Harassment and bullying got comedian Sanne Søndergaard to leave standupbranchen. Now she’s moved on.
In February 2005, tagged comedian Sanne Søndergaard the first time the rush.
She was 25 years old and stood on the stage in standupklubben Comedy Zoo in Copenhagen.
She had never tried to stand up on a stage and tell jokes before, but now she had been given ten minutes to perform with his material.
And it quickly became more. The audience skraldgrinede, and Sanne Søndergaard felt connected with them. She felt, for the first time, was someone who really listened to what she said.
That was how it began.
Since the very first baby show at the Comedy Zoo Sanne Søndergaard in barely 15 years has been an established part of the Danish standupbranche.
She has been touring the country thin with shows like “Mandehader?” from 2013, “Woman?” from 2015, “Crazy bitch” from 2017, and no later than “Kontroltaber” from 2019, and she is known to have to grapple with issues like feminism, bullying, sexism and homophobia.
But now it’s over.
In February 2019 announced Sanne Søndergaard, that she stopped doing standup because she for years has felt bullied and harassed in the industry.
– I have been exposed to so extremely a lot of sexism in standupbranchen, and after 15 years it was not been better, she says.
When I started, it was really bad. There were female comedians presented with comments like “the next, we must have on the stage is a woman, and women can’t be funny”. I’ve also had male colleagues who have spoken, that they have the cannon me, just before they put me on. It is just two examples out of many.
– this kind of thing is stopped now, and the industry has become more friendly to women, but not for me. I have said from the face of sexismen, but when you are the one who takes the fighting, is also the one that is being done to the witch. Therefore I decided last year that I simply no wonder more. I could not mentally hold it, she says.
So now Sanne Søndergaard here.
on Thursday, 2. april she fills 40 years, and she has decided to start all over again. Partially in any case.
For, although she has said goodbye to standuppen, she’s not done with acting. She writes just now on a new show called “Selvsær”, which will premiere in 2021.
– I call it a flying comedy tour, I stopped doing standup, but I still love to stand on stage and make fun with social structures, so I’ve decided to invent my own genre.
– If you can’t be in the cave without eating a slug, so one must make his own cave, and that’s it, I’m working on now. It is a little anxiety-provoking to toss the catalogue away and start over as a 40-year-old, but it is also a fun challenge, she says.
Sanne Søndergaard is originally trained as a journalist from the Danish school of journalism and has also studied cand.public. at the University of Southern denmark and the women’s and gender studies at Copenhagen University.
in Parallel with his career as a comedian, she has participated in the public debate through opinion pieces and television debates and was the host of The Feminist talk show on DRK. In 2013 she received the Suzanne Gieses Mindelegat for her feminist work.
in Addition, she is the author of several books.
In the autobiographical book “Solo” by 2015, describes Sanne Søndergaard the sexism she has experienced in standupbranchen, and she has also published ungdomsbøgerne “Dear Dødsbog”, “pro Forma” and “Hell man, which is about, among other things bullying, loneliness, sexism and racism and are being used as teaching material in elementary school.
– For me, it is about the awareness of people about the structures that affect us. We are so busy, that everything is the individual’s own responsibility, but I would like to show how we are constantly shaped by the people we associate with, she says.
Sanne Søndergaard has particularly tried to focus on bullying, as she herself has been exposed to through his folkeskoletid at Østre School in Ikast. Both from pupils and teachers.
She remembers when her year group in sixth grade was to perform the musical Oliver Twist.
None of the boys were interested in playing the lead role, but Sanne Søndergaard liked to perform, so she asked her music teacher if she had to.
– My music teacher responded by going into my parallelklasse, as she was the class teacher, and say, that now one of the boys so sign up, for I should certainly not play the main role. Instead of saying to me that she did not think I was clever enough, says Sanne Søndergaard.
– The kind of experiences haven’t exactly made me the authority. It has done that I do not recognize anyone’s authority, if not also behaving properly, says Sanne Søndergaard.
today she carries no grudge against those who have bullied her – neither in primary school or in the standupmiljøet.
When I was 30, I decided that my goal for the rest of my life should be to be happy. I don’t want to use all my energy on how others are towards me.
– I would like to talk about it and help to combat bullying and sexism, but I would also like to have a life where I am happy, she says.
It feels Sanne Søndergaard, that she has got now.
She lives today with her boyfriend, Jonas, and his two children in Egå, north of Aarhus, where she can go for walks by the water, take care of his garden, writing on his show and be together with friends and family.
– I feel that I have let go much of my anger. I try to focus on the right here and now instead of focusing on people – both from my school and from standupbranchen – as a time have been foolish and stupid.
– I am very inspired by the australian hospicesygeplejerske Bronnie Ware, who has written a book about what people regret most on their deathbed.
– the Number one on the list is “I wish I had had the courage to live the life I would have lived, and not the life I thought others expected of me”. It is a pity only to discover, when lying on his deathbed, so I would like to take the experience now and do the things I want. Then I come, hopefully not to regret, she says.