CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
JS: Three years this month. It’s flown by and I done stuff I never thought I would.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
JS: Me talking about things that have happen in my life. Hopefully in a funny way. It has to have some base in truth or how I feel about it to work for me. I find it harder to talk about celebrity culture and things that do not relate to me directly. I’m trying to talk more about social and political things but that material doesn’t last long.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
JS: Stewart Lee and Peter Kay. People make fun of me since they’re so different. But those are the two I grew up with and consider them the biggest influence on me.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
JS: No. I tried to make films and stuff like that with no luck. I then fell in love with a girl and thought doing stand up would impress her. It didn’t but I kept doing stand up. I made some wonderful friends and it’s how I met my girlfriend who’s nothing short of amazing.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
JS: Things come to me during the day. It’s mostly things that have happened to me or how I re-act to things around me. I love the rule of three. I had to be careful because I would just do a whole set using the rule of three jokes.
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?
JS: It is more part-time. I work full time in a hospital and that does play into my set. I would love to do it full time but don’t think that be happening any time soon. I need my job to pay for my comedy habit.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the amateur comedy circuit?
JS: The most enjoyable would be the social aspect. It’s like being in a really nerdy group with all different types of people. So far 99% of the people have all been lovely.
The frustrating part is that this is a game of confidence. If you’re confident with mediocre material you will do better then someone who is not so confident with very good material. I think I need to be more confident in my material and ability. But it a very Irish thing to be hard on yourself.
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
JS: A nice relaxed crowd who are up for a laugh. My stuff is mostly light with slightly punchier stuff but nothing too heavy. I like to think it plays to most crowds.
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?
JS: Really not much. The biggest problem is poorly set up nights and the ones where the crowd don’t want to be there. Or the one where you’re intruding on them. The type where someone sticks a mike in the middle of a bar and hopes for the best. This has and never will work.
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
JS: Be realistic of your goals and what you want. It’s fine if you want to be on T.V. And famous. But to get there will take a lot of work and time. I started with someone who thought they would be huge after a few gigs. When this didn’t happen after thirteen gigs he quit. It’s going to cost you money. It’s really helpful if you can drive. Try to understand there are a lot of people doing stand up. If a club doesn’t respond or you have a long wait for the open spot, that’s just the way it is, don’t take it personally.