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

6. What do your parents/children (delete as applicable) think of your job?
My mum seems proud of me, she's seen most of my shows and I think there's a fair chunk of it that she doesn't get why it's funny but she still thinks it's good. Which is nice. I remember her really enjoying my 2015 show and that felt nice. Weirdly she hasn't seen my 2016 one yet despite it being mainly about puffins and she being a puffin-phile. Maybe it's hallowed ground and I shouldn't be joking about them.

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

The scene, the people who look over your shoulder for the better person to speak to, the people who introduce themselves to you because they think you recently got a commission from Viceland and they want to pitch you something and then look crestfallen when you say they're thinking of someone else, the egos. The early career focus on competitions is really feudal and not conducive to enjoying comedy.

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?
I think I'm niche, I know how to write and there's people out there who really seem to like my shows and what I'm doing with Turtle Canyon Comedy. However, I'm deliberately obtuse at times, would rather only 10% of people get a joke than make it too obvious and that's an area I should improve on. I can rely on performance a bit too much and I having an annoying vocal tic that is most apparent when I'm doing newer material.

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

I earn above UK average but not by loads. It does go up and down per year. I could be earning a lot more if I worked for a bigger company but then I wouldn't have the freedom and creative opportunities that Turtle Canyon gives me. It's weird how that's the question that I puzzled over the answer for longest. I ran a subsidiary of Turtle Canyon in Seattle, USA for a few years and most Americans seem really straight forward about discussing money, what you're earning and spending. Everything in my upbringing and in our country's make up seems to be geared around the idea that asking anyone how much they got paid for something is more offensive than asking them how often they wank. I'm aware I've given no specific figures to either earnings or wankings.

10. How important is luck in terms of career success – have you had lucky breaks?
Luck is really important, the right person seeing you at the right time and mentioning it to friends, a promoter who loves a specific joke of yours so perseveres even though you never do that well at their clubs. If anyone claims they haven't had lucky breaks they're being willfully dishonest. I've definitely had a lot of luck: I was born white and male and thanks to the 1990s housing boom I got to experience a comfortable enough upbringing that I could take risks and know that I wasn't going to end up on the streets. I've never had to explain my sexuality to anyone, I haven't had to battle any huge mental health issues and I have a really large dick.

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?

Golfer. Tortured artists are obsessed with the creation of art being something beautiful and romantic when it isn't - it's often an ugly and exclusionary pursuit for personal gain.

12. Who is your favourite person ever and why – not including family or friends or other comedians?

Christopher Nolan. Every single one of his films is a masterclass, in every department. I've watched all his films at least four times each, some of them many more and they give you something new on each viewing. He has a scope of vision that's unrivalled and he propels other people to create their best work - actors, musicians, writers, production designers, cinematographers all raise their game when working with him. He has a clear love of cinema, isn't cynical, values historical aspects of film whilst pushing the art form forwards, he doesn't dumb down a film for the sake of it and he doesn't go around telling everyone how brilliant he is. 
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).
Most of the time I do, it normally runs from slightly untidy to tidy as I let it slip for a week or two, catch myself and then tidy up again. My office is very tidy and I'm generally the only one who actively tidies the office. I hope that dull response keeps you and your girlfriend together, unless it's a toxic, or potentially toxic relationship that you want out of, in which case I hope it ends amicably and you can stay friends and enjoy the positive experience of having shared a romantic relationship together.

Stuart Laws Stops is at Pleasance Courtyard from Aug 2 - 27. Tickets here.

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