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There’s always a reason not to do something…

Here we are then, the difficult second column. For this one, I was inspired a bit by something that happened after a gig this week. See, I ended up out in a boozer with pals after being on at The Stand (as I am wont to do) and someone came up to me who saw me on stage and wanted to ask some advice on getting started in stand-up comedy.

I say ask advice, she was absolutely leathered. So she decided to proceed to go on a lengthy conversation AT me for me ten minutes about starting a blog and why she’d be good at comedy over and over. I think she tried to tell me some material she wanted to do too, so I sharply escaped to the toilet. The point is though, the only advice I’ll ever really have in that situation is, “do it.”

In the words of the late, great Colin Nike, founder of the Nike Corporation, “ba da ba ba, Just Do It.”

Nothing will make you write for comedy more than actually just booking in to do a gig and having to write for it. There’s actually a lot of other very good advice from Liam Elcoat who now runs Newcastle’s longest serving new act/new material comedy night, Long Live Comedy in this article here. But seriously, if you wanna do it, just do it.

Same goes for writing in general too. I’ve written for NARC for years, but in truth it would have been years longer if I’d known how easy it was. Get some writing together, write about some shows, review an album, build a portfolio and get submitting. You can’t get better at a thing, if you’re not doing the thing. I speak to loads of people who want to write, or do something creative, then proceed to do nothing about it. There’s a line in on a Scroobius Pip track that goes, “I see so many kids that love being writers more than they love writing.” It’s a pretty spot on thought really. It’s easier to just say you’re the thing (not the Fantastic Four one, no-one would believe you) than put the work in, but that’s not the fun bit. It’s all about the hustle and the graft. If you want to be a thing, start doing the thing.

One of my proudest achievements over the last year or so (I could look up exactly how long, and it’s delightfully ironic that after trying to inspire a bit of effort in you, I just can’t be bothered to get the exact date) is that we pulled together a load of these ‘Get Into….’ guides for NARC. First on the back page of the magazine itself and also a few web exclusive ones. They serve as a great introduction to becoming a fan of a load of art forms, but also how to take your first tentative steps into doing whichever art form took your fancy.

I guess, in as succinct a way as I can get it, there’s always a reason not to do something. We usually hang everything on that reason, and let it all just pass us by. So if you want to do comedy, or write, or start a band, just fucking do it. Also, if you’re going to slur some words at me in a bar about doing stand-up, at least by me a drink first.

Oh, and this week, it’s Madonna’s 60th Birthday, and I got into an argument about the fact Kelly Osbourne’s version of Papa Don’t Preach most definitely IS one of the five greatest cover versions of all time. If you don’t agree with this, you are definitely wrong.

Until next time. Excelsior!

You can find me on Facebook here, and on Twitter here.

And I’ll leave you with my favourite band this week…

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