On the Couch with Amna Bee

Amna Bee AAR On the CouchWho is Amna Bee?
I am a Melbourne-based Pakistani stand-up comic. I started my stand-up career quite unexpectedly in a very unexpected place – Alice Springs, NT! I’ve since performed in major festivals all over the country and internationally.

I’ve been running a women and nb monthly comedy showcase in Melbourne for the last 3 years called Raise the Bar Comedy and it is making its first festival debut as Raise the Bra! It’s running over 6 nights with a new lineup and theme every show.

We have amazing comics like Sashi Perera, Jenny Tian, He Huang, Janty Blair and Sonia Di lorio performing in our shows. The themes are great too – Dysfunctional Families, Tinder Tales, Career Day and more! I am very excited about it ?

What would you do differently from what you do now?
That’s an interesting question. I’m philosophical in the sense that I don’t think we could be doing anything other than what we are doing now. I mean if I could, I’d be doing it. Know what I mean? That said, it would be great to have a daily routine which seems like a faraway dream when you’re constantly at festivals.

Who inspires you and why?
The list is long and it’s not anyone particularly famous that inspires me. I’m inspired by people I meet every day. A few traits that inspire me include being grounded, authentic, passionate, fearless and above all, kind.  Kindness is so important. Life is brutal without it.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’d like to be more compassionate to people I meet every day and if possible, make them realise their worth.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Bali. Kidding. Sort of. I mean it IS a gorgeous place. But my real answer is even more cliché – Paris. That’s right. I’m one of millions who love Paris. Sue me. It’s just such a fun city with literally endless things to do. It’s a true cosmopolitan and despite the popular misconception, I haven’t found Parisians to be rude. Or maybe it’s because I don’t understand French so perhaps, they are being rude and I just don’t get it. Either way, I love being there.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
A very touristy place – Degraves Street (Melbourne). It’s so cute, funky and colourful and there’s nothing really like it elsewhere in Australia.

What are you currently reading?
Text messages from an ex. Also, Lady Tan’s Circle of Women (Lisa See).

What are you currently listening to?
A mix of things. My playlist has at least 4 different languages across 5 decades across 6 continents.

Happiness is?
Here and now ?

What does the future hold for you?
Great riches and fame. More realistically, new creative projects involving writing funny things that are not stand-up comedy.

Amna hosts Raise the Bra – a unique show featuring top women and non-binary comics at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, as part of the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival: 28 March – 6 April. For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.

Image: Amna Bee (supplied)