The Working Man - Tom Taylor | Living North

The Working Man - Tom Taylor

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The Working Man - Tom Taylor
In our regular feature, we find out what really goes on in some of the county’s most covetable jobs. This month, it’s comedian Tom Taylor
'Mamma Mia: classic ABBA song or a Yorkshire kid telling his mum he's arrived?'

What’s your job title?
For the most part, stand-up comedian and comedy promoter. I also act a bit and write various things such as articles and plays.
 
What does that mean?
Either I travel round the country getting paid to make people laugh or I pay other funny folk to attempt similar at the clubs I run across Yorkshire.
 
How did you get the job?
I created it! I really wanted to give stand-up comedy a go but finding gigs, especially nice ones, as a newbie is really tough so I started my own night and booked myself to play it every month.

What makes you think you’re so funny?
What an amazing question, it sounds like you’re kicking off a pub brawl. I think my answer to that would be, ‘Nothing mate, nothing, I wasn’t looking at you.’ Then leave through the fire exit.
 
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I had a job as an office assistant a few years ago where they gave me a screwdriver and told me to dig up all the weeds in the office courtyard. It was raining.
 
What time do you start?
I try to start work at 9am each day unless I’ve had a particularly late gig the previous night.
 
What time do you finish?
When I go to bed. I think this is the curse of self-employment, your office is your home or your smartphone, it’s always there. 
 
What’s the best part of the job?
Telling a new joke and getting a laugh. Or ad-libbing something that goes well. Comedy is great for the immediacy of feedback. 
 
And the worst?
Ten silent, staring faces in a room above a pub in Wigan.
 
What are your career ambitions?
Currently I still have a part-time day job, one or two days a week, and do other bits of temporary work. The dream would be to make a comfortable living entirely from comedy.
 
What assumptions do people wrongly make about your job?
That during the day we just watch TV in our pants. To do a 20-minute set at a gig, I need to have contacted hundreds of promoters to try and fill my diary, written and honed 20 minutes of jokes, maintained a website and social media profiles, fulfilled any TV, radio or writing commitments, then travel across the country to the gig, perform and follow the diversions back home.
 
Have you ever had any disasters?
Yep. Lots. I was once booked for a beauty salon’s Christmas party. A man awkwardly stripped to a techno remix of Phantom of the Opera until he was wearing nothing but a sports sock. He walked off the stage and the DJ said: “And now comedy from Tim Naylor.”
 
Hecklers: nuisance or comedy gold?
If you’re flying you don’t want to be repeatedly interrupted, you want to do your thing. If you’re struggling, you often want something to happen in the room that you can react to. 
 
What’s the lower form of wit: sarcasm or puns?
There’s quite a lot of wordplay in my set so I’ll plump for sarcasm. There is craftsmanship behind a good pun and they can be victimless jokes, which I like. 
 
What makes a small club like Sitting Room better than seeing someone from Mock The Week in an arena?
There’s a connection between the act and the audience when the act is right there, literally a few feet away, and anything could happen. You lose that nuance when you watch comedy in an arena or on TV.
 
Is there anything funny about Yorkshire?
Mamma Mia: classic ABBA song or a Yorkshire kid telling his mum he’s arrived?
 
Fancy a laugh? Find out when and where Sitting Room Comedy’s next gigs are at 
www.sittingroomcomedy.co.uk

Published in: July 2016

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