Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Steve Gribbin: Page 2 of 2

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

Both my kids are proud of me, they have told me so.

My Mum used to come to all my gigs, and was very proud, although she didn’t like the swearing (me, not the audience). She used to get quite annoyed if there were any hecklers.

My Dad was an old-fashioned working class fella from Liverpool, he was Old School, not given to open displays of affection. But two weeks before he died he came to see me at a gig in The Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool where I’d had an incredible gig, and he said to me: “Son, tonight you shone like a diamond”, which meant the world to me, and still does.

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

The travelling. I don’t drive, have never had a car, so do all my travelling by Train (hence the Train Show Shunted Again! Plug plug). When you are shivering on a single platform in Seamer (probably one of the bleaker places in the Universe outside the Arctic), it can sometimes feel like you are being punished by God for having the temerity to be self-employed.

That’s the other worst thing about being a comedian. We are the pioneers of the aptly-named “Gig Economy” where we have less employment rights than a Greek Galley Rower. We are trying to band together and sort out cancellation fees etc…but sometimes it feels like the Wild West out there (which ironically, thanks to Dr Beeching, is not reachable by Rail any more).

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?

Like most performers, I vary between self-loathing and self-aggrandisement, with nary a view inbetween. I think I am funny, but there is always room for improvement.

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

I earn nowhere near enough as I would like, and I would like to earn considerably more. Enough to buy a decent goalkeeper for Liverpool FC, or even a Macchiatto Espreso Expensivo in a Hipster bar.

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

Luck plays an incredibly important part in any career, let alone comedy. You have to be in the right place in the right time-it’s all about the timing. I think I have had a few breaks, been on the Radio a lot, mainly through producers who were fighting my corner.

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 am not a self-harmer, although I  do love an alcoholic beverage or three, and I am not really a tortured artist. The only thing that tortures me is the thought of anyone I love coming to any harm. That and Liverpool losing.

I am definitely chaotic, my office looks like it’s been burgled every day for the last five years. I do use the computer a lot, but I also have loads of scraps of paper with ideas on them strewn about the floor like fallen leaves…but at least I know where everything isn’t.

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

Dr Martin Luther King…that speech still snds shivers down my spine even now.

Either him or Dolly Parton.

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).

Oh God, no, my drawers are a smorgasbord of leads for electrical appliances that have been discontinued, odd socks, plug adaptors for foreign climes, lotions, potions, my original Birth Certificate, a pocket watch given to me by my Dad when I was 21, old photos, shoelaces, moths that I can never seem to get rid of (who probably can’t believe their luck at all this detritus) and a diary from 1987.

I keep it like this  because I think life is like this…unruly, unchecked,  but full of surprises! Oh, look, an After Eight Mint! Yahoo!

 

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