Comedy Blogedy: How long have you been gigging in stand-up?
Joshua Seigal: For a few months. I have been doing Spoken Word performance for a few years though, on and off.
Comedy Blogedy: How would you describe your comedy?
Joshua Seigal: I am a poet, primarily writing for and working with children. I am performing the only children’s poetry show at the Fringe this year! A subset of my poetic output is aimed at adults, and a further subset of that is what I would like to think of as funny. It is these poems that I perform to adult comedy audiences. I intersperse these poems with some one-liners, and I encourage audience participation.
Comedy Blogedy: Which comedians influence your comedy?
Joshua Seigal: Tim Key and John Hegley definitely, although I work hard not to simply ape them in my act. I also admire Jimmy Carr.
Comedy Blogedy: Did you always want to go into comedy?
Joshua Seigal: Not at all! I used to go the Comedy Store all the time and think ‘I could never do anything like that’. But the more I started to gig with poetry, the more I realised that the transition probably wouldn’t be too difficult. I find comedy gigs MUCH tougher though, and a hell of a lot more scary!
Comedy Blogedy: How do you go about writing your material?
Joshua Seigal: As far as the one-liners go, they usually just come to me in the shower or something. With the poems I think of a topic or notion that I find funny, and try to construct a poem around it. I don’t have any set way of doing this, though, and around 99% of what I come up with doesn’t see the light of day.
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?
Joshua Seigal: Comedy is definitely a part-time thing. I enjoy it, and get a huge buzz when it goes well, but I wouldn’t call it my ‘focus’. As I say, I am primarily a children’s writer/performer. Some of my material is about working with kids. Very occasionally I slip a children’s poem into my set. I think that all the best children’s poetry can be enjoyed by adults too!
Comedy Blogedy: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the amateur comedy circuit?
Joshua Seigal: It is great meeting new people and watching new acts, and there can be a real sense of camaraderie. However, it can be frustrating playing gigs where all the members of the audience are other acts, as is sometimes the case. It can also seem quite competitive at times, but I try not to let this affect me.
Comedy Blogedy: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
Joshua Seigal: Any audience that is receptive to something a little bit different. I am usually the only poet on a comedy bill, and occasionally the audience simply aren’t up for it. When they are, though, it really is fantastic.
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?
Joshua Seigal: I’ve never been heckled. I’ve had people talking loudly over me, which I’ve confronted and garnered some laughs from. I’ve also had people deliberately say the wrong thing when I’ve asked for audience participation, which I’ve simply let slide. I usually think of something I should have said, but this always happens too late!
Comedy Blogedy: What advice would you give to new acts thinking about starting out in comedy?
Joshua Seigal: I am more in a position to receive advice than to dole it out!
For more interviews with new acts, visit comedyblogedy.com/category/newacts
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