Live At The Apollo comedian talks disability and bullying
- Credit: Archant
Canadian-Amercian comedian Tanyalee Davis joined students at a Suffolk college this week to discuss British attitudes towards disability.
The stand up artist gave an hour-long talk online to learners based at West Suffolk College, in Bury St Edmunds.
Dialling in live from Florida, Tanyalee talked about her life working as a comedian for the last 30 years and her experiences of travelling the world.
She also took a series of questions from students who are on journalism and media courses.
Covering everything from filming a Christmas episode of Live At The Apollo in 30C heat during September, to the difference between performing in front of UK and American audiences, Tanyalee also gave her opinion on the disability campaign that the college was supporting.
She said: “If it helps bring about awareness and educates the mainstream, then I’m OK with that.”
Part of the discussion reflected on British attitudes towards disability.
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The comic, who recently turned 50, believes more needs to be done in the UK.
“Speaking more generally, I see myself as being unstoppable but I must admit that I’ve never felt more disabled than when I was living in the UK,” she said.
“I was told no all the time. From my perspective, it should all be about motivating and inspiring people, not telling them they can’t do things all the time.”
Tanyalee also reflected on her support of an anti-bullying charity based in Norwich called GR8 AS U R – a cause that regularly talks to schools across East Anglia.
She added: “I still get bullied and unfortunately we live in a bullying culture but you can’t control what other people say.
“You’ve got to believe in yourself and accept that the person who is the bully is the one with the problems.
“Comedy has given me an outlet to talk about my life and I’ve had a pretty awesome life.
“I look forward to touring again soon and it was great to be involved in this West Suffolk College event.”
Wellbeing ambassador and business lecturer Mike Opukah, who organised the event, said: “Tanyalee gave a very insightful and thought provoking talk and we are very grateful for her support.”