- 12 Apr 20
No. 3 in a series. Interview: Shamim Malekmian
Emily Ashmore is 20. In 2019, the newcomer won Cherry Comedy’s Break Out Act of the Year, in what was her first year on the comedy scene. Before the onset of the pandemic, she’d happily travel around the country for gigs. Emily Ashmore is a comedy star on the rise.
On a scene where female comedy is still scarce, there is more than a modicum of bad-assery required to stand tall among the female comics who refuse to quit. “Doing it for the girls,” as Ashmore puts it.
These days, Emily tries to laugh off her fears and worries as a pharmacy worker in Dublin. She tells Hot Press about Dubliners who walk up to her seeking a cure for Covid-19. Optimists. Don’t you just love ‘em!
Shamim Malekmian: Has your life as a comedian changed as a result of the pandemic?
Emily Ashmore: It’s changed so much. And it’s crazy because I never thought about making online content, and with the lockdown you can only put out online content. My friends and family were always telling me to make online videos, but I had never considered it. It feels like, now, we are forced to transition into online comedy. It’s very strange.
How are you finding life under lockdown?
I’m working at a pharmacy, so I still have my routine.
Has being a pharmacist turned into a scary experience?
Definitely. I’m constantly washing my hands, changing my mask. It’s always in the back of my head that I’m going to catch [the virus]. Some people are coming in saying, ‘I think I have the coronavirus, what should I take for coronavirus?’ and I’m like, ‘Get out of the pharmacy!’
At least you have something to do!
It’s terrifying, but I’m definitely benefiting from being busy. I think if I was at home all day, I wouldn’t be writing or making online content. I’d be watching Netflix and wasting time. So, I’m happy that I’m still working. I’m also an over-thinker. It’s very dangerous for an over-thinker not to have a distraction. I’m a worst-case scenario type of person.
What do you miss most about normal life?
Me and my friends having a pint (laughs). It’s like the main thing for me after work, running in to town and seeing all my friends and hanging out with them. It was my second life after work. My second life is now in another world that was shut down.
You were gigging regularly too.
Yes, four or five times a week in Dublin. And I was travelling a lot as well. Like, I met you in Cork at Coughlan’s, I was gigging in Galway. So, yes, I was gigging pretty regularly. It was a big chunk of my life.
Will live comedy change after the pandemic passes?
I think people are going to have a bigger appreciation of live events and the venues that host them. At the moment, culture is kind of missing an important piece without live events. I’m hoping live comedy is going to be more appreciated by people.