‘Thank You for Your Time’: Charissa Bossinakis laughs off internet trolls

The Greek Australian comedian tackles online quirks in her new show, starting March 28 at The Greek Centre for the comedy festival season

Internet users can agree that online interactions can sometimes be toxic and strange.

Charissa Bossinakis turns these personal experiences into comedy in her new show, “Thank You for Your Time” being performat this year’s Comedy Festival.

“I was working as a writer for LADbible Australia last year and I got trolled by one of their readers. So, part of the show is about that and then it’s about my dating life and some weirdos that I’ve encountered online,” she told Neos Kosmos.

This year, the Greek Australian comedian will be “doing things a little bit differently,” adding “more tech” to her “mic storytelling.”

“This one particular troll or gentleman who reached out to me, sent me a very lengthy email just ripping into a story that I had written. So, I’ve got that on a PowerPoint along with some other little visual gags,” she explained.

As for the name of the show, Bossinakis said, that after the guy wrote “all these really nasty things,” he ended his email with “thank you for your time.”

“He was so rude and then, he was like ‘Anyways, thank you so much for reading, bye. “At least he’s got manners.”

At first, Bossinakis said she was “fixated on what other people find funny.”

Now, after six years in comedy, she focuses on what she finds funny.

“I think you get a lot of relatable and universal content, because you might think initially, ‘well, no one’s gonna really relate to that’ or they ‘can’t connect with that because that’s so specifically something that I’ve encountered,’ but usually I find it works in the way that it becomes a lot more personal and through that it resonates with people.”

However, she said one thing that always comes first to mind is: “How can I make people laugh?”

For a while, Bossinakis avoided referring to her Hellenic background in her comedy shows to avoid being “pigeonholed as the Greek comedian.”

But last year’s show taught her that comedy is better without labels.

“It was the first time I actually spoke about my Greek heritage and my yiayia and our sort of funny and turbulent relationship. It was such a personal show to me, because I was really talking about my upbringing and being the only Greek kid in an Anglo-Saxon school.”

This made Bossinakis approach her material with a more open mind.

“Now I just write about what I wanna write about, so it’s never like, oh, well, that’s ‘for a ‘Greek show’ or whatever. Now I’m just like, ‘no, funny is funny.’ If I want to go there, I’ve got no qualms about it anymore.”

Photo: Supplied

Bossinakis, who is also a journalist, said her love for writing and storytelling paved the way for what lay ahead.

In journalism she chose “light-hearted,” and “funny pieces” over “hard-hitting news,” viewing her move towards comedy as “a sort of natural progression.”

“I’m first and foremost a storyteller, and I love to write and stand up is just like an extension of that.”

What Bossinakis found “most challenging” as a comedian was “trying to do gigs” during the pandemic, as she asked herself: “how the hell am I supposed to write material about my life and how to make people laugh if I legitimately feel like I’m not having any new experiences?”

“When you come up with a new idea, it shouldn’t be like you’re really trying to force it. It should just be like a very sort of natural stream of consciousness, I guess, rather than really trying to force it to happen.”

But being “a fan of comedy first and foremost” was what kept her going.

“I’ve never done heroin before, but there is nothing better than writing a new joke and testing it in front of an audience and seeing it land like that. It’s pure euphoria.”

As for the future?

“I’d love to work on TV, film, whether that be writing behind the scenes…I’d also like to act, but I’d always love to continue doing my stand up, my first love.”

When: Thursday March 28 until Saturday March 30, at 8pm, Sunday March 31, at 7pm, Tuesday April 2 until Saturday April 6, at 8pm.

Where: The Greek Centre, Level 2, 168 Lonsdale St, Melbourne.