BJ CONNOLLY – THE MOTIVATIONAL ENTERTAINER
Stand-Up Comedian, MC, Freelance Journalist, Motivational Speaker, YouTuber
STAND-UP COMEDY & MCING
I love making jokes about my autism and using comedy as a platform to make light of all the awkward social encounters I experienced during my childhood whilst attempting to develop my social skills and better understand the neurotypical world.
My proudest comedy moment to date was MCing a comedy show in Lismore, NSW which featured Aussie comedy legend Steady Eddy as the headliner. Other achievements include; Raw Comedy Queensland State Grand Finalist 2020, Support Act for Anne Ferguson-Howe at her 2019 Bris Funny Fest Show “PC Impaired”. Support Act for Sarah Kate Young at her 2019 Show “Foxy Moron”. Nick Carr says that “BJ is the most enthusiastic comedian of all time”. Lindsay Webb says that “BJ is like a character from a movie who you can talk to in real life”.
I have performed comedy at over two dozen venues across Brisbane, Sunshine Coast & Northern New South Wales including; The Sit Down Comedy Club Paddington, Heya Bar Fortitude Valley, Newmarket Hotel, Stones Corner Hotel, Milk Factory South Bank, Solbar Maroochydore, Lismore City Bowls Club and The Spotted Cow Toowoomba .
In June 2020 I began a Facebook video series called “SELF-HELP-COMEDY WITH BJ CONNOLLY” where I share my most eccentric life advice. My first episode “Coming Out As Straight & How To Avoid Getting Ghosted After A Date” was released on Wednesday 10th June.
On Thursday 27th June I MC’d and organised my very own 2 hour comedy show at Smoked Garage 126 Wickham Street Fortitude Valley. The show was watched by a crowd 80 to 90 people and was a massive success!
My second show at Smoked Garage took place on Thursday 3rd October 2019. Once again this show successfully drew a crowd of 80 to 90 people!
Due to my high energy and cheerful stage persona I have a reputation in the Brisbane comedy scene for being able to get away with talking about a lot of taboo topics that most other comedians have trouble discussing on stage.
In August 2019 I performed in three shows at the ‘2019 Bris Funny Fest’. The first show “Valium &” took place on Sunday 18th August at The Sit Down Comedy Club Paddington and was attended by a crowd of 101 people.
My second show “Spicy, Buff & Autistic” on Saturday 24th August at Metro Arts, Edward Street drew a SOLD OUT CROWD of 115 people. On Saturday 10th August I was the support act for Brisbane comedian Anne Ferguson-Howe for her Bris Funny Fest Show “PC Impaired” at Heya Bar Fortitude Valley. On Wednesday 13th November I was support act for comedian Sarah Kate-Young at her 60 minute show at Milk Factory South Bank.
I LOVE my ability to make taboo topics sound cute! Whenever I say something outrageous audience members often call it adorable. If you love dark and dirty comedy that’s delivered in a cheerful and charismatic manner come watch me perform at one of my upcoming gigs.
If you would like to hire me to perform comedy or to MC an event/function please contact me. I would love to provide you with a night full of wild, intellectually stimulating and eccentric entertainment.
In 2018, I graduated with a Bachelor Mass Communication (Journalism/Entertainment) at QUT and have experience working in News/Current Affairs Radio producing original stories for “The Wire” broadcast on 4EB. I also write for “The Big Issue” magazine. In February 2020 I started writing for “The Creative Issue” magazine.
If you are a small business owner or start-up founder who is in need of a memorable and easy to read press release for your website to help promote your companies services and upcoming events I would love to write for you. I got a Distinction for my final 3 journalism articles that I wrote during my university degree. I got 36/40 for my final 1600 word feature article at university in 2018.
I charge $10 for 100 words or less, $20 for 250 words and $30 for 500 words. Anything over 500 words I charge an extra $5 for every additional 150 words.
YOUTUBE – COMBATING SMARTPHONE ADDICTION AND ADVOCATING FOR HEALTHY USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
When I was 18 and 19 years old I struggled with smartphone addiction and was on most days spending up to ten hours a day on social media doing things that I consider unproductive. I discovered my passion in 2016 and consequently greatly reduced the amount of time I spent online.
As I became more aware of how social media was negatively impacting the people around me particularly at university, I decided to quit social media and didn’t log onto any platforms (Facebook, Instagram etc.) for 13 months.
My social media hiatus between September 2017 and October 2018 brought many positive changes into my life; it made me the most productive I have ever been and definitely made me a less judgemental person.
Through my YouTube videos I aspire to make social media less superficial and more intellectual. I encourage everyone to become mindful of the ways social media can manipulate your brain and waste your productivity, promotes delusional thinking and how being over-connected can hamper your ability to connect deeply with other people on an intimate level.
I love entertaining, educating and inspiring other people. I am passionate about advocating for healthy use of social media and combating smartphone addiction
If you have any stories to share with me regarding how the social media use of either yourself or your friends has either positively or negatively impacted your life and mental health I would love to hear from you. I am particularly interested to hear from other people who like myself have also taken a break from social media for a long duration of time.
CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL TO WATCH VARIOUS VIDEOS I HAVE CREATED ON THIS TOPIC
EMPOWERING PEOPLE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM
I was diagnosed with Asperger’s and ADHD at the age of 6. I initially struggled with giving eye contact, had a phobia of being touched by other people and found it extremely difficult to express my emotions and understand basic non-verbal communication.
I strongly believe that with the necessary support from other people every individual the autism spectrum has the capacity to develop the necessary social skills that will enable them to form meaningful friendships, find employment and contribute positively to their local community and broader society.
I have met many people on the spectrum who are walking encyclopaedias and full of knowledge when it comes to a topic they are passionate about. I know many individuals who are gifted in areas such as; Science, Information Technology, Engineering, Maths and other specialist fields. However due to their difficulties with communicating their ideas they struggle to reach their full potential and in many cases become socially isolated.
When I was in grade I grade 11 and 12 at school I made the conscious decision to focus more time on developing my social skills than the amount I devoted to my school work. This choice I made successfully resulted in me developing fantastic social skills and forming wonderful friendships that I am very proud of. At age 16, for the first time in my life I felt as if I was accepted by my peers and that my ideas were appreciated.
If the autistic individual is determined to push themselves, take risks and get outside of their comfort zone than they are exceptionally capable of improving their social skills. I have never taken medication for my conditions. I strongly credit following a strict gluten free and dairy free diet for enabling me to be the best version of myself.
Between 2014 and 2016, for two years I facilitated an Autism Support Group where I presented various workshops to help Adults on the spectrum improve their social skills, prepare for job interviews among other topics.
I love empowering individuals on the autism spectrum to improve their social skills and helping them discover how they can utilise their passion in ways that contribute positively to society.
I am looking forward to continuing my advocacy in the future and I would love to do speeches at schools across Brisbane and share my stories with students and give advice to parents who have children on the spectrum.