First website entry, and it’s appropriate that I begin this blog in the same week that I kickoff my second stab at a live comedy career.
I’d previously tried my hand at the craft eight years ago, as a fresh-faced, arrogant and very handsome – so I’m told(!) – young go-getter. Overflowing with confidence in my comedic abilities, I’d already written a sitcom pilot script (with no idea what to do with it) and was desperate to get on a stage and wow drunk strangers with (what I thought were) my Bill Hicks-esque rants about everything that irked me.
There were two problems with this ambition. Firstly, the industry was nowhere near as developed as it is today and, despite many begging letters and phone calls, the comedy clubs in my childhood stomping ground of Birmingham simply refused to take a chance on aspiring stand-ups with no references or stage experience. The second and, although I didn’t realise it at the time, far more devastating obstacle to my ambitions was that as a post-pubescent nerd who had barely left his home town and knew nothing about anything (other than 1990’s classic arcade games) it was going to be impossible for me to connect with the usual comedy crowd of inebriated hen-nights, stag parties, office outings and comedy connoisseurs I would have to face when those terrifyingly bright stage lights finally shone upon me.
After months of pestering the local club and nothing close to a positive response, I’d resigned myself to the undesirable conclusion that the only way to get into the stand-up game was to relocate to London, where the comedy circuit wasn’t huge at the time but was certainly more open to gambling on non-established hopefuls and new material than the provinces. In the end, as it turned out, that wasn’t necessary.
Back on a dreary Thursday in 2005, when I was a nightshift graphic designer for a car magazine, I unexpectedly got a call from the Midland’s biggest comedy club saying they were willing to let me do an open spot!