By Soraya Downie
Dominique Davis, 21, is a comedienne from South London, who goes by the stage name, Variety D.
A funny, out-going girl, Dominique recalls that high school was filled with ups and downs. Being bullied because of the sound of her voice, a more deep tone similar to Nina Simone, Shirley Bassey and Cher, she was told she sounded like a man.
But she used comedy in order to escape the torment and focused on what she wanted to aspire to. Dominique also thanks her godfather, Paul Murphy, for influencing her from a young age.
“My godfather used to work in Hackney Empire in the mid-nineties as a stage manager at the 291 comedy show. He introduced me to comediennes such as: Toju, Kat Boyce, Rudi Lickwood and Danny ‘Slim’ Gray.”
First taste of the stage
Seeing how these comediennes made people laugh, Dominique wanted to do the same and performed her first stand up gig at 16.
“I was at the Comedy Café in Shoreditch. I sneaked in through the back doors, a comic was on stage performing and I kept on criticising. Me and my big mouth. I said, “This women’s rubbish…” Then one guy tapped me on my shoulder and I got scared because I thought it was the security, but it was some random guy and he asked me “Can you do better than that?” I said, “Yeah…easy!” Then he replied “Ok then…You’re next, you got FIVE minutes on stage.”
Dominique was nervous but loved every moment of it and from then on, decided to dedicate her time to stand-up comedy.
Why the name ‘Variety D’?
She chose a name for herself too, ‘Variety’ means many things, but it’s a reference to her multicultural background.
“I’m not mixed race, I’m mixed up. I’m like a mixed cocktail you DO NOT want to drink.” Her family’s cultural background includes: Guyana (South America) Jamaica and her very own native, England. Not afraid to make fun of herself, Dominique even pokes joke at her mixed heritage.
“So basically I’m a South American rum, mixed with a Jamaican punch and a British beer. And believe, you do NOT want to drink that all at once , because you and toilet will become best- friends.”
What she did next and future goals
Dominique went through with her plans to be a full-time comedienne and graduated from Middlesex University with a Performing Arts degree under her belt.
The young, British comedienne has accomplished a lot, she attended FRINGE Festival in Edinburgh, came second in the Black Comedy Awards 2011 for ‘Best Youngest Comedienne’ and has performed at various venues, including: The Drum Theatre in Birmingham, The Broadway Theatre in Catford and The Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith.
The young comedienne is currently doing a BA hons Course in Inclusive Performance in Chicken-shed Theatre.
“Hopefully when I pass this I may do a Master’s Degree in Theatre or take a Gap Year and doing work experience and gain Credentials in every production I will work in either paid OR non paid. THEN GO TO HOLLYWOOD!! If I can dream, then so can you.”