal is for her audience to be happy, and for them to walk out of her shows feeling less stressed out, “and feel maybe a little bit more connected to each other in their worries and a little less alone.
“Certainly I don’t have a goal of upsetting people.”
In other words, she’s not about to pull a stunt like Nicole Arbour did with her controversial video “Dear Fat People" any time soon.
Payne didn’t find that funny, and she’s got a feeling Arbour got the reaction she was looking for.
“I’m not in her mind, but having seen some of the other things that she’s done over the years, I think she knows full well what she’s doing, and I think everyone reacted exactly how she had hoped, unfortunately. Unfortunately, I think it worked out perfect,” said Payne.

St. John's shows
She’s returned to Newfoundland last week with four shows at Yuk Yuk’s on Kenmount Road.
The first three shows proved to be so popular that management added another.
Payne, whose father is from Rocky Harbour, has enjoyed past performances for audiences on the island.
“What can I say? they’re generally good.
“Anywhere you can get a heckler or something like that, but I don’t recall ever having any great trouble with anybody in St. John’s," she said.
‘They love comedy. They get it. They’re there for a show.”

The Telegram

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