MUST BE TALKING TO AN ANGEL
ANGEL CAMPEY IS NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE. OR NAME, FOR THAT MATTER. SHE’S ALSO AN AWARD-WINNING STAND-UP COMEDIAN, MC, RADIO PRESENTER AND – MUCH TO HER MATRIC ENGLISH TEACHER’S DELIGHT – A STELLAR COMEDY WRITER.
Though based in Cape Town, Campey’s comedic talent has taken her all over the world, from New York City and Canada to Nigeria, as well as all over her own beautiful country. Her wildly hilarious comedy special, Devil’s Advocate – produced by Siv Ngesi, written by Campey herself, and directed by Fleur Du Cap-winning director,Tara Notcutt – debuted in 2017 to sold-out crowds, and was brought back this year, by popular demand, to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
Audiences just can’t seem to get enough of Campey’s razor-sharp wit, uproarious personal anecdotes, and her playing “devil’s advocate” and thereby adding fuel to the flames of an already hilarious view of life in South Africa. She is a comedy force to be reckoned with, and a woman on a mission to have audiences rolling in the aisles.
A LATE START
Interestingly, a career in comedy was not something on the cards for the young Angel, despite having the innate ability to make people laugh since as far back as nursery school. She enjoyed attending and watching stand-up comedy throughout her life, but never considered getting on stage herself. That’s until she met South African actor, and SABC and Mnet presenter, Siv Ngesi.
“It didn’t even occur to me,” Campey recalls.“Only when I was 28, and had recently moved in with a new roommate, Siv Ngesi, who was working as a comedian. He saw how much positive attention my blog – which I did for fun – and tweets received, and told me that I was funny and I should get into stand-up. I would never have followed up alone. It would have been a ‘maybe one day’ forever.The first show went really well and the rest is history. I owe my whole career to Siv. And seven years later, we are still roommates, and still each other’s biggest cheerleaders.”
Campey’s first stand-up gig was in July 2011 where she made the finals in the Parker’s Comedy Showdown in Johannesburg and was immediately put on the map. “It’s so surreal that
standing up and doing what I love most in the world not only gets me paid, but also lets me travel,” Campey says. “I think the biggest highlight for me would have to be being handpicked by Nigerian megastar comedian Basketmouth [Bright Okpocha]. After seeing me perform at the Johannesburg International Comedy Festival, he invited me to perform to over 4,000 people in Lagos, Nigeria. Never in my life did I think I would ever visit Lagos, let alone stand on a stage and make them laugh.”
Campey also spent most of 2016 performing all over the Big Apple and even did a stint in Montreal, Canada, at the Just For Laughs festival – the biggest stand-up comedy festival in the world.“I’m truly living my dream, and the ups and downs of being an artist are cancelled out every time I have that microphone in my hand, and get to create a moment of human connection and laughter from the stage.”
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE AUDIENCES
The human connection is what it’s all about for Campey, and it is what makes being on stage far more rewarding for her than gracing TV screens or cracking jokes behind the mic on radio. “The conversation of laughter and jokes and the interactions between the energy of the audience and myself is the most rewarding part of being a comedian,” she explains. “Every audience is unique, so every night different kinds of magic are created that will most likely never be repeated. But it’s perfect in that moment.”
It’s easy to understand the magic of an interactive audience that loves a good laugh, but what do comedians feel when audiences don’t laugh? “Audiences are strange. Some nights
The human connection is what it’s all about for Campey, and it is what makes being on stage far more rewarding for her than gracing TV screens or cracking jokes behind the mic on radio.