Chatting to comedian Meshel Laurie is a refreshing experience.

Her style is friendly, upbeat and to the point. She may be known for numerous appearances on TV as well as radio and comedy gigs but there’s no pretentiousness as far as this one-woman show is concerned.

We very quickly find ourselves talking about the myth of the Superwoman.

“There are no super mums,” Meshel says emphatically. “Generally women who have a family and job have other women helping them.”

And Meshel means women. “Women help women. I have an old family friend who we call ‘Nadgyi’ which is Hungarian for Nanna and she’s great at helping me with my two girls.

“And I’ve also got a management team so they keep me on track, remind me about jobs.”

Meshel says the older she gets the less pressure she feels to be all things to all people. The women Meshel feels most sympathy for are young women.

“They’re expected to be alluring, find a husband, have a great career and bring up a family.

“It’s too much. I think we need to be more honest about the need for help and more realistic about our capacity to do all these things.”

And as she gets older Meshel says she’s more confident when she performs.

“If I make a mistake on television I don’t take it hard. I tell myself, so what. Who cares what other people think. People soon forget what you did.

“Stand-up can be humiliating if you make a mistake, but you let it go. Remind yourself we’ll all be dead soon anyway.”

Which gets us to the subject of Buddhism.

“When you practise Buddhism you’re encouraged to meditate on death which conversely makes you conscious of life.”

There are different ways of practising Buddhism and for Meshel it means giving to people in a practical sense.

“I’m here now and I’m going to collect good Karma.”

These days Meshel finds stand-up boring, in that she no longer gets an adrenaline rush.

She’s off to Iraq shortly for Save the Children (funded by Australian Aid) and will get more terror for her money that way.

Meshel has also found time to cope with a separation from her husband of 19 years.

Her book Buddhism for Breakups will be available at the Bendigo Writers Festival where Meshel will be appearing.

Bendigo Writers Festival, August 9–11.

Dianne Dempsey