For more than 40 years, Judi Walker has been complementing her nursing work with a side of humour.
Each week Judi can be seen singing to her patients (when she confesses she can’t sing), starring in the occasional group performance and living by the notion that laughter is the best medicine.
“I always say we could cut their medication by about 90% if nurses had time to be a bit more silly and spend time with their residents – in aged care particularly,” Judi says.
Her show Giddy-Up Nursee!! takes her experiences over the decades and combines it into a hilarious comedy show. There are quips on mammograms, bowel movements and the lighter moments of being a nurse.
“A lot of the things I talk about transcend nursing and people can relate to it,” she says. “I discuss things like mammograms and colonoscopies so you don’t have to be a nurse to understand that.”
Practising as a nurse in aged care for most of her career, Judi found her niche in her profession early on, admitting, “That’s the kind of nursing I was designed for”.
As for when the humour became a fully-fledged side career, Judi was encouraged after attending a comedy show in her hometown of Wangaratta. Often implementing humour on a daily basis in her nursing career, she thought she could take a shot at stand-up comedy on the side.
“I’ve always loved performing and poetry and different things, but I’d never contemplated stand up until I saw a visiting comedian. I walked out and thought I could do that. Within a couple of weeks I had booked the auditorium,” she says.
Performing to a sold out crowd, Judi fell in the love with the experience, stating it was “more than I could have dreamt of”.
Just over a year later from that first performance and Judi still juggles the life of a nurse and a comedian. However, it’s a juggling act that works in her favour with content given to her at the end of every shift.
This new content has meant that 12 months on her show is almost unrecognisable – with an entirely new collection of jokes to enjoy.
“I was at work on Wednesday night and there were one or two things that occurred. It was pretty crazy on Wednesday night and I did think to myself and say to a few of the girls, that I may just put this into my next show,” Judi says.
“There’s always something happening so I take things out and add other things in.”
As much as her show derives content from her time as a nurse, this show isn’t just for nurses. Giddy-up Nursee!! is for anyone who craves a good belly laugh and particularly loves humour surrounding bowel movements.
A percentage of proceeds from all of Judi’s shows go towards the EB Research Foundation, which funds research into a terrible skin disorder children are born with. Find out more information here.
Giddy-Up Nursee! takes place at Courthouse Youth Arts on Friday, August 3 at 7.30pm.
Tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for concession holders. Purchase tickets here.