EP65 – Tony Law – Mental health and the life of a comedian

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Total run time: 53 mins 07 secs.

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About Tony Law…

Tony Law (@mrTonyLaw) is professional stand up comedian who recently got clean from drink and other demons. In this candid interview he talks about trying to get back in with promoters who were annoyed by his antics, attempting to build a touring audience for his shows and becoming mentally healthy for the first time in years.

You can see his 2016 Edinburgh show in London in Oct 2016. Here’s the ticket link.

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Here’s a list of questions we covered…

Early career…

  • Started in 2002. In the UK? [0 mins 0 secs]
  • Why he gave up drink (and everything else). [7 mins]
  • What got him into drinking. [10 mins 20 secs]
  • How did you regain the trust of promoters after getting sober? [12 mins 30 secs]
  • His experience on TV shows. [14 mins 30 secs]
  • Did doing stand up on TV help more or less than panel shows? [17 mins]
  • His thoughts on adverts [19 mins]
  • How having kids impacted his drive and career. [20 mins]
  • How was your relationship with your agent while you were drinking? [25 mins 30 secs]
  • How are you going to find moving from your Edinburgh to London venue given the size difference.[42 mins 15 secs]
  • What’s his breakdown of earnings? [45 mins 30 secs]
  • Why did you start? [0 mins 0 secs]
  • Have you always been the same style of act?
  • Edinburgh Fringe award in 2012 (after 10 years). How long did it take to write that show? [0 mins 0 secs]
    • Do you go to the Fringe every year?
    • Do you think performers are pressured into doing a new show every year and is this a good thing?

How to build an audience…

  • Did TV help or hinder your career? [17 mins]
  • Did you enjoy doing TV shows like Russell Howards Good news? Or did you find it didn’t come out the way it would live? [17 mins]
  • What shows would you do / would you want to avoid ? [22 mins 30 secs]
  • Have you done any TV shows since getting clean? [23 mins 30 secs]

Social media…

  • MySpace page. Was this good for connecting with fans? [5 mins 30 secs]
  • Twitter. Does what you do translate into the short character limit? [21 mins]
  • Mailing list? How do you stay in contact with fans? [5 mins 30 secs]

Mental Health…

  • Who got you into rehab? What was your agent doing to help? [25 mins]
  • Do you think comedians invest enough into their mental health? [29 mins]
  • Do you have any regrets about the last 5 years? [34 mins]
  • Do you remember the first gig you did after getting sober? [36 mins 30 secs]
  • You said in an interview you sometimes felt like you “got away with that one”. Was that ever reflected in your bookings ? Or did management ever have words? Or did your on stage persona cover some of this?
  • Do you think mental health is supported enough by the industry?

Other questions…

  • What are the best books on comedy, writing, stand up etc you’ve read? [47 mins]
  • Best show you’ve ever seen?
  • What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made and how did you get over it? [47 mins]
  • What is the most interesting thing you do that nobody else ever seens?
  • Who do you think is the most underrated person in your industry? [47 mins]
  • When you look back over your career, what memory makes you most happy?
  • What do you think is the biggest problem in the comedy industry and how would you go about solving it?
  • If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?
  • Best bit of advice you’ve ever been given? [48 mins]
  • Best bit of advice you would give a comedian who wants to make a career in comedy? [48 mins]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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