After Hurtwood - Tom lucy
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Interview with Tom Lucy - stand up comedian
Last Saturday, I went to London to Interview the stand-up comedian, Tom Lucy. Now 22 and based in London, Tom left Hurtwood in 2014 to study at the University of Bristol. However he left early, the call to perform too strong and started working as a comedian.
We met in a busy café. Coming over to his table, he warmly introduced himself, and then asked if the place we were in was ok, as it was loud and busy. I assured him it was fine and after a few minutes of getting to know Tom, I asked him about his career as a comedian.
-How did you get started as a comedian?
‘I started young, about 16. I practised doing comedy at the lunchtime concerts at Hurtwood. It’s was a really friendly environment to try out comedy. I also did gigs in pubs, getting no money, not many laughs and only a couple of people watching y. Then I did a gig, and a guy approached me at the end, who is now my manager, and there and then took me on.’
It’s interesting how different successful comedians have different styles, which make them stand out. Did you develop your style quickly?
‘You evolve as a comedian, because you change as you get older. I think it’s good that I’m young, because I can talk about typical teenage experiences. I won’t want to be doing that when I’m older. Most comedians start out, copying other comedians’ style to get going. But the more you do it, the more you come into your own style.’
He then tells me that before I came in, he noticed a woman shouting at the waiter, making a complaint. He tells me he cannot bring himself to complain to a waiter, as he feels too bad for them.
‘It’s horrible complaining. Have you ever worked in a bar or restaurant? Yes, so have I. And I remember how horrible it was when people made complaints.’
I ask him ‘How and when did you know that this was what you wanted to do?’
‘It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do.’
, ‘Have you had any bad experiences?’
‘Yes. All comedians have. It’s just silence. It doesn’t happen so much anymore, but definitely when you’re starting out. Whenever I’m doing a show, I look out into the audience and people will be laughing and then I will see one face that will be looking serious and from then on, I can’t help, but just focus on them. Other comedians say the same thing. ‘
He jokingly adds,
‘The whole time I’m wondering why they’re not laughing.’
I then ask, ‘Do you write a script, or do you go on stage with a couple of main ideas and work from that?’
He tells me he writes his material as a script. - ‘Writing is the hardest bit for me. It can take a long time.’
I ask, ‘Do you have to get into a certain mind set before you get on stage?’
‘Yea…Kind of. I’m not good at talking to people before I go on stage. But I still don’t have to go and sit in a room for 3 hours! It’s not that intense. (He laughs)
We are conscious that it has been a while since the waiter last told us they would return to take our order. Tom is uncomfortable with asking the waiter about this.
I ask him, ‘How do you get your material for writing?’
‘I use my life – You just have to live your life and find things funny. That’s where I get material. I joke about my family quite a lot, because people can relate to it. My dad was in the army, and my mum and her side of the family are quite posh; Its interesting when both sides of the family get together.’
‘But you have to be disciplined when you find something funny. I just write it down. On my phone, my notes are full of ideas for my shows.’
I say, ‘You spend your time with other comedians, like Jack Whitehall; does it help you comedy-wise to hang out with other comedians?’
‘Yes; you learn from them. Jack gave me a lot of tips when I was starting out, like remembering not to look at the camera when on stage, even though they’re all whizzing around you, because it looks odd.’
‘Do you have any plans for what you’ll be doing next?’
‘I’m doing a show, where two comedians go head to head against one another to insult one another and its judged by some well- known comedians. We’ve started writing the scripts, and I think it’s going to be good.’
Do you get nervous to go on stage at all?
‘Sometimes. It depends on the audience. I suppose its about being comfortable on stage. I know it sounds weird, but I am most comfortable when I’m on stage.’
I put forward, ‘You have quite a weird voice; do you have to play to the attributes which make you different, to stand out?
‘Yea. I started a lot more camp than I am now. But you evolve. Jack started off a lot more like another comedian, but now he plays on being posh. And what you talk about changes. When I started out I spoke a lot more about typical teenage things.’
He asks me if I am’ interested in Comedy?’
I answer that I am interested in comedy acting.
I ask who his favourite comedian is.
‘I grew up loving Lee Evans.’
‘Although he is manic on stage, for the audience to want to watch you, you have to be relaxed. Otherwise, they won’t know what to do. It’s like being on an airplane, and the pilot is giving out instructions. You don’t want to hear a nervous voice. The audience need to know that you’re in control.’
After a little more chatting, we finish eating. I thank Tom for coming to meet me and for doing this interview.
There is a kindness about him as he says goodbye, and walks me out of the café.