As Sara Pascoe kicks off a series of 'literary salons', we caught up with her to discuss how she made a career as a professional funny person
When did you first decide you wanted to make comedy a career?
It wasn’t a conscious decision, I was doing stand-up because I loved it rather than as a career move, and then gradually it started paying my rent. I was so happy about not having to temp anymore, I am really rubbish at proper jobs. I’m very lucky comedy worked out.
On a scale of one to frozen-with-fear, how nervous were you before your first ever gig, and how did you overcome it?
I couldn’t picture myself onstage, I couldn’t imagine it actually happening. I drank a huge glass of wine and got giddy and nauseous but kept thinking I would leave before they called my name, and then they called my name and up I went and I coped. My left leg was trembling but my voice sounded normal and then it was done and I felt like a one-man-band and I flew home high on purpose and bravery.
What books do you read when you want to laugh out loud?
I love Caitlin Moran’s writing, I read her novel recently which is so funny. Bridget Christie has recently a hilarious book and I can’t wait to read Isy Suttie’s.
What about TV shows?
The Simpsons is my favourite. And Arrested Development which I watch over and over. And The American Office.
Would you like to be a comedian forever, or do you have a secret alternative career plan?
Comedian forever and ever, but occasionally doing other things as well, like writing books or being prime minister.
What advice would you give to women who want to break into stand up?
Get cracking! It’s a great time to start, lots of open mic gigs, lots of appreciative audiences who want to see more women on the bill. Hurry up and join us!
How do you deal with rubbish audiences / people who don’t laugh at your jokes?
Like any rubbish day at work, you feel a bit blue, work out what was your fault and how you can improve and wiggle on to your next gig.
There are so many amazing female comedians out there at the moment – who do you admire the most?
I would say Katherine Ryan, Josie Long, Bridget Christie are all goddesses. Hard working, creative, brave- I adore them!
What would you say is your proudest moment to date?
Katherine Ryan’s daughter named their cat after me. He is a little boy cat called Sara Pascoe and it makes my heart so happy.
Sara Pascoe’s Literary Salon Series
Confirmed Dates: Sunday 3rd Jan / Sunday 7th Feb / Sunday 6th March
Time: 6:30pm – 10pm
Price: Advance £5 tickets go on sale at www.wearetbc.com one month before event / limited tickets on the door
Address: The Book Club, 100-106 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH
If you’re a quieter type and have ever considered writing for comedy, or just want to be inspired in a completely new way, join leading comedian Sara Pascoe (QI, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Mock the Week ) and guests in this intimate salon series.
Hosted by Sara, the night’s formula involves special guests (first event featured Robin Ince) sharing their own literary amusements to get the ball rolling. The audience, or small groups of the audience, are then encouraged to craft their own short story in one of the intervals which they share with the group. When all the stories have been read participants are awarded a princely sum of £1 – £2 by Ezra Pound (AKA Sara’s friend wearing a moustache).
PS. One of Sara’s guests will deliver your story to the group if you’re too shy.