EP 10 – Luisa Omielan – the story behind the sleeper-hit show “What Would Beyonce Do”.

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EP 10 – Luisa Omielan – the story behind the sleeper-hit show “What Would Beyonce Do”.

Total run time: 55 mins 16 secs.


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About The Luisa Omielan…

Luisa Omielan is a comedian, improvisor and MC who took her debut hour What Would Beyonce Do? to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012.

She had no industry backing, no press coverage and zero PR help. After performing a funny and innovative show she encouraged her audience to spread the word and get their friends to come resulting in a smash hit solo debut hour that most performers would kill for. This is the untold told of how she went from having no profile to selling out 7 runs at the Soho theatre.

UPDATE – Luisa has been nominated as the breakthrough act of the year on Chortle. You can vote to help her win here.

Here are a list of the questions we covered.

Fringe Marketing…

  • What would you say was the defining thing  you did that started the buzz for WWBD in 2012? [3 mins 07 secs]
  1. Such Small Portions Top 10 Shows Article
  • How did you get in reviewers? [5 mins 52 secs]
  1. Kate Copstick
  • Why did your show have such a pull factor? [6 mins 29 secs]
  • What is the secret to getting word of mouth at the Fringe (beyond having an amazing show)? [6 mins 59 secs]
  • What do you think of the mainstream newspaper reviewers? [8 mins 02 secs]
  • Did you have a target audience when you went up? [14 mins 22 secs]
  1. Musical Bingo
  • You call your shows a “party”, why did you do that? What was the thought / creative process?  [14 mins 22 secs]
  • What are your thoughts of PR in Edinburgh and beyond? [15 mins 43 secs]
  1. KPPR
  • Her advice on having something to sell before approaching industry. [16 mins 13 secs]
  • At what stage did you know that you are / have a product to sell? [17 mins 23secs]
  • At what point in the life of the What Would Beyonce Do? show did industry approach you and what did you do?[18 mins 36 secs]
  • What were your expectations of the show at the Fringe? [22 mins 15 secs]
  • How much do you think your title and theme helped attract audiences? What’s the value of a show title? [28 mins 25 secs]
  • What were your rejected titles? [29 mins 19 secs]
  • Her thoughts on why British audiences don’t like “performance” shows. [48  mins 11 secs]
  • What’s the best piece of advice you would give a comedian taking their first solo show to Ed fest? [49  mins 16secs]

PR / Reviewers…

  • Do you invite reviewers? If so, do you reserve them a seat ? Or tell them to get their early? [21 mins 12 secs]
  1. Suzi Ruffell
  2. Katerina Vrana
  • Do you set aside tickets for reviewers? If not, why not? [22  mins 38 secs]
  1. [Bruce Podcast]
  • What do you think makes a good reviewer? [23 mins 27 secs]
  1. Steve Bennett Chrotle
  • What are your thoughts on reviewers / star rating systems?  [23 mins 27 secs]
  • Why do you think your shows / name evokes such a strong reaction? [19  mins 58 secs]
  1. [Londonist Podcast]
  • What do you think of the star rating system? [24 mins 53 secs]
  • Her thoughts on money as a performer. [39 mins 25secs]

Social Media…

  • You’re known for connecting with your audience using social media. Which platforms have you found most helpful for this?  [11 mins 34 secs]
  • What mistakes did you make along the way? [25 mins 34 secs]
  • Would you ever put the show on YouTube for someone to stream or pay to download? [25 mins 58 secs]
  • Do you think the show would lose something if people watched it online? [26 mins 24 secs]
  • Do you think your stand up would work on TV? [26 mins 24 secs]
  • Does social media sell your tickets? [29 mins 53 secs]
  • What are the pitfalls of previewing new bits for shows as people must come expecting a fully formed show? [30 mins 33 secs]
  • Where do you advertise your gigs outside of your own social media following? [31 mins 40 secs]
  • You RT praise. Is there a reason for that? [8 mins 41 secs]
  • Hash tags for shows, do you think they all need one? What were the positives and negatives? [27 mins 52 secs]
  • Do you ever think you’re too open with your audience? [27 mins 05 secs]
  • If you think something is funny but the audience doesn’t laugh, would you still do it?  [27 mins 05 secs]
  • How often did you preview What Would Beyonce Do? (2012) before taking it up to Edinburgh? [40 mins 34 secs]
  • What did you learn from previewing?  [40 mins 34 secs]
  1. Brighton Fringe

Connecting and finding your audience…

  • You’ve extended your “brand” by having a valentines day ball. How did that come about? [31 mins 59 secs]
  • How does this help with connecting with your audience? [34 mins 04 secs]
  1. Soho runs
  • How did you sell out the Soho Run? [13 mins 40 secs]
  • What’s the process of transferring a free fringe show to a soho theatre? [35 mins 04 secs]
  1. Mick Perrin
  2. Comedy Cafe
  • Did you have to change the show at all? How is it received around the country? [37 mins 46 secs]

Fringe Limitations (free vs paid)…

  • You’ve done the paid fringe for both shows, will you continue? What are your thoughts on the paid fringe? [11 mins 34 secs]
  • When picking a room in Edinburgh, especially on the free fringe, what is your thought process? Do you ever worry about how big the room is / if you’ll fill it? [11 mins 34 secs]

Gigging / Improv…

  • You’re selling out shows but still do the circuit, would you be able to live off your own stuff or do you still need the circuit? [41  mins 51 secs]
  • Why do you think you’re struggling to make a name for yourself on the circuit? [42  mins 50 secs]
  • Her advice on doing the circuit vs shows. Which one  is “better”? [43  mins 28 secs]
  • I know you have a lot of improv experience, are there any improv classes in London that you would recommend? [43  mins 59 secs]
  1. Comedy Hoopla
  2. Maria Peterson and Lawrence Shering


  • Who are your favourite comedians / improv performers? [44  mins 21 secs]
  • Do you have any shows, DVDs or books you’d recommend? [44  mins 40 secs]
  • Why she dislikes watching other comedians [46 mins 12 secs]

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Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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