Friday, 12 June 2015


I was in a meeting today and found this blog front and centre on the board room big screen. "Oh yeah." I thought to myself, with an "Oh right." strapped to the caboose.

I began writing here to detail my adventures overseas, to put my Mum's mind at rest and avoid typing out the same story seventy times on whatever chat service was currently taking my fancy.

The reason I've returned is because I've decided to detail my next adventure, one which is quite heartfelt and personal, but which I hope we can all revel in together.

I turn 35 next month, I'm single, I have no kids, I run my own business and I am the envy of all my married, child laden, boss kowtowing friends. I think it's viewed by them as a choice, or even luck, but in truth I'm a terrible boyfriend, probably sterile and owning your own business means not having a penny to your name most days of the year.

What I do have, is freedom.

Not crazy USA style freedom paid for with the blood, sweat and tears of the very poor, but the freedom to choose a new direction, to chase a dream. Some might argue that is an American dream, but I think the real American dream is to wring every drop of blood, sweat and tears from every poor person everywhere and I don't share those aspirations.

My dream is to be funny for a living. To bring laughter to the world and enjoy the smiles I put on people's faces. I want to laugh loudly every day of my life. I want to hear other people laugh, I want to laugh with them. I want to squeeze smiles from those who don't have much to smile about and feel them lift that little bit.

I did stand up, I was even quite good for a while. "Next big thing" I heard mentioned more than a few times, but I never lived up to that billing. In reality I probably never came close.

I had to go away from stand up comedy for a while after I started to resent the audience for laughing at jokes I didn't think were funny. I never had the knack for repetition, everything had to be fresh and new to keep me interested. I would find a joke funny the first time, not the second, question it the third and want to kill myself by its fourth retelling.

Professional stand ups do the same jokes hundreds of times in a year, potentially thousands of times over the course of their careers. This was my failing as a stand up comic, great material, poor distribution.

After a couple of years I started experimenting, being a bit strange, trying new things. People would see me on a poster and come along only to discover I was nothing like what I used to be and they were happy to tell me how bad they thought I was.

The truth though wasn't that I was bad, but that I was different. I was enjoying stand up a lot more, so I decided to stick at it. For two years I listened to people tell me how bad I was and how much they didn't like my performance. For two years I questioned myself every step of the way, wondering if they were right.

Until I finally decided "Fuck 'em, have fun."

Things began to click, the old audience stumbled away into the darkness and a new one came out of the toilet.

A fellow comic once said to me "Jez, what you do isn't comedy, it's art." I said "Can't it be both?". I watched him ponder this moment deeply, sip his beer and walk away. 20 minutes later he returned, tapped me on the shoulder, said "Yes it can." and walked off again. I loved that.

The thing is, I love all kinds of comedy and as a student of the art form, I want to press on. I can be a "camel lion" on stage according to my spellchecker, political eviscerations one day, avant garde full lycra body suit ukulele playing gimp the next. For me the joy is the laugh, but how we get there has become so much more important. I no longer want it to be easy, I want to be challenged and I want people to have to think.

So I'm applying for comedy television school, in London.


That's right, again. Unbeknownst to you, but knownst to all of those within tree shaking distance of me, I applied last year as well.

This year is different however.

I have even less time to prepare.

I'm staggering round like a husk of a man because of my current vocation, more about that later me thinks. It can be hard to draw blood from a stone, though I suppose I could ask the Americans. This empty husk MUST finish his application on time and make a damn decent fisting of it. I'm hoping by leaving this here where you can see it, that you will take the time to remind me to put me first, to throw my hat into the ring and dance around it.

Your support in applying boot to bottom is greatly appreciated.