Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Stuart Goldsmith: Page 2 of 2

6. What do your parents/children (delete as applicable) think of your job?
 
My dad watches my shows every year and enjoys them, my mum is supportive and pleased that "comedian" is a thing that her friends understand; "street-performer" was a bit nebulous for quite a long time.
 
 
7. What’s the worst thing about being a comedian?
 
All the worst things about comedy are a price one pays that balances elegantly with the delirious pleasure of doing it.  But if I had to pick one... Either motorway food, or the lack of routine that I find makes exercise almost impossible to keep up.
 
 
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?
 
Thank you Bruce.  I like my act.  I sometimes worry that I'm too self-indulgent, but then I also often worry I'm not self-indulgent enough. Sometimes my most exciting and original comedy comes from pleasing myself with no regard for my audience. My school experience really conditioned me to fear being judged, so it's been a career-long struggle to really honestly let go of that. It's certainly getting harder these days to convince myself I'm shit, as the evidence to the contrary mounts up.
 
9. How much do you earn and how much would you like to earn?
 
I earn less now than I did when I was doing lots of circuit gigs and warm-up. Upsettingly, this has coincided with having an additional two mouths to feed. I think I'm in a sort of investment phase, where I'm touring for surprisingly little financial return after all the costs. Fortunately this second tour suggests that the plan to build it into something is working. I was very happy to have previously disconnected my financial success from my feelings of self-worth, but the wee chirping mouths in the nest have stoked that up again a little...
 
 
10. How important is luck in terms of career success – have you had lucky breaks?
 
I've choked at important gigs; I've forgotten the names of important people and made them think I don't care about them; I've drunkenly insulted someone I shouldn't have when I thought they'd find it funny. So on the whole you could say I've made my own luck. "Control the controllables", as sports scientist Alun Cochrane is fond of saying.
 
 
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?
 
Absolutely a tortured artist, for years and years, who has just in the last 24 months started dabbling in golf.
 
 
12. Who is your favourite person ever and why – not including family or friends or other comedians?
 
Fictional hero for hire Jack Reacher.  He always wins and he doesn't care.
 
 
13. Do you keep your drawers tidy and if not why not? (please think long and hard about this question, it's to settle an argument with my girlfriend. The future of our relationship could depend on your response).
 
Clothes drawers yes, with lots of those Ikea drawer-tidier zippy things. Cutlery yes. Receipts no, although I always intend to. Probably because you've got to have something to look forward to, and it might as well be tidying your receipts.
 
Just in case you've forgotten...Stuart Goldsmith is at the Soho Theatre from May 30 - June 3. Tickets here. All tour dates here.
 
 

 

 

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