CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
DW: 4 years
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
DW: Surreal nonsense peppered with puns, sound effects, drawings and definitely not mentioning my height.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
DW: I’m obsessed with Limmy, but I grew up worshipping Spike Milligan, Monty Python, Dave Allen, The Fast Show and Big Train.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
DW: I’ve always been obsessed with it and wanted to create sketches and short films like the Monty Python crew. I never thought I could do stand-up as I had too many pre-conceptions as to what it was supposed to be. Then I slowly realised it could be anything you want it be as long as it’s funny.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
DW: I’m literally writing all the time. If I sit in front of a Laptop nothing comes out, so the only way I can manage is by constantly making notes on my phone, which is unbelievably anti-social.
I get my best ideas whilst cycling. This has led to a few near-death experiences.
Now I’ve got a phone holder on my bike so I can write whilst weaving in and out of traffic! What could go wrong?
CB: 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?
DW: Half and half. I do freelance work during the week, but can take time out whenever I want, which is useful for things like Edinburgh.
The comedy circuit has changed so much, even in the short time I’ve been doing it. There’s so many free comedy nights now, that driving round the country performing at clubs isn’t really a viable income anymore. You need to be thinking of other ways to make money out of it. For example, I have a joke book being published in November that contains over 1000 jokes, encompassing 3 years of writing and drawing. Perhaps I should sell them after gigs….
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
DW: Most frustrating: Writing New Material. Last year at Edinburgh I did a kind of ‘best of’ the 3 years I’d spent on the circuit, setting myself the challenge of writing completely new material for the next year. It’s very, very difficult.
Most enjoyable: When new material works. No other feeling like it.
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
DW: I like the “Just happy to be out” type
CB: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
DW: Hmmm not really. Even when a gig goes bad, I think audiences are thinking “What’s he going to do next?”
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
DW: Don’t just talk about where you’re from. Don’t copy what you see on TV either. Stand-up on television is not representative of the diverse comedy circuit (in London anyway). Think of something funny and just say it, don’t worry if it doesn’t fit into a structure or sound like anything on Live at the Apollo. Oh and don’t enter competitions that involve an ‘X-Factor’ style panel of judges.