Nina Conti is the only child of actors – her father, Tom, is a Tony Award winner and Oscar nominee. As for Nina, she began her career as an actress at the Royal Shakespeare Company before her mentor Ken Campbell convinced her to become a ventriloquist. Nina won the BBC New Comedy Award in 2002, best show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2008, and has performed in many British TV shows since, as well as the HBO comedy series, Family Tree, with Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Chris O’Dowd. She’s made two documentaries, Clowning Around where she trained as a clown performing in a children’s hospital, and Her Master’s Voice where she took her mentor’s puppets to the official Vent Haven Museum in Kentucky. She spoke to me about vocal and theatrical acrobatics, which she puts on full display with great charm in her new improvised show, “In Your Face,” at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York City for a limited time only.
So let’s get to it!