Bella Green is a stand-up comedian and sex worker living in Melbourne. She tells us she got her start in comedy by telling jokes in the brothel to anyone who would listen. She’s currently touring her solo show – Bella Green is Charging For It – around Australia, and tells us that while she's worked in brothels, stripclubs, peepshows, massage parlours and adult shops, her most degrading job was the three months she spent in a call centre for a big four bank.
How did you get your start in comedy, Bella?
I realised I was spending more time cracking jokes than sucking dick in my bookings.
How about in sex work?
I started out stripping. When I was 18, I walked past a sex shop with a sign that said 'Dancers Wanted' in the window. I went in and I asked about the dancing and that's how I got a job in a peepshow. No one ever explained the job to me, or that there was no dancing involved. I was doing a lot of nude cha-chas when I was meant to be fucking myself with a zucchini.
You’re very open about being both a comedy and sex worker. What made you decide to go public and merge the two?
To be honest, I was trying to save time on admin. You have to be on social media to be a successful sex worker these days and I didn't get into prostitution because I wanted to be on LinkedIn. My personal, comedy and sex work social media are one and the same. I'm sure it puts off a lot of clients but it definitely attracts the right ones.
Are there any parallels or similarities between comedy and sex work?
They're both full of dizzying highs and terrifying lows. When you crush on stage or you have a brothel shift where you make bank, you feel like the king of the world. When you bomb on stage or make nothing in an 8-hour brothel shift, you're convinced that the world is over and you'll never get work again.
What's Bella Green is Charging For It about?
It's an hour of stand-up comedy that will answer all the questions you never thought to ask about sex work. Like why is paying for sex so similar to ordering a salad? What really goes on in a peepshow? And how can you get away with wearing Ugg’s while being a cold, hard dominatrix?
How have you found the process of writing and performing a solo theatre show?
A lot easier than I thought it would be! I've been in and out of the sex industry for 16 years now so the stories just wrote themselves.
What’s your favourite part of the show?
I don't want to give too much away, but it's about the time I gave a guy a brown shower. I thought it would go fine. Spoiler: it did not go fine.
What’s the last thing that made you laugh?
I was watching a particularly gory horror video on YouTube and a guy had commented on it saying "Wow, this is the only time I've ever jacked it to a dude. I'm not gay, I just find decapitation really sexy." HE'S NOT GAY, GUYS. NO HOMO.
What/who do you generally find funny?
Comedy from people with a unique point of view. I love Chase Paradise, Queenie Bon Bon, and Anna Piper Scott.
What’s it like being a woman in comedy in Australia?
It's like being one of the men in comedy except you're funny.
Why don’t female comedians get more representation in the comedy scene?
There's plenty of women killing it in the comedy scene but I think it's harder for us to find the confidence to get started. I meet so many hilarious women who don't think they're funny enough to do stand-up. PSA: Ladies, go try an open mic night. I believe in you.
What’s your go to joke or one-liner to make someone laugh?
The show is called 'Charging For It' for a reason. If you want the jokes, you can pay for them.
Fair call! Tell us something about you we might not expect.
I spent a year studying to be a paramedic.
Where can we see more of you?
I'm @bellagreenery everywhere. Except LinkedIn.
Catch Bella in her show "Bella is Charging For It in Hobart (Jan 9-10), Sydney (22-23) and Perth (Jan 31-Feb 2). To go in the draw to win a double pass, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and “CHARGING FOR IT” in the subject line.