"If you had told me that I was ever going to be a comedian then I would have congratulated you on your comedic sense of humor. I have been on stage for a large part of my life. Dancer, choreographer, singer, musician, model. I have been teaching performance for many many years and that is how I met my first Comedy mentor, Johnny Hollywood. He saw something that no one else had. He persuaded me to try out his world. He guided me step by step into comedy through his workshops and providing the stage to learn.
The first time I stood on in the spotlight as a man being funny, I was reminded what it was like to be really scared. Scared of forgetting what I wanted to say as my mind froze, afraid that my sense of humor really weird. That I would not have the story telling ability to get an audience to visualise my humour. That I would not have the timing to turn it from a story to a routine. That I would not have what it takes to make people interested enough to listen to story.
Well unlike the television my first time proved that every fear I had was well founded and It was not a happy end of the beginning. I, in the words of the comedy world, “I died on stage”.
The first audience was French. Not a crime in itself but they looked at me as though I was from the planet Mars or even worse from the country they hate so much. England. Since I am in fact British, my speaking did not improve their mood. After only a few minutes there eyes said, “you are not funny English man, if you were American then perhaps we would laugh but you are clearly a Briton”. After a couple of minutes their mouths joined in on the criticism.
Now there is no clever turn around or cheerful anecdote. It was 1 to the audience on 0 to James the want to be comedian. In fact the second time I took to the stage the first thing I spoke about was the first time I took to the stage. Then I learned that there is nothing that make people laugh more than hearing about my and other peoples suffering. They did not stop laughing. Since then, with a little stuttering as I tune new material, I have managed to keep that laughter going.
Parody and cultural humour are my favourite subjects and add a little self sarcasm and a healthy distain for authority and you have an idea of where I am going with this."