Shayla Wins Class Clowns 2024

It’s not often you come across young people diving into the comedy scene, it’s rather an unusual path, but for Year 12 student Shayla, that’s exactly what she’s doing. Shayla was recently crowned winner of the Class Clowns National Grand Final at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

We chatted with Shayla about her experience. 

How did you get into comedy?

I’ve always loved doing accents and it’s something that I’ve always loved to do in a comedic way. In Year 9, I participated in an O’Donnell House talent show where I did accents. However a little while later I realised that I performed my accent routine in a very similar format to stand up comedy. I didn’t think about trying it out until the school sent out an email for the Class Clowns Melbourne competition and I decided to give it a go in Year 10 in 2022. That year I made it to Melbourne and ended up coming joint runner up. Following this performance I’ve done a couple of open mics and gigs from 2022-2024, mostly at the Shoe Bar’s Laugh Resort Comedy Club in Yagan Square. One of the biggest supporters for me starting comedy was the Comedy Club and the Manager, Di Star.

Did you always know you were funny?

Whether I’ve been conscious of it or not I’ve always loved to make people laugh and cheer them up. It’s something that the more I get older the more these quick-witted responses come to me. I may not come across as funny to everyone, but people who I’m close to or comfortable with know this side to me. I also don’t believe that my stand-up routines are that funny, it’s just about being smart with how you write certain stories and your execution of delivery. I do feel though that I’m funniest when I’m joking around with my friends and family. 

What is your inspiration when writing comedy?

My overall inspiration for writing comedy is revolving a set around my accents. A lot of my stand up isn’t necessarily about myself it’s more just funny observations I’ve made about people and things such as quirky things I’ve seen while travelling. I believe that you can write comedy routines on any topic and when I get a wave of inspiration, I’ll quickly write it down for future references. 

Tell us a little about this year’s competition

This year I had no desire to do stand up, however the producer of the show contacted my dad to ask if I wanted another shot at the competition. I decided to do it, but before the WA heat I only had two days to create a set, which in the end turned out to be really good and the best one yet, allowing me to make it to Melbourne again. It was an honour to specifically win this year’s grand final due to the other very talented state representatives. Everyone this year was genuinely so funny, which made this win that much more special. Winning this competition is a massive deal to me it means I now have a name for myself in Melbourne. I got to meet some amazing people and comedians and I also was able to win a $1000 comedy workshop for Santa Maria. 

Is comedy in your future plans?

My plan for the future is to continue doing open mics and gigs, maybe even try the RAW comedy competition and next year I know I have some comedy opportunities for the 2025 Melbourne comedy festival which I’ll fly to Melbourne for.

Congratulations Shayla and we look forward to seeing you around the comedy scene in the future!

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