Hannah Priscilla Gray
Originally not aired on ??/??/????
What do you think of when I say the word “businessman”?
Probably a man, right? Probably a middle-aged bloke in a suit. Probably someone who talks about minimising risk and maximising gains; someone who smokes a cigar while leering at their secretary and making lewd comments about her “damned fine ass”.
Well, prepare to have your worldview blown to smithereens yet again, because the businessman I’m talking to today is in fact a woman.
And that woman is the wonderful HANNAH PRISCILLA GRAY.
Not just a female-comedian, Hannah is also an extremely successful female-businessman. Running her own dressmaking shop in the Moseley area of Birmingham, Hannah has all the hallmarks of a successful entrepreneur, including a string of sexual-misconduct allegations to her name. Those allegations all come from me, after seeing the way she checked out my plump posterior upon my entering the Costa in Kings Heath where we met.
“I bet you just want to bite into it, don’t you Hannah?” I said, as we sat down to start the interview.
“Bite into what?” She replied. “My toastie?”
“Of course,” I said, winking, feeling like the sexy little minx at an office Christmas party. “Anyway, enough of that. What made you want to start your own business?”
“Well,” she said, smiling. “I guess it’s maybe a bit of the American in me that wants their own slice of the pie, if you will.”
I should say at this point that Hannah is from a little country across the pond (more like the Atlantic Ocean lol) called America. America is a nation with a plethora of strong female role-models, like Beyonce, Lizzo, and the woman from the Statue of Liberty.
“What made you move to Birmingham of all places? And why dressmaking?”
“Firstly, I’ve always loved textiles,” she said. “And I was over here at a conference a few years ago and…”
Realising that female-businessmen can be just as boring as regular businessmen, I decided to interrupt.
“Okay that’s enough of that story,” I said. “Tell me about what it’s like being a female-comedian.”
“Actually Eric, I don’t really like the phrase ‘female-comedian’.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Why is that?” I asked, always the first to apologise for my mistakes so I can learn and be better equipped to fight for justice moving forward.
“It’s unnecessary,” she said. “It’s a way of emphasising difference. I’m a comedian; the fact that I’m female shouldn’t come into it. I write jokes and I perform them and that’s all that matters.”
We carried on chatting and the more we talked, the more I realised that my approach to this podcast had been wrong. Even with the good intentions I certainly had, my dwelling on the fact that Hannah is a woman had blocked me from seeing her properly. Her achievements deserved to be celebrated on their own merits, not just in the context of her being a woman.
“Hannah, I’m so sorry. All this time I’ve been building it up in my head that you’re this brilliant female-comedian and female-businessman, not realising that the female part is irrelevant.”
“So before I go,” I said, taking a final sip of my Chai Latte. “I want to say you’re brilliant without the female part. You’re a brilliant comedian and a brilliant businessman. Period. And not the leaking-blood kind, because that doesn’t matter to me.”
I began to pack away, and as I was doing so I noticed Hannah checking me out again.
“Eric,” she said. “This is a bit awkward, but I think you have bird crap down the back of your trousers.”
Tune in next time! X