(9 December, 2020) A late-comer to stand-up comedy has won a prestigious national comedy award. Christchurch resident Laura Bruce was last night voted ‘South Island Newcomer’ by members of the New Zealand Comedy Guild at its 2020 awards gala.
Bruce has become a regular on the Christchurch stand-up comedy circuit, performing up to five times a week since relocating to the Garden City from the Scottish Highlands in mid-2019.
Career in corporate communications
Prior to emigrating to New Zealand, Bruce spent two decades in corporate communications, wrote a monthly column on business communications for Scottish magazine Executive, and hosted a weekly radio program.
“Working in communications trained me to be precise, and concise,” she noted. “Turns out those qualities are also crucial to comedy!”
Toastmasters International helped with stand-up
A member of Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters club in Papanui, she credits the public speaking organisation Toastmasters International with giving her the confidence to fulfil her dream to perform stand-up comedy. She has been a Toastmaster since 2014.
A Canadian who lived in the UK for many years, Laura has won a number of Toastmasters public speaking competitions. In May, her tongue-in-cheek speech about the emergence of virtual assistants including ‘Alexa’ and ‘Siri’, won her the New Zealand Toastmasters’ Humourous Speech contest.
Aspiring Comedian and Author
In addition to her public speaking accomplishments, Laura is the author of “Lockdown Living: 101 Ways to Stay Positive During the Pandemic”. In 2019 she wrote a feminist “Toast to the Laddies”. Prepared for a Robert Burns’ supper in Scotland, the critically-acclaimed poem is due to be published early next year.
“I absolutely love writing and performing stand-up,” she noted. “Winning this award from the Comedy Guild is an absolute thrill. I can’t wait to get out into new cities on both the North and South Islands and stretch my wings.”