It’s all happening at once for comedian Stuart Goldsmith whose first-ever stand-up tour comes within weeks of him becoming a dad.
He’ll be playing The Hawth, Crawley on March 22.
“I have been doing stand-up for ten or 11 years,” says Stuart, “which seems like a long time. They say it takes ten years to become an overnight success. I am testing that theory!
“I have been gigging all over the country in clubs and so on for years, but without that big profile you get from TV, it is difficult to make the step up to the next level. On TV you keep seeing the same 30 or 40 comedians all the time, but out there there are hundreds and hundreds like me trying to make the breakthrough.”
Jokingly, he reckons he ought to be calling his tour Day One: “But actually, I am at a peculiar moment in time. I am the father now of a one-month-old baby. The two things I have always wanted are happening at once. I have always wanted to be a touring comedian. You start off thinking ‘Maybe I could one day tell a joke in front of strangers’ and then you move on to the next step thinking maybe you could do a whole gig, maybe you could make your living from it, maybe you could tour… and so it goes on, up and up.”
It’s a pull in two directions. As Stuart says, becoming a dad makes you realise you are no longer the most important person in your universe. But tugging him back the other way is the fact that life as a comedian is inevitably “Me! Me! Me!”
“And now I am going through this crazy thing of having my identity absolutely smashed into pieces. I am trying to write a show while I have got a baby in the other arm bouncing up and down!”
Inevitably, it’s a balancing act. He’s touring his show from last year, but he’s already writing his next show, with the baby experience filtering through – while also bearing in mind the words of his agent whose reaction was twofold: first congratulations, second to remind him that no one cares about his baby.
“I have now written about 45 minutes of stuff about the baby. But the struggle is going to be to try to keep it relevant. For those people for whom becoming a mother or father is still a very vivid experience, maybe it will be interesting, but you have got to remember that those are exactly the kind of people who are not going to be sitting in a comedy club!”
But he’s certainly ready to take the plunge with the first-ever tour. He believes he’s got the critical mass he needs: “Or at least, I have got to believe that I have! I know I am not the kind of name that you can put on and immediately bank a hundred tickets, but I have just had a sales report through. Crawley is doing well, partly due to the fact that my fiancée’s mum lives there!
“The whole thing isn’t a big financial risk, I don’t think. But it is a huge risk to my dignity. But, then again, any comedy always is.”
Further good news is that Stuart’s Comedian’s Comedian podcast now has 4,000,000 downloads (www.comedianscomedian.com).
“In my podcast I interview famous comics from Matt Lucas to Sarah Millican, in depth about their creative process. I’ve cultivated a huge following, including loads of TV names, who all want to know how other comics write their jokes. It’s certainly helped me unlock the secrets of stand-up, and in 2015 I started making waves, with appearances on Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled and at the LA Podfest in Los Angeles and Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival.”
Tickets cost £8.50. Call 01293 553636 or visit www.hawth.co.uk.
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