CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
LP: I’ve been gigging for just over 3 years but I actually did a couple of gigs when I was just 15 which feels so long ago! I caught the bug then and waited until I was 18 to start doing it ‘properly’
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
It’s my life essentially! I like to talk about stuff that’s true as it’s real life that I find the funniest. It’s anecdotal, it’s truthful and hopefully it’s funny
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
So many! If I had to just pick one though – I love Katherine Ryan she’s an absolute queen. Her writing is so razor sharp and I’m so in awe of her when I watch her, she’s just so fierce and hilarious and also has an excellent wardrobe.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
Definitely not! I was really shy when I was younger, like annoyingly shy and the thought of having to talk to anyone who I didn’t HAVE to talk to was a nightmare. Then I got into drama and loved it, I found a passion and my confidence. Through that I realised I could make people laugh and sort of fell into comedy. I’m glad I did though! I think getting it via drama was such a blessing cause I already had an awareness of stage presence and faking looking confident which are two things that were definitely great to have from the word go when I started doing comedy
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
I sort of wing it at first. I get a little nugget of idea and almost workshop it on stage. I’m better at trying to just let it come out naturally and seeing if the actual idea works or has any potential first before I try to write it and then I kind of spend time writing and structuring it properly after I’ve chucked it into the open on stage. What better time to test out a half baked idea that you’ve not really thought about properly and aren’t actually sure is funny in the slightest than in front of a room full of people judging you!
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?
It’s become more than a hobby but it’s not my full time job … yet. I want it to be my full time job in the future so badly! I mean, I’m a top notch waitress but it doesn’t quite Give me the same adrenaline rush as comedy. And sometimes customers at work don’t want to listen to me attempting to crack jokes whereas at least comedy club audiences have NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER. For the last 3 years I studied for a Performance degree while working in shops/nightclubs/bars and now I’m studying for my Masters while working in a restaurant and chasing comedy. My life definitely feels a bit of a juggling act! My job doesn’t necessarily feed into my comedy but my degree definitely has, both in terms of the skills I’ve picked up from a drama course that come in handy for comedy, and the material you generate from being on such a batshit course.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
The most enjoyable is when it goes well! When you play in a city you’ve never played before in front of an audience where you know no one will have seen you before and it goes great it’s a really exciting and exhilarating feeling! It’s like doing your first gig all over again . And you get to meet some really lovely people too who are funny and talented and generally nice people which is always a bonus. Gigs are always more fun when you’re excited just to be on the line up and work with the people you’re gonna be working with. The most frustrating is the waiting around in freezing cold train stations at midnight when left the house 12 hours ago to get to a gig and perform for 10 minutes and all you want is your cosy bed. Also applying for spots on gigs you know you’re capable of doing and not even getting a response. Getting gigs can be so bloody frustrating! WHY DON’T YOU WANT ME WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID? I CAN CHANGE!
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
An audience that are up for a laugh! Who get on board with you from the start rather than Laughing at one joke then returning to sitting stony faced with an expression that says ‘ok next joke, immediately.’ And an audience who aren’t uptight. I hate if I swear and I see someone tense up and look appalled, their face just screams ‘oh jolly hell that small girl just uttered a profanity how uncouth! I shall need a shower immediately to wash the shame away.’ people are cool with sending humans to live on Mars but not when someone says fuck knuckle in front of a room of 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?
I don’t really get it that much which I’m more than ok with! I had one guy at a gig, who mistook comedy for a conversation and just butted in after everything I said, I couldn’t get a sentence out let alone build up to a punch line. He wouldn’t shut up about the time he took ecstasy and watched Dolly Parton then offered me a job selling electricals. It was more like a constant commentary than heckling and it just ruined it for everyone, I couldn’t even try and save it by taking the piss out of him cause he interrupted me every 4 seconds to offer me alternative employment or tell me his favourite Dolly Parton song. Eventually the acts and the audience hid from him when he went to the bar, so that was an experience to say the least
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
Go for it. Don’t put it off cause you’ll never do it! Write shit down straight away cause you’ll forget it if you don’t. Don’t be scared to die on your arse cause it will happen, lots. Get a boots card and build up your points on all the meal deals you’ll buy in train stations then you can use the points to buy tissues to wipe away the tears when you just travelled to the other end of the country for a 4 minute unpaid gig and died on your hole in front of an audience of 6 and you left your phone charger behind so have to do the journey back in silence reflecting on your terrible life choices. But mainly – just don’t be a dick. No one wants to be the one who people don’t look forward to sharing a line up with!