Seann Walsh: 'I don't really like jokes'
Sunday 27 May 2012
I wanted to be a comedian or actor from as far back as i can remember When I was 21, I started putting my name down for open-mic nights and kept on bottling it. All I wanted to do was try it once because I didn't want to die without having done stand-up. Obviously, now I've died loads of times.
I didn't get any GCSEs Well, I got one in drama, which was originally an A, but then I had to do a written exam – for drama! – which I didn't appreciate, so I didn't answer any of the questions. I ended up with a C: an ungraded written exam with an A for performance.
I despise silence That's why I couldn't do exams – I couldn't write in silence, it just scared me. So when I started writing comedy, I'd go to cafés, sit outside, make sure there were things happening, to draw from life, to feel life, because if that's what you're trying to write about, it's important that's what surrounds you.
Being a teenager is the perfect time to be a comedy audience member When you're 15, you don't care as much about what people think; you think that whatever you think is right.
I go to the cinema whenever I can I really like a performance. I like a film that people say is an actor's movie. I love the little details, or if I notice a new facial expression. When I was a kid, I'd spend hours looking in the mirror, going, "Go on, do angry..."
I wish I could dance And I wish I could think that I could dance sober. Obviously what happens is that it gets to a certain point in the night and my legs start doing things that... I don't know where it comes from, but genuinely, even recently, I've actually thought I could probably dance like Michael Jackson. I get flashbacks of the things that my feet do when I'm dancing. It's horrible.
I hate it when you offer people a cup of tea and they say yes You'd much prefer it – this'll sound bad – but really it's much better if you offer me a cup of tea and I say no. Why would you want to make a cup of tea for someone? It's just taking up your time. What's the point? Then they want sugar, then they want a certain amount of milk. It's like when you go, "Do you want anything from the shop?" and they start listing things; I do not want to get you something from the shop. I'll barely even remember what I want, let alone what you want.
I don't know any jokes I don't really like jokes. When I was a kid at school and people said, "Do you want to hear a joke?" my answer would always be no. It's not that I don't appreciate them, it's just I don't know how to do it, and it's not what I find funny about the world. I like noticing something which makes me laugh and it's not forced – it's not manufactured to be in line with commercial comedy.
Seann Walsh, 26, is an observational stand-up comedian. He is appearing at The Apple Cart festival next Sunday in Victoria Park, London E9 (theapplecartfestival.com). He will be performing his 2012 Edinburgh show, Seann to be Wild, at Pleasance Beyond from 3 to 26 August
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