CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
JC: My first gig was in 2011 but I only started trying in the summer of 2012. I keep losing track because time is so bendy. I’ve performed in plays and sketch shows since school but I don’t think that counts as ‘gigging’.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
JC: Once, under pressure, I described it to a promoter as ‘Upbeat in demeanour but sad in words’. It’s a bit story-telly and relatable in an ‘I’m glad I’m not her’ kind of way. And fart jokes.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
JC: I don’t watch that much comedy now as I don’t want to be influenced too much! I love watching Daniel Kitson, Jack Dee, Victoria Wood, Sara Pascoe, Rik Mayall, Sean Lock and of course millions more.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
JC: No, I wanted to be a serious actor but I think I found some drama school auditions a bit too wanky to progress (or maybe I just wasn’t good enough). I only started doing stand up after a few friends suggested it to me.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
JC: When I tell my friends about things that have happened to me, they often say ‘that could only happen to you.’ I use true things that happen to me, cut out as much of the boring stuff as possible and hope it’s lolworthy.
CB: Do you gig as a comedy performer full time or is it more of a part-time hobby? If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
JC: I quit my day job a year ago. But the jobs I’ve had before comedy have definitely fed my material.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
JC: Most enjoyable: Gigging in front of lovely audiences, trying new stuff and it working, meeting lots of great people. Most frustrating: Having to catch the Megabus to get to faraway gigs.
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
JC: Large audiences! It’s much more nerve racking knowing you’re about to go onstage and perform to 3 people than it is to 300 people.
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?
JC: I wouldn’t say I enjoy being heckled but it definitely doesn’t hold the horror it used to when I first started out. Anything vaguely off script used to put the shits up me. Now I don’t mind as long as it’s not just drunk and directionless. Although the best heckle I’ve had was an absolutely hammered man who’s phone was ringing and he couldn’t manage to turn it off or answer it. He was just fumbling with it for ages while it rang. I managed to tie it in to something later on in my set and the audience rofl’d. That feeling of a shared unique moment is very good for comedy.
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
JC: Just gig as much as you can. Not only will it mean you are comfier on stage but it will mean you’ll meet lots of lovely helpful people. Chat to other acts at gigs, share tips for people to contact, gigs that are good/well run, competitions that are running, etc. It makes such a difference. Every gig holds the potential to lead to something ace.