One to Watch: An Interview with Emily Shepley
At just seventeen, Emily Shepley is getting noticed.
In 2021, the budding writer, director, performer and comedian entered the CBR Youth Acting Awards and won the Excellence Award for her performance of Kirsty Zane's 'The Honest Estate Agent'.
Emily then directed Nigel Palfreman's 'A Christmas Karen' at the BE Christmas Crash Test Drama event, winning Best Director despite being the youngest (by far). Emily has since signed with BE Talent and this year featured in campaigns for the University of Canberra and Destination NSW.
Now Emily is winning laughs (and prizes) with her video entries to AACTA LMAO - a monthly competition on Instagram aimed at discovering the funniest new and original short comedy content. Emily won $100 for her March entry responding to the theme 'Be Yourself', and a Sony Prize Pack for her Hamilton/pineapple-inspired April skit on the theme 'Guilty Pleasures' - guest judged by comedy star Tanya Hennessy.
In this interview, Emily shares some insights into her creative process and tips for others looking to create in this space.
How did you get involved in AACTA LMAO?
I’d just started making short skits and putting them on Instagram when Kirsty sent me a link to AACTA LMAO’s Instagram page saying I should enter. I checked out their page and really loved seeing everyone’s hilarious take on the monthly themes so I decided to enter the next month's competition.
Tell us about your process of coming up with ideas and creating content.
A lot of my ideas come from the conversations I have with my family. We often make jokes about pop culture and make up random hypothetical scenarios. Sometimes, they end up quite funny and I write it down as a potential idea. I always write ideas down in the moment so I don’t forget them and then I work on scripting properly a bit later. When I want to film a video, I look through my list of ideas, choose what interests me the most, write it into a script and start filming.
Which videos from other entrants did you enjoy most and why?
- @adelinejclose Adeline delivers her lines in a deadpan way, their quirks are oddly specific which is what makes them so believable and so much more comedic.
- @billy.darcy Billy’s stand up style video uses clever observational humour which points out how much we love our wildlife but only when it’s cute and cuddly looking.
- @grace.your.self Grace’s video is so nostalgic and relatable. It outlines the 5 stages of grief every mother had to go through while making a Women’s Weekly cake for their child’s birthday.
Do you have any tips for other young and aspiring digital comedy creators?
Be willing try new things and experiment with different types of comedy. Watch content that appeals to your sense of humour. Adopt the techniques and styles that resonate with you. Write down ideas whenever you get them. Film in a portrait orientation, it works better for the algorithms on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok and generates you more views. All you need to get started is a phone. People don’t mind if your camera quality isn’t perfect, if you make entertaining content, that’s all that matters.
Emily is repped by BE Talent. For enquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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