CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
SB: I am coming up to 4 years since my first stand-up comedy gig. To be exact it was September 12th 2010.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
SB: On stage I basically play a slightly heightened version of myself. A geeky, awkward and often anxious young lad. OK, it’s not that heightened.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
SB: It’s difficult to say really. The answer is loads. I watch a lot of comedy, so inevitably I will be influenced by all manner of performers. There are certain things I admire and try to learn from each comedian. So for example I watch James Acaster and admire his tightly constructed routines. I watch Kevin Bridges and admire his brilliant use of language to enhance his bits. And I watch Jon Richardson and admire his brilliantly well defined comic voice. I am constantly being influenced.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
SB: I always thought stand-up was the greatest thing in the world. Just the idea that one person could talk and a load of people would listen and laugh fascinated me from a young age. I never really thought about it as a potential job until I was at University and actually started doing it. Up until the age of 17 I wanted to be a politician.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
SB: I am constantly writing ideas and thoughts in my phone as I go about my life. Then I sit down and pick the best ones out and try to explore them. Then I take the ones that are sort of funny and go and test them on an audience. Then I’ll go back and forth over and over again between tweaking and performing until I’m eventually sick of the joke and have to start again.
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?
SB: It is my main job, much to the annoyance of my mum. I think she’d have preferred it if I had become a politician.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
SB: The buzz of performing a new joke on stage and getting a laugh is the best feeling on earth. I’ve never done drugs, but I imagine they’re not as good. I don’t really find any of it that frustrating. I guess the long journeys can be a bit annoying, but I really like trains, so I don’t mind. I think if I had been a politician I’d have aimed to be the Minister for Trains.
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
SB: One that finds me really funny.
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?
SB: I don’t tend to get that many heckles. I am quite low status and ‘nervous’ on stage, so I think people don’t bother heckling me because they are too full of pity. I did once do a gig in a pub in Bury. A dog came up, an actual real life dog walked up to the stage and barked at me. You can’t put down a dog, that would be way too harsh.
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
SB: If you really love it then do it. Keep doing it and don’t stop. If you think about stopping, don’t. It’s much better than being a politician I imagine.
Steve Bugeja will be performing as part of The Comedy Zone at the Edinburgh Fringe. 30th July – 24th August 2014 at the Pleasance Courtyard, 22:45 (1hour). Tickets