The show’s not all about bird shows, though. In her distinctively dry, honest and languorous way, Hickey explores how life has changed in recent times.
“Normally every other show I’ve done, the starting point will be something big and significant that has happened in my life,” Hickey says. “And, usually, that will be something that’s not great. Not necessarily traumatic, but just things might have been a bit shit.
“But the year before, when I was writing the show, was great. I wanted to find a way to talk about that without coming across as arrogant. I want people to share my joy and my perspective on how great life can be. It’s the little things in life that I enjoy.”
One of them is being able to go mushroom hunting.
“I don’t know why they call it hunting,” she says. “It’s very easy to sneak up on a mushroom. It’s acknowledging the privilege I have to pay money to find mushrooms. I look at that and I look at my life more than 10 years ago when I was living in a room above a pub with no kitchen. And I go, ‘This is great’.”
Hickey started performing stand-up comedy nearly 20 years ago and for the first decade steadily lost money on her shows. She spent time surviving on a four-figure income and a diet of pita bread and bananas.
Her 2006 show, One Week in Paradise, was about time spent in a psychiatric unit and depression and Turns Out I Do Like Sun-Dried Tomatoes, in 2012, explored coming out. She also once unwrapped a Christmas present from her sister to discover it was a corn on the cob.
Someone told me it breaks all the rules of stand-up. I don’t know what rules they’re looking at.
Comedian Geraldine Hickey
After years of hard work, Hickey now sells out shows; has a steady job in radio; and, in December, will star in Metro Sexual, an eight-part TV comedy series broadcast on 9Go!. She’s been to Disneyland, owns property and even has a spare set of sheets.
She and her partner Cath, a celebrant, got engaged in July, a joyful event she discusses alongside the trauma felt by her community during the same-sex marriage plebiscite.
“I don’t want people to forget how we got marriage equality so we don’t do it again,” she says. “Because it was one of the most horrific, traumatic things that we’ve been through in the past few years. Now, it makes it a bit more special as well, the fact that we survived that.”
Geraldine Hickey is at the Comedy Store, Moore Park, on December 7.
Lenny is a writer and podcaster.