IT'S a rarity for anyone working in the performing arts, but comedian Becky Lucas has actually seen some career benefits emerge out the COVID-19 pandemic.
After seven years of almost nightly stand-up performances, six months away from the stage has served as a form of revitalisation.
"I think that really big break was good for people," Lucas says. "It gave them a bit of perspective as to what is actually important.
"If I used to bomb, I'd be like, 'Oh my god' and be so upset. After the pandemic it's like, 'That didn't go well but it's not the end of the world.' You have a more relaxed vibe up there, which is always good. Everyone is happy to have anything on."
In recent years Lucas' sweet girl routine, mixed with biting humour, has become a regular fixture on comedy stages. Lucas has also starred on TV's Orange Is The New Brown, Fancy Boy, Hughesy We Have A Problem and Last One Laughing.
The latter appeared on Amazon Prime this year and involved 10 Australian comedians battling in a room to eliminate each other by making them laugh.
The winner claimed $100,000. Lucas was among the first eliminated and she described the show as bit of a "nightmare".
"Being stuck in a room not allowed to a laugh was really hard," she says. "Like trying to hold in a sneeze."
In 2019 Lucas became the first Australian female comedian to appear on Conan O'Brien's US talk show.
She also holds the distinction of being banned from Twitter after she posted a joke in 2018 about wanting to behead Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The ban has been a blessing as Lucas has spent the majority of this year avoiding social media, and instead, has spent time writing her first book due for release in March. It's a mix of funny stories and essays about the Sydney-based Queenslander's life and thoughts.
"Basically they're the same 30 stories I've been telling at a party my whole life, like high at 3am," she says. "But with more detail.
"I think it will be good. When I was writing it I thought it would be good, but there's a lot of self-doubt. Self-doubt is good, it acts as an editing process."
Lucas has previously co-written the TV shows The Other Guy with Matt Okine and Please Like Me with Josh Thomas and says she found working on a book more creatively stimulating than stand-up.
"You can explore your thoughts and theories that might not be laugh-out-loud funny, but might be interesting," she says. "I much preferred it and felt it was much more normal.
"Stand-up is very ADHD and chaotic. You really are just trying to get to that funny bit. It's a type of art form, but it's not always what I feel like doing."
Becky Lucas will perform at the Newcastle Comedy Festival's four gala shows at the Civic Theatre on Saturday and Sunday, before returning for her solo show at The Happy Wombat on November 27.