Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Dave Johns: Page 2 of 2

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

In the early days my daughter when she was little wanted me to be an ice cream man, a few reviewers thought I should have been one as well I think.

When I was up for an award for best actor My daughter who is now 11 years old said "Dad is Michael Fassbender up for that award as well?"
I said, yes he is She said . "Well Smash him Dad". So I guess now proud, but secretly I think she'd still like me to be an ice cream man.

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

The worst thing about being a comic for me is being on your own in some horrible hotel late at night after a gig. I hate hotels.

Also the most dangerous of all falling into the trap of always wanting approval. On and off stage. Watching what others are achieving ahead of advice to all comics young and old. You have to get hold of that early on in your career or it will slowly send you mad. If you want to survive as a comic you have to be happy for others' success. I've seen too many good comics eaten alive not following this simple advice.

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?

Self-analysis can be helpful but you can take it too far, sometimes being too hard on yourself isn't good: it's good sometimes to just give yourself a break.

I've never had any problem in being just me, even before I was a comic. I think as a comic who's been doing this job for nearly 30 years, on a good day with the wind at my back, I can hold my own on stage with anyone. (and definitely after an interval)

I'm generally a happy person Just getting on with stuff. I care deeply in what I do. But I'm genuinely gobsmacked at the reaction I've had as an actor. From people in the street to film industry people. In my head I was just doing my stuff. Never in a million years did I think I'd have the impact I did. Just goes to show you, give yourself a break sometimes, you may not be as shit as you think!

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

You never ask a lady how much she earns or is that her age ..

I don't do this for monetary gain Bruce my reward is in the happiness my work brings to mankind. Plus VAT.

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

Most I know who are successful in this comedy business have worked really hard. You rarely get anywhere in comedy or stay at the top for long without hard work or any type of work or business for that matter. "Hey that brain surgeon he's a lucky bastard" never did any work.

I think you can be fortunate to be in the right place to take your chance. But when you get that chance, if you haven't got what is needed to take that chance to back it up it isn't going work.

I'd been working for years on the circuit doing my thing and Ken Loach was doing his thing making films. One day our paths crossed and I auditioned for him, it changed my path and my life.
If he'd decided to set the film in Manchester I wouldn't be where I am now. I had good fortune, but I must have done something in those three auditions to get me the gig and take my chance.
I was able to take that chance because of the the skills I'd learned over the years in my work I guess. It's how you read success.
There's a comic who's been on the circuit for years, Sean Percival, he says I was a welder for 25 years working 7 days a week I'm now a comic I make the same money now working 3 days a week making people laugh.
I'm lucky I've made it!
Good lesson

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?

I'm not a golfer or a tortured soul, I don't sit late at night with feathered quill drinking absinthe. This might sound right wank!  But I am just me..

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

My favourite person ever has to be Mr Loach I love his humanity, great sense of humour. His gentleness but with a steely determination to get his point across. And what that man doesn't know about film making isn't worth knowing.

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).

I don't look in my draws I have people now to do that for me.

Dave Johns: I, Fillum Star is at The Pleasance Dome from Aug 3 - 23. Tickets here.


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