Aurelia St Clair is not your run-of-the-mill, garden-variety Aussie comedian; and thank god for that. The Melbourne-based comic – who has German and Cameroonian heritage – debuted her show Woke 2.0 at the Melbourne Comedy Festival earlier this year to rave reviews. Time Out said she was “unapologetically funny” and Squirrel Comedy admired her “distinctive deadpan delivery that complements her edgy comedy”, which is no small feat when you’re taking on loaded topics like race, gentrification and whiteness in a place like Australia.
But we wanted to know what Aurelia gets up to when she’s not on stage. What has she learnt from living through an unprecedented (and seemingly endless) global pandemic? Who does she really admire? Is she awake at the crack of dawn? Thankfully, we cajoled the up-and-coming comedian into answering all of our most pressing questions, and, of course, how she feels about her hair.
What is the meaning of life?
The meaning of life is kissing honeys and making shmoney.
Something COVID taught you
How to cook a whole lot of new dishes, and perfect my nutella brownies. I've never cooked or baked more in my life! Also the importance of living in a space that supports your mental health. I used to be that person who just lived in a sharehouse with randoms because of my "I'm never home anyway" mentality. Luckily, I moved in with some of my best friends before lockdown.
Last movie you watched
Moonlight. I think I watch this film once a year. I love movies where there isn't a lot of talking, and the storytelling happens between the lines.
Best advice you’ve received?
Do what you can, use what you have, start where you are. I read this quote on Tumblr when I was a teenager, and I think about whenever I feel stuck.
Someone you really admire
Solange. It took people a while to realise Solange was an artist and singer in her own right, and that she is not in competition with Beyonce, or anyone else. A Seat at the Table is one of the best albums of the 2010s, and I didn't know I could connect with music on this level until I first heard it.
How do you feel about your hair?
I used to want straight blonde hair that I could wear in a high ponytail, and that would swing from side to side as I walked. I hated my fro. But now, my hair is my crown. And you can't touch it.
Describe yourself in three words
Libra with attitude.
One person or thing you think is underrated
Picking up your dog's poop at the park. It's underrated. You wouldn't believe how many people pretend to not see it. Thank you to every dog owner doing the right thing. Pick that shit up!
Would you rather travel 100 years to the past or the future?
I'd love to see what the world looks like 100 years in the future. Going 100 years into the past would just land me in another pandemic. Yucky! Also things weren't particularly great for my people 100 years ago.
Nature or nurture?
Nurture. Have you seen that documentary, Three Identical Strangers? It tells the life story of identical triplets separated at birth, and how their different upbringings influenced their lives. Although they share characteristics and are similar in a lot of ways, the way they were raised means they end up being completely different people.
What do you doubt most?
The accuracy of Co–Star’s daily horoscopes.
Daily ritual you couldn't live without
Cuddling my dog. (And checking Co–Star).
How are you at 8am?
By 8am, I've brushed my teeth, walked my dog and had a chai latte. I love being up early.
Something you're passionate about
I'm passionate about self-reflection and growth. A big thing for me was learning to admit when I'm wrong. It's hard, but it's also freeing to accept that I can't know everything, or always know what to say. I think just sitting in discomfort and examining the inner self is extremely valuable – and a lot of people don't know how to do it.
Tell us about your work in a sentence
Doing comedy is simultaneously hard and easy, because writing a joke can take less than a minute, or several days. It can go amazingly at one gig but bomb at another. The key is to keep going anyway.
Note: Aurelia's answers have been slightly edited for clarity.