Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Helen Lederer: Page 2 of 2

Helen Lederer

6. What do your parents/children (delete as applicable) think of your job?

My parents always said "be a lawyer" so enough said. My daughter doesn’t understand why I get nervous, but thinks it’s cool – or so she has said.

7. What’s the worst thing about being a comedian? 

Having to conquer every gig anew – accepting failure to ignite sometimes and moving on with oneself intact.

8. I think you are very good at what you do (that’s why I’m asking these questions). What do you think of you? 

When I’m surrounded with people I can connect with I can do it (ie be funny)  When I’m not (which is 50% of the time) I can’t. I irritate myself when I can’t and doubt that I have it in me, but I can sort of fake it and hope there’s enough going on to carry me through. A risky business – but I take risks…

9. How much do you earn and how much would you like to earn? 

I am always in the red. I invested all the money from the book in various kinds of PR.  It’s an investment for the next book. Also I lose things and buy new make up without checking where I left the old make up - but I’m quite mean with tights. I can make them last. Money isn’t the goal but it’s a worry. No need to have two houses - you can only live in one a time. Material display is not my thing (but I do like a good Farrow and Ball hue ).

10. How important is luck in terms of career success – have you had lucky breaks? 

I’ve had a few unlucky ‘passes’ so timing does play a huge role in what jobs come my way – maybe this book has come at the right time – now, that would be lucky.

11. Alan Davies has said that comedians fall into two categories - golfers and self-harmers. The former just get on with life, the latter are tortured artists. Which are you – or do you think you fit into a third category? 

How kind to offer a third option! I used to be a self-harmer as it was derailing to do stand-up. On the other hand that was what I decided I had to do – so I accepted the car crash feelings. Golfing doesn’t touch me at all – so I’m a pioneer who keeps at it. Original doesn’t mean success but it is what it is …

Buy Losing It here.


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