Working life: The secret of my success - Mark Little
Sunday 07 February 1999
It was my English teacher, a Yorkshireman, who appreciated my Pythonesque sense of humour, who got me to apply for drama school when I was 17. I didn't know what I was doing but they accepted me and that was it, really. Moving from the country to Sydney at the anti-Establishment time of punk was a real culture change and I loved it.
In Melbourne in the mid-Eighties I started doing television, but I was always keen to use my theatrical training in my own work to create a theatre style relevant to Australia in the stand-up comedy clubs.
I had plenty of run-ins with the Establishment as I always tried to be spontaneous and on the edge. Wanting to do something different can involve a bit of a fight. I've always been unorthodox in my outlook and I was held back as a result.
Neighbours was supposed to be a six-week contract which I only did because I needed some work. But it lasted three years, and ended up being a decade's worth of detour from what I wanted to do. But I don't regret it. It's success meant that my first show for the Edinburgh Festival in 1990 was a sell-out from the first night. That brought me to England and put me on the path to where I am today.
I treat my comedy as my work and not my life. I'm also lucky to have a great partner who shares my views on life and I have my children, who keep me in touch with reality. Not being driven purely for money or glory has stopped me from being a flash in the pan, I think.
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