Possible Reason/ Promoter Number 1.
"Ah Niamh you're here. I see you brought your tits with you. Where's your friends ‘til we make a video?" - that was his greeting.
Then he told me what jokes I can and can't say on his stage. I said, "well I love that joke, I want to do it". He replied with "Well I don't like it, so you're not doing it".
Angry with his blatant power tripping, I said "You let (another act) talk about wanking his own baby”. His response was "Well he's a man, he can say what he wants. Girls can't say what they want".
This was from a big club promoter who is (not a comedian) still the booker for that club today.
Possible Reason/ Promoter Number 2.
"Why aren't you drinking something stronger Niamh?" He asked.
“Because it's a long journey home” I answered.
Shocked he asked “You're not staying the night? I wanted to have sex with you”.
l laughed out loud thinking he was joking, saying “maybe next time”. Frustrated with said “That's a great way to get another gig”.
When I realised he was serious, I stopped laughing, to say “Are you actually serious? Is that why you gave me the gig, because you wanted to have sex with me? You would never say that to (well respected female comedian)”.
His response to that was “Well I don't want to fuck (same comedian)”.
This makes me question if most the female acts he books are women he wants to try it on with?
He also told new female comedians “If you want to gig in my club, you can lick the back of my balls first”. Which is not only unprofessional but a dangerous misuse of power.
After this gig, myself and another two acts drove home straight after the gig. This promoter then put up a Facebook post stating “Next time I want to have a laugh after a gig, I’ll book acts that are a bit of craic”. This would suggest he believes paying acts to perform at his club, coincides with those acts also having to hang out with him.
After saying something awful about a very young, drunk girl in his crowd and what he wanted to do to her, I said "You're a married man, you’ll have to get divorced, then you can be with other people".
He confidently said, “I can still fuck who I want and not loose my house or family”.
A man who knew this promoter very well, tried to warn me to stay somewhere else one night after the gig. His reasoning was “I don’t want to see you get raped”.
Possible Reason/ Promoter Number 3.
He put his hands around my throat and shook me saying "you better be funny" minutes before I went on stage. This was the first time we met.
Myself and two other male comics were sat at the bar waiting to get paid. He walked over to put money in the first comics hand. He then shakes his hand to say great job tonight. He gives the second comic his payment too and shakes his hand saying great stuff tonight.
He puts a penny on the table in front of me saying "and there's yours". (Nobody laughed)
He then walked away pulling pints behind the bar. The other comics were shocked, embarrassed and didn't know what to do but feel bad for me. I kept calling him to get my money, but he kept ignoring me. I had to sit back down with the other acts and wait.
Ten minutes later he stood in front of customers at the bar (who were the audience at the show) and shouted, "Right Niamh follow me next door so I can pay you".
This was mortifying as he was suggesting I get paid in something other than money and did this in front of my audience. This was infuriating that I had to beg for my money while the male acts had no hassle whatsoever.
I said, "will you just give me my money please, we have to go home".
He shouted louder – “if you want your payment come next door with me”.
In privacy he said how much I rocked the gig, that the crowd loved me and then gave me extra money. The praise could have been done openly along with the male comedians. Also, the payment could have been done with a handshake just like male comedians.
But no, after doing my job well, I was degraded with the penny in front of the acts.
Then had to wait and keep asking to get paid. Then embarrassed and degraded again in front of the audience. This isn't even half of the craziness I dealt with from this man.
This promoter is still (not a comedian) running and booking this club in Ireland.
These examples, of three different promoters are the tip of the iceberg for me personally. I am a person who everyone thinks is confident on stage, but my act – is an act.
Thank you to all the others, male and female, who have spoken up recently and to the #metoo which has helped me feel less alone.
I'm not jumping on a bandwagon, I'm not on a witch hunt and I have absolutely nothing to gain from speaking up. There have been a lot of wrong people in powerful positions in Ireland for too long.