Emma Doran on her mega career switch and podcasting with her daughter
"I’ve just always tried to be kind of focused on what I’m doing. Blinkers on, full steam ahead."
Emma Doran has swiftly moved up the ranks of Irish comedy over the last year, making a name for herself in an industry that is only becoming bigger and better by the minute.
Starting out working relentlessly in offices, before taking the plunge into a world that completely changed her life, her rise to stand-up was all her own doing.
With performances at some of Ireland's biggest and best venues and appearing on some well-loved TV shows (who doesn't love Bridget and Eamon?), Emma took her career to a new level when she quit her day job for a full time stand up role, while also being mammy to three children.
Speaking to Her.ie, she revealed all about her sudden switch in career, and why she inevitably decided to take the plunge.
"I hate offices, I hate office jobs," she told us. "I always talked about it for a good few years, and then I was like, 'you know what, I have to give it a whirl.'
"Deirdre O’Kane had gotten me on her Sky show, that was English telly, so I was like 'oh I’ll get a few quid for that, that will keep me going for a while', and then I quit my job but it’s actually been grand since. I was ready to go back, but no, it’s been great and I’m so glad I did it.”
The comedy industry has always been incredibly male dominated, but Emma tried not to have that playing on her mind as she started out. The 38 year old said it only really became evident that the industry was this way when her career began growing more and more, and with more opportunities, the situation became a lot more clear.
"I didn’t really think about it at the start," she said. "I wasn’t really too concerned with what other people were doing, I just kind of went and signed up for an open mic night and went off and did it.
"On open mic nights, from what I could gather, it seemed to be quite mixed, it was only when I got further up I saw that there was a lot less women. For a lot of women, if you’re in any industry that is predominantly male, you have to navigate it in a different way. You become aware of it.
"I’ve just always tried to be kind of focused on what I’m doing. Blinkers on, full steam ahead.”
Not only is Emma a major success in Irish comedy, and up and coming abroad, she also hosts her own podcast. But the concept of this is nothing you've heard or seen before.
Many comedians are jumping into the world of podcasts, but when it comes to Emma's, she has a different approach and a very different type of co-host - her 19 year old daughter.
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"When I found out I was pregnant, it was just panic stations," she said. "I was going into sixth year to do my Leaving. We have a good relationship, and she’s just finished her first year of college, and I just thought it would be something fun for us to do."
Emma and Ella co-host You're Grounded, straight from their kitchen, with Emma's husband, or as she called him, her "fella" on editing duties.
"She’s doing psychology so she’s quite academic but she does have a little performer side so I thought it would just be something fun for us to do," she said. "We just do it in the kitchen, and then my fella edits it and puts it up for me. I don’t know how I got that little job for him but he volunteered anyway so, it’s really just like a catch-up.
"I’m gigging and stuff and she works in a pub and goes to college. And it gives me a good opportunity to ask her questions about her social life and put it in the vein of 'oh it’s for the podcast'. It’s perfect.”
Emma was only a teenager when she had her first child. But the now mum of three says that despite being so panicked when she discovered she was pregnant ahead of her final year in secondary school, there is nothing about it she would change.
So much so, that she wouldn't even give advice to her 18 year old self, but instead she'd give a "big hug."
“I wouldn’t give her any advice because I think it’s important to go the route you end up going. Even if you spent two years doing something that you don’t particularly like, I think it’s good, because then when you figure out what it is that you do want, it feels even sweeter," she said.
"If I met her, I would say 'you’re doing great, you’re fantastic, don’t worry about stretch marks, nobody cares and just crack on'. I wouldn’t give her advice, I’d just give her a big hug. Tell her she was great.”
Emma is teaming up with West Coast Cooler as they launch their brand new look and a pop up delivery subscription service, with the very appropriate name, Only Cans.
The taste is not set to change (thank God) but by the sounds of it from Emma, it's going to be our drink of choice for the summer.
“I think it’s something fun, isn’t it? I have lots of nice West Coast Cooler memories from being out with my friends and stuff like that so when I heard it was relaunching and they wanted me involved, I was like 'where do I sign up?'," she said.
Of course, as a comedian she can't resist a joke or two, adding: "I was hoping I would get some freebies as well, so fingers crossed."
The new cans of West Coast Cooler, available in Original or Rosé, will be available in Irish stores from July.