Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HT NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Comedian James Acaster stands up for himself at The Globe at Hay
12:00pm Thursday 12th April 2012 in Theatre & Comedy
WHEN stand-up comedian James Acaster plays The Globe at Hay on Saturday he’ll be hoping the reception is as warm as it was the first time he visited the venue.
“It was the second place I did solo when I was just starting to do hour-long shows. They didn’t know it was one of my first times,” he says, adding that “every crowd judges you on how funny you are, not on anything else.
“It was one of the shows when I felt I could do anything I wanted to do with it. It was good fun and good at that stage of my career.”
Reflecting on what makes him, and others, take to a life of stand-up, James observes: “I only realise how bizarre it is when I have a bad gig and then I look back and think how odd it is to go on stage in front of a roomful of people like that.
Other times, though, when it’s gone well, I’m really buzzing.
The more I do it the less weird it becomes.”
While comedy wasn’t James’s first calling as a performer, he was never in any doubt that a career in pursuit of creative expression was where he was headed.
“When the careers adviser asked me what I wanted to do I’d always say musician, actor, cartoonist, comedian and he’d just look at me.”
Having also wanted to be an author at one stage, James finally settled on music and joined a band. “I didn’t just want to be good, though. I wanted to be one of the most influential musicians ever.”
It’s an attitude he believes stands him in good stead.
“Having that sort of can-do attitude makes me less scared, more willing to try things.”
Stand-up replaced music about four years ago when the band he was in split up, and he’s finding being in charge of only his own destiny something of a relief. “I used to feel responsible for dragging band members around the country but by myself I don’t feel that.”
A life in comedy also feels less competitive. “You push each other forwards and there’s not the desire I saw in music to leave the others behind,” he said. “You want to be moving forward together. I try to encourage anyone I think is funny but who’s not going out gigging a lot, because I want them to be around in a few years time.
“Maybe it’s because you’re forced to analyse yourself a lot more as a comic – you can only do it if you learn how you are funny.”
And there was one thing James learned pretty quickly about himself: “I had to accept that I wasn’t cool.
I’m no hip dude.”
Catch the “delightfully whimsical, deliciously daft” James Acaster at The Globe at Hay on Saturday, at 8pm. To book, call the box office on 01497 821762 or go to globeathay.org