Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Vikki Stone: Page 2 of 2

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

 

My parents (my mum) thinks it's great, and has always been very supportive, but always asks the "have you got plenty of work" question in a loaded way. 

 

When I'm on the telly, she'll watch it with my gran, but often won't turn her hearing-aid up fully, just in case. 

 

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

 

The competitiveness of other comedians. 

 

I'm actually much happier now that my work has taken me in a slightly different direction, without all the backstage posturing and competitiveness. 

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'm ambitious, and I want to write stuff I'm really proud of, that challenges my skill set as a composer and comedian. I'm not particularly proud of my early stuff, although I acknowledge that it was important in my journey to where I am today. 

 

I think I'm getting better. Well, I'm trying. 

 

 

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

 

I would like to earn what I earn now, but in PRS. 

 

I started composing "properly" a few years ago, rather than just writing comedy songs, and have written some actual, real, proper music; including large scale choral works, theme tunes, adverts etc and my aim is to amass enough music that is regularly performed, that I can live off the royalties. 

 

I just got my statement through for this quarter and one of the theme tunes I've written made me 91p in the last three months, so I've got a way to go....

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

 

I'm not sure about luck you know. If you're the right person for the job, you'll get it. 

 

Sometimes you will feel lucky when you get a good job, but actually, in reality, it's often as a result of working your ass off. 

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 don't play golf, but I was rounders captain at school. 

 

I think I fall into both categories at different times in a work cycle. 

 

With this Concerto for Comedian and Orchestra I've written, I've been through so many emotions, often in the same day. 

 

When I first workshopped the piece, and I had 50 odd musicians, and a conductor in front of me for the first time, I thought "what have I done?" and I was foolish for having even tried, as it's no good.  But then, I'll stand there, and listen to the score being played, and think "bloody hell I wrote that! They're all playing my tunes".  

 

So I'm a tortured golfer, or tortured rounders captain. 

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

 

I've spent ages thinking about this, and I'm a bit stuck. 

 

Right now I'm working at the BBC Proms (I present the podcasts, and do a weekly round-up on BBC 6 music), and last year I had the absolute time of my life.  I've never experienced a working environment like it, and I totally fell in love with the whole thing. 

 

But that doesn't answer the question, as The Proms isn't a person. I don't know, is the answer.  

 

I don't think I have one person who is my favourite above all others that isn't a friend, family member or Bette Midler.  I mean, I'm dating a guy right now that I like a lot, but I'm pretty sure that writing 200 words in an online article about why you think they're great is pretty ill-advised.

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 keep my drawers tidy, no. My garage (where my props, instruments, and touring gear, go to die) is worthy of being on a Channel 4 programme about decluttering.  My studio, where I write, is organised chaos. 

 

Why aren't I tidier or more organised? I don't know. I'd like to be. But without doing all the tidying or organising. 

 

Vikki Stone – Concerto for Comedian and Orchestra is at the Pleasance Grand on August 27. Tickets here.

 

 

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