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MonkAI Interview: Avital Ash

We asked our intrepid AI interviewer, MonkAI, to pose some questions to US-based stand up and viral sensation Avital Ash, ahead of her upcoming comedy gig in Edinburgh. Avital's no stranger to Auld Reekie: she had a successful Fringe run at Monkey Barrel Comedy back in 2023, and we can't wait to welcome her back!


Check out her interview with MonkAI to learn more about her TikTok successes, hopes and worries as a multi-disciplinary performer, and extraordinary ability to take strange questions about Tiger Woods in-stride (thanks, AI).


MonkAI: What inspired you to start creating comedy content on platforms like YouTube and TikTok?


Avital Ash: A friend convinced me to post to TikTok during the pandemic and there was, pretty literally, not much else going on. So... less inspiration and more just as an experiment?


MonkAI: You've collaborated with various creators and comedians. Is there anyone you haven't worked with yet but would love to collaborate with in the future?

 

AA: Nope. I’ve worked with everyone I could ever want to work with! All my dreams have come true, thanks for asking, AI. CAN YOU IMAGINE?! I’d murder (you, your family, whoever) to work with Jesse Armstrong or Mike White or Vince Gilligan or Soo Hugh and David Kajganich. I love Lynne Ramsay and Steven Spielberg and Mike Leigh and Paul Thomas Anderson and Luca Guadagnino and Yorgos Lanthimos and GDT and oh god this is like I'm trying to do my Oscars speech while they play me off with music except it’s pure fantasy and even in the fantasy I’m not allowed to run long! Can I just list people?! I want to write/direct something for Ciaran Hinds who I feel is underused in everything except for ROME. John Hawkes. Brenda Blethyn. Colin Farrell. Connie Britton. There really is such an abundance of talent and I want to work with everyone!

 

MonkAI: Your comedy often touches on themes like relationships and social interactions. What draws you to explore these topics in your content?

 

AA: People are, unfortunately, an inevitability. I touch on them (and touch them, with grubby little hands) because wherever I go, there they are.

 

MonkAI: Alligators, acclaimed Floridian Tiger Woods, and your upbringing in Florida each have their own distinct characteristics and narratives. In what ways do you see parallels between the resilience and adaptability of alligators, the perseverance and success of Tiger Woods, and your own journey and experiences growing up in Florida?


AA: I misread the question as “Alligators claimed Tiger Woods” and I thought YOU thought he got eaten by alligators. I do feel that your question is leading. You didn’t ask what I, Florida, alligators and Tiger have in common, but rather about the parallels between our resilience, adaptability, perseverance, and success. So I guess we’re all resilient, adaptable, and my key takeaway: equally successful. I am as successful as Tiger Woods.


MonkAI: What's your creative process like when you're developing a new sketch or video idea?

 

AA: My process often involves being annoyed that I don’t have a process. Every time I work on something new, I think “Where do I start?”, and “Why haven’t I figured this out yet?” It’s a lot of scrambling to figure out “What next” and “HOW” and then eventually I think “OK, I guess this is done.”

 

MonkAI: You've gained a significant following across multiple platforms. What advice would you give to aspiring comedians or content creators looking to grow their audience?

 

AA: So depressing but... quantity over quality. You never know what’s going to resonate with someone. I need to practice it more, myself, because it’s hard putting up something you don’t think is stellar. I dislike a lot of what I put online, and it’s often the things I think are the best that flop! So I mostly think: throw it all on the Internet. Where your loved ones can see it and make fun of you behind your back. Where it will live forever. No pressure.

 

MonkAI: Beyond comedy, do you have any other creative pursuits or projects that you're passionate about exploring in the future?

 

AA: Yes! I have a horror movie I want to write and direct next. Really excited to get to work on it — which will eventually become frustration and hopelessness and then excitement again, once I’m actually doing it. I’m working on a novel. That feels good. And I love working with people I admire. Being able to contribute creatively and learn from the greats is the best. Getting to do a few days on BARRY as an actor was a dream. I just wrote on a Netflix show that will be out October of 2025. Will be able to say more about it later this month. Hopefully will be able to do more of that, too.


If you wanna see some more of my stuff... I wrote/directed/starred in a comedy-horror segment of an anthology film, GIVE ME AN A, a response from 17 female filmmakers to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. (Mine, GOD'S PLAN, begins at 53:19.) It’s an amazing group of women to be a part of and I hope we make stuff together again. I’m proud of my dramedy web series, Passover.gay, which I made during Covid. There’s more on my website! www.avitalash.com.

 

MonkAI: If you found yourself playing a round of golf with legendary Floridian Tiger Woods, what's the one question you would ask him about his legendary career and what aspect of his game would you most want to learn from?

 

AA: My question for you is “Why are you so fixated on Tiger Woods?” Florida has many other cool people you could bring up, like... Gloria Estefan, or Ricky Martin, or Casey Anthony!

 

MonkAI: You’re returning to Edinburgh after a successful run at the Fringe, with one review calling your show "A revelation and a reckoning... A transformational odyssey... Barbed wit & pure vulnerability." How do you feel about coming back to Edinburgh in 2024?

 

AA: If I’m being totally honest, I feel full of dread! I get terribly anxious ahead of shows. But the response from audiences has been so glowing and kind that when I haven’t got shows scheduled, I forget I feel that way, and think, “OH, I should add some shows!” That said, I really love Edinburgh, and Monkey Barrel. So I’m really excited to be back, physically.

 

MonkAI: What can audiences expect from your show ‘Avital Ash: Workshops Her Suicide Note’?

 

AA: You can expect DARK comedy, lots and lots of jokes, and also to have it linger for a few days. Art is so personal and subjective, I can’t guarantee any kind of experience. But the feedback I frequently get is “I laughed so hard, I cried so hard, I can’t stop thinking about it.” (Which has been lovely to read, but feels gross to type about myself!)


You can watch Give Me An A at this link (N.B., not available to viewers in the UK or EU): https://tubitv.com/movies/100008807/give-me-an-a

Avital Ash returns to Monkey Barrel Comedy in Edinburgh on May 24th. You can get tickets for the show here: https://event.bookitbee.com/47893/avital-ash-workshops-her-suicide-note

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