How do you get a comedy gig?
At least in Ireland it’s not too hard. Go to a small club or open mic in your local area or one of the major cities and ask the MC (before or after, not during the show) for a slot. If you can’t make it in person try to get the club manager’s email and send a polite introduction. Link to a comedy writing or performance sample if you’ve got one: It probably won’t be read / watched, but it shows your serious. If you’re polite, and not an obvious mad, they’ll probably give you a gig a couple of weeks later.
When do you start getting paid & how much?
I’ll let you know when I do.
What makes you think you’re funny?
What makes you think you’re not?
Aren’t you worried about comedians stealing your jokes?
No. First off, I don’t tell jokes for the most part, but rather anecdotes. They’re not (at least right now) hugely original. Secondly, obscurity is a far greater threat to starving writers / performers than piracy. Thirdly, filming my act documents it, so that if anyone starts performing my material (or accuses me of performing theirs) I have a record of it.
Who are your comedy heroes?
Chris Morris, Armando Iannucci, Steve Coogan, Bill Hicks, Eddy Izzard, Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Lee & Herring.
Why do standup?
Ultimately I’d like to write (and possibly perform) in my own sitcom on BBC Radio 4 or BBC3. Standup seems like a better way to get my name out there than submitting awful ‘topical’ one liners to panel shows.
It’s also good practise for something I’ve always enjoyed (but never really done much off), Public Speaking.
Finally, I have a tendency to be shy, turn inward and misanthropic; bilious though my standup is, it helps to break me out of that.
Standup is easy to start, hard to master, scary as fuck but incredibly rewarding- what’s not to love?
Who’s the best standup in the Irish scene?
Love him or hate him, David McSavage is the best guy I’ve seen play a small club in Dublin, his delivery is world class.
How long is a comedy set?
Between 7 and 10 minutes (usually exactly 7), unless you’re MCing, headlining, ‘established’ or doing a solo show. Depending on venue, headliner’s get 30 to 45 minutes (basically they go on last, and get off when they like or when the club has to close).
How do you write standup?
Starting a couple of months before my first gig, I began to write down any funny ideas that came up in conversation or struck me at random. If you’ve any interest in writing or performing you should ALWAYS carry a notebook and pen. It doesn’t have to be a moleskein and quill, in fact I’d say a cheap notebook is better as you’re more likely to write down everything.
When I sit down to ‘build out’ material the process is very close to how I made notes in college. I use blank photocopy paper, and a nice ballpoint pen (Muji 0.5, from the store on Grafton St).
I jot down a the rough sequence of an idea, developing it as I write. Then I scratch out extraneous stuff, elaborate descriptions etc. If and when I perform it, I amend the notes afterwards, and ultimately rewrite them when they become to messy.
Update- I’ve started typing them up too, keeping a backup in case the house burns down, and I get amnesia in the fire, but still want to perform my old comedy routine.
How do you rehearse standup?
I guess you’re supposed to do this in front of people. But right now I do it alone, because I’m mortified, but also since I think the ideas / delivery that’s funny to a small group of people can be quite different to what works on stage. Pub funny is not funny funny. So essentially I stand in a room, ideally in an empty house, and go through my set, first with notes, and then without until I can remember it. Incidentally, remembering stuff is a huge issue for me. I’ve a legendarily terrible memory, and I’ve forgotten at least one thing at every gig so far.
Did you do any training before you started?
I did one 2 hour workshop with Aidan Killian in Anseo. The workshop is kind of an intro for his paid course, which is probably great (Mc Savage takes one of the classes) but which I’m a long way from being able to afford. The workshop covered basic stuff like where to put the mic stand (hint: not in front of you), and practise getting up on stage.
Where can I see you perform?
Check out my upcoming gig schedule.
Explain the name…
It should technically be ‘Standup Virgin’, but Virgin Standup sounds better. Also, I don’t watch to give people the impression I don’t love to fuck.
Why don’t you tell more ‘jokes’?
Honestly, I don’t find jokes particularly funny.
This site isn’t funny…
It’s not supposed to be. If you want funny, check out the my other sites. This site is to help me learn how to be a better standup.
Where can I find your work?
Ladyboy Jesus (Humour writing site)
The Invisible Tour Guide (Podcast / Old Timey Radio Theatre)
Hummingbird Mentality (Blog)
Technolotics (Old Internet TV show)
Exchange Words (Live Spoke Word Event in Dublin)