Thanks to Georgina, I am pleased to welcome stand up comedian and author, Viv Groskop on to the blog to answer some questions.
Where did the desire to be a stand-up comedian come from?
I loved The Kids From Fame when I was about seven years old. This TV show was the original Glee, set in the New York High School of the Performing Arts. Doris Schwarz - the stand-up - was my favourite.
On reflection of your challenge, what have you learned about your life, your family and yourself?
I learned that if you really want to fit something into your life you can. Although you have to be prepared for the downsides and work out how you’re going to balance that. I learned that my family is unbelievably patient (especially my husband). And about myself? I learned that I should probably not set myself stupid challenges that mean I have to leave home every night for 100 nights in a row.
What kind of reception did you get from other comedians when you ventured out on your journey?
I didn’t tell anyone I was doing the 100 gigs in 100 nights as I wanted to get gigs as anyone would - ie. without anyone giving them to me as a favour. Generally, though, other new comics are a mixture of heart-breakingly supportive and ball-breakingly competitive.
What do you hope your readers will get from the book?
The sense that it doesn’t matter how old you are or what path your life has taken, you can change things.
Has this challenge made you want to tackle other different challenges?
Yes and no. I wish I could achieve 100 incidences of physical exercise in 100 days. But I don’t seem to be able to achieve one per 10 days. It made me realise that if you have something you really want to do, setting a goal is really effective. But you need to want it really badly otherwise it won't work.
You are quite a prolific journalist, how did you find writing a book different to writing for a newspaper?
It’s like a very long article that takes many months to write.
Which of your skills as a journalist helped you to write this book and why?
I take loads of notes whenever I do anything. It just helps me process stuff and remember how I felt at the time. I guess I’m trained to observe and analyse things as a bit of an outsider so that probably helps too.
Did you write the book during the challenge?
I kept a diary - a lot of it on my phone, after gigs - which eventually formed the basis of a lot of the book.
Your writing has been described as similar to comedian Jo Brand’s. How does that make you feel?
It makes me feel flattered. But insulted on Jo Brand’s behalf.
What do you plan to write next?
More stuff. And possibly an improved version of the work-in-progress I Laughed, I Cried show I’m doing at Edinburgh on 18 and 19 Aug (tickets here: https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/viv-groskop-i-laughed-i-cried).
To read Georgina’s review of I Laughed, I Cried, please click here.
To find out more about Viv Groskop: