Comedy Blogedy: How long have you been gigging in stand-up?
Phillip Wragg: My first gig was in May 2011 at the Comedy Virgins night at the Cavendish Arms in Stockwell. I was pretty nervous but got there to find out that the audience decides the running order and that it’s run as a competition. I really enjoyed it though and managed to come 2nd in the vote off.
Comedy Blogedy: How would you describe your comedy?
Phillip Wragg: Slightly camp, observational humour. I talk about the reality of being a gay man, relationships, sex and more general day to day stuff. I don’t do gags, I prefer each set to have a clear arc – that’s just my writing style, also it’s easier to remember!
Comedy Blogedy: Which comedians influence your comedy?
Phillip Wragg: My parents are big comedy fans so I was brought up watching Billy Connolly and Victoria Wood. I tend to prefer female comics like Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin and Ellen Degeneres but also love Eddie Izzard, Alan Carr, Micky Flanagan, Sarah Millican – too many to mention.
Comedy Blogedy: Did you always want to go into comedy?
Phillip Wragg: As far back as I can remember I have loved comedy but never dreamed that I would be able to do it, I would usually be the one in my group of friends to make people laugh and they encouraged me to do a stand up comedy course which I loved and then started gigging shortly after.
Phillip Wragg: I always have a notepad with me so just jot down anything and everything and then at the end of each week I go through my notes and see if there is anything that could potentially go into a set, it can be anything from stuff that annoys me through to dating experiences etc.
Comedy Blogedy: Do you gig as a stand-up full time or is it more of a part-time hobby? If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
Phillip Wragg: I work in sexual health but have not referred to it in my sets yet but there is definitely material there! Since starting in May I have done just over 50 gigs and intend to keep that up for 2012. I am taking a comedy revue show to the Edinburgh Fringe with fellow comedian Elena Kombou, the show is called “Would Like To Meet” and will see sets by both of us alongside the best of the London comedy circuit with 3 different guest comedians each night!
Comedy Blogedy: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the amateur comedy circuit?
Phillip Wragg: I really like how supportive and friendly other comics are and I just love being on stage - it can be scary and nerve wracking but the pay off from a good gig makes it all worthwhile. I guess the only frustrating aspect is sometimes gigs are not promoted as well as they could be and that can lead to a pretty empty room but it’s all good practice.
Comedy Blogedy: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
Phillip Wragg: Am happy performing to anyone really but seeing lots of smiling faces and people that are up for a good night definitely helps.
Comedy Blogedy: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
Phillip Wragg: The heckling has started in the last few weeks, I don’t particularly enjoy it, it can be really distracting and throw you off course, most of the heckles have been from people so drunk, I had no idea what they were saying. At a recent gig there was a guy by the stage who kept repeating a homophobic word under his breath, I think I dealt with that pretty well, he stormed out!
Comedy Blogedy: What advice would you give to new acts thinking about starting out in comedy?
Phillip Wragg: Just do it! start writing every day, get a good 5 minutes together, check websites like stand up london, get emailing promoters, be prepared to work hard and have fun.
For more interviews with new acts, visit comedyblogedy.com/newacts
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