A Brentford comic has reached the final of a talent contest.
Daryl Perry fought off competition from more than 160 London acts to become one of 12 finalists in the Comedy Knights Fresh Comedian of 2014.
In a Q&A below, ahead of the final in Camden on September 17, he talks about coping with hecklers and how frustration with his day job drove him to give stand-up comedy a go.
What area of London do you currently live in or most associate yourself with?
I live in Brentford, west London, right next to the M4 in the hope that on a very clear day I can see Swansea.
How would you describe your act in five words?
Actively seeking adulation. Three. Boom!
How long have you been doing comedy?
I did my first gig on March 13, 2012, making my comedy anniversary the same date as the one I share with my partner. She loves that.
What is your day job?
I'm a commercial property researcher. That’s enough about that.
What has been your worst job?
I spent one Easter break during university working the 6-2 morning shift at a crisp factory, which I had to walk 90 minutes to get to. I was frankly rubbish at it, and my fellow colleagues didn't appreciate my 'GUYS, WHAT’S MY MOTIVATION HERE?' approach to their advice.
Why do you love comedy?
Just love attention, innit.
Who are your heroes?
Comedy-wise: Daniel Kitson, Nick Helm, Stewart Lee, David O'Doherty
Real-world: Rocky, Beatrix Kiddo
What made you bite the bullet and start performing?
On the 23 of December 2011 I was up at 3am working on a project at my day job which wasn’t going well before spending the whole day in meetings which were bloody horrible. Throughout Christmas I kept having a recurring dream that I was firebombing my own house but the manager of the project was shouting at me for doing it wrong. At that point, I thought, you know what…. something needs to change. Comedy was that thing.
What was your first gig like?
I was something like 25 on, out of 26, drawn out of a hat… and went onto a room of mainly comics that were too polite to leave. I did fine considering. The third gig I did was at Angel comedy, where other people on what’s a new act and new material night included Daniel Simonsen, Grainne Maguire, Ben Target and Richard Todd. The gig was amazing and I was proper hooked.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Any gig where I can go on, make the audience laugh (preferably out loud) and enjoy themselves is very rewarding.
What has been your favourite gig?
Beating the Comedy Store King Gong is a lovely feeling.
And describe your worst?
I regret every gig at which I've not engaged with the audience, been in the moment and been at my best.
I did a gig where I was basically splitting the room. Some were really enjoying, others weren't. Fair enough. However, one of the non-fans took offence at his mates who were laughing and started shouting 'WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING? THIS GUY ISN'T FUNNY AT ALL! I DON’T UNDERSTAND! WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING?' His anger wasn't directed at me at all. He was just confused, and let down by his friends and their weird ass sense of humour. Bless him.
What is the best thing about being a comedian?
I love it when people say 'you were really good, do you want some of my Minstrels?' That is quality. So far it's only happened once but once I really hit my stride as a comic I imagine I won't be able to move for minstrels.
What is the biggest lesson you've learnt?
Always be telling jokes. Always be yourself. Always find a way of saying something in a shorter way.
Where do you hope to be in ten years with your comedy?
Enjoying myself, being creative, and producing work that people enjoy
Any other aspirations?
What's you favourite joke by another act or from your childhood?
Jack Gardner (finalist last year):
“Do you like impressions? Who’s this?
‘There’s a cracker in me shoe, there’s a cracker in me shoe, there’s a cracker in me shoe’
That’s me dad.
With a cracker in his shoe”
Probably not ideal for internet reading, though.
* The Comedy Knights Fresh Comedian of 2014 finals will take place on Wednesday, September 17 at The Forge, in Camden. for tickets, visit http://www.forgevenue.org
* You can follow Daryl on Twitter @daryloflaughs