COMEDY SIDELINE ...
ATHLETICS and comedy may not immediately seem to go hand in hand, but
Naomi Ogbeta – who went straight from the European Championships jumps runway to improv at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – says the latter helps her in the sport.
Explaining the meaning of “improv”, she says: “It’s acting with a lot of audience participation, so we’ll make up sketches on the spot ... It’s definitely helped me with athletics when it comes to nerves because it can be quite similar in a way having to think on the spot, change things and adapt.
“When we do improv, we do different games or scenes and sometimes one game could not go well but you just have to forget it and move on and that kind of reminds me of when I was at BUCS and I did a no-jump and then you have to clear your mind and move on to the next round. And then I did another no-jump and then I had to clear my mind again. I ended up having to change it to a short approach and I ended up winning.”
She would also like to try stand-up comedy and with regards to how seriously she wants to take it all, she says: “I’m still having fun with it but I also want to see how it goes.”
Which is more scary – appearing on stage or on the runway as the centre of attention?
“I think if I already knew people were going to find me funny I’d be happy I was going to go on stage in front of loads of people and make people laugh,” she says. “I’d rather do athletics in front of loads of people than be on stage on my own because you’re the centre of attention and you’ve got one job, that’s to make people laugh. Triple jump is more about yourself and not so much about other people.”
Ogbeta’s vlogs (video blogs) during the European Championships proved an internet hit and she would like to also try her hand at presenting one day. She did some interviewing at Creamfields music festival this year for local radio station Unity FM.