Home Tech Standup and TikToker Abi Clarke: ‘Why did I get into comedy? Attention!’

Standup and TikToker Abi Clarke: ‘Why did I get into comedy? Attention!’

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 Standup and TikToker Abi Clarke: 'Why did I get into comedy? Attention!'

Can you remember a concert so bad that it’s funny now?
I was once hired for an outdoor family party in a town where none of the comedians had been warned that the jokes would have to be appropriate for children. In the early days of your comedy career, you only had five minutes of jokes, so we didn’t have tamer jokes that we could exchange. The section of the field directly in front of the stage had been cordoned off for the dog show later that year. day (the main event), meaning anyone who wanted to watch the comedy would have to watch from about 10 meters away with nothing between us. Only five people stood behind the rope to watch, including an adult dressed as Peppa Pig who heckled the entire time. I performed for five minutes in silence, before the next act had their microphone disconnected and the comedy canceled after saying the C word.

What is your next show, (Role) Model, about?
They are about 55 minutes long… 57 with a good audience. I want it to feel like an incredibly fun conversation with your toxic best friend. But I guess it’s also a show about what it’s like to go viral overnight, or worse yet, go viral for dancing with your parents. I’m trying to determine who I want to be versus what other people want me to be, and ask why both are impossible.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Just repeatedly saying, “I don’t want to do it” and “Why do I do this to myself?” until I continue.

In full creative control… Abi Clarke. Photography: Dylan Woodley

Why did you get into comedy?
Attention. I kid, but it also seemed like the perfect combination of everything I liked: acting, writing things that made my friends laugh, having complete creative control over what I did, and at the same time (hopefully) having people tell me. you like It’s a pretty good deal.

What prompted you to start posting comedy sketch videos online?
I submitted a sketch to a contest and it wasn’t chosen, so I thought I’d do it myself to prove them wrong. Most of my greatest successes in life have been the result of spite! When lockdown hit, I really loved comedy and just wanted a way to keep progressing towards the career I wanted. I had already identified that TikTok was the newest, most untapped and therefore the least competitive application at that time and that is why I decided to dedicate myself fully to it.

Is the first TikTok you uploaded still active?
Of course! It is a work of art. Was a video on how to wake up with a window cleaner in your window with a sound that was trending on TikTok at the time.

Have more than two million followers, how do you understand that?
When you understand those numbers, you’re not sure which ones are actually equal people. Then, who are the people who regularly see your posts and, furthermore, who are the people who would come to see a show or recognize you in person? It can be completely overwhelming at times, but day to day I forget that they could even recognize me; I should stop looking at people who have bothered me in public places, just in case. I mainly do online characters, so that’s another level of cosplay.

What’s one of the strangest fan encounters you’ve had?
From time to time there are people who talk to me as if we know each other. They will stop me and say: “Abi! It’s me, Grace! and I panic because I don’t know who they are or how we know each other, and then they suddenly realize that they don’t really know me. However, I have also had mortifying moments, where I think they have recognized me and it turns out that they just know my mother.

Favorite TikTok you’ve ever created?
I’m particularly proud of one I made for a television standard with director and one-man camera crew extraordinaire Andrew Nolan. It involves mentioning a new friend in the presence of your parents and the questioning that follows. We put a lot of care into the filming and editing, and I think it shows! Got 1.2 million likes on TikTokEven after having a quiet period online, it was nice to feel like the quality work was still worth it.

Has had some resistance from others comedians because of the opportunities that arise in part from their large online audience?
Yes, definitely. People used to look down on things online and assume I wasn’t serious about comedy or that it wasn’t a “proper” stand-up. I still feel like I have to prove to people that I’m really good live. Nobody wants you to be good at both, and the truth is that I wouldn’t want me to be either. Everyone is still adjusting to online followers, rather than TV profiles, and what that translates to in their career. The feeling of turning your nose up has definitely changed now that people are realizing that almost everyone has to be online.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned from stand-up?
People enjoy your flaws.

What are you most excited about right now?
Finally launching into the form of comedy that I really love doing. And I’m also doing a cat litter ad next week, so I’m getting paid to spend three days with a really cute professional actor cat named Tom.

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