The Daring comedienne Mona Yousefi portrays outlandish characters that are trying to fit in a foreign land in her mockumentary, Going Native. Mona talks to MC about the inspiration behind the characters and what makes her tickle.
What was the inspiration behind your show Going Native?
The show is all about the characters as we follow their journeys of settling into a foreign land. All the characters are based on real people who I know and are close to me. I’ve always been drawn to interesting and bizarre real life characters and it is these real characters that inspired me. Their quirks, their mannerisms are all details I find way funnier than anything I have written myself from scratch. I use this research as my starting point before building around it and developing/exaggerating the characters. For me it’s important that my characters are born out of reality, as I perform them in the real world I want them to be totally convincing and believable.
Have you ever used any of your alter-egos to get out of a situation in real life?
I’ve wanted to on many occasions but there is a long process before I become the characters. They don’t look like me so I spend a good few hours in costume and makeup. I have however used their voices/accents to pretend I don’t speak English when I am in trouble with my phone company or get an unwanted salesman/preacher knocking on my door.
What never fails to make you laugh?
My brother. Since childhood he has been my personal clown. Also dumb criminals caught on CCTV always tickles me.
What was the best fancy dress costume you’ve ever worn?
I was a lemon once and it went down very well. My friend was a lime but didn’t pull it off as well as I did. I went to the supermarket dressed as a lemon and had a lemon fight (throwing lemons at each other). My friend then tried to ‘buy me’ at the checkout counter.
What’s your favourite joke?
I love bad jokes like this one: What do you call a sheep flying in the sky? Cloud.
What’s next for you?
I am now working on the series of my show, building more narrative and storylines for the characters and giving each of the characters their own sidekick.
Any last words?
Stay in school, stay off drugs, if there is something you want to do, it can be done.
Also…my characters can be found on twitter here:
@tallahbizness @wakanafukui @nataschaussr
Read the whole interview in our September 14 issue available at newsstands and bookstores nationwide now.