I’ve always been a comedy fan. Anything and everything across films and TV but never thought of it as a career.
It was only when a friend of mine was given a comedy course for her birthday, and I attended their closing performance did someone suggest to me that I’d be good for it.
After a few drinks I said I’d give it a go, I woke up and regretted it immediately.
What was I thinking? I’d always enjoyed making people laugh but this was different. Laughing had always been an escape for me. You can fix a bad day with a good laugh, you can get through the toughest situations with a laugh, some of the best times you’ll have in life you can bet you’ll be laughing in them and that’s all I ever wanted to bring on stage.
I took to the stage in a tiny pub in Liverpool Street, London and from the first punchline, I was hooked.
Here are my most memorable moments in comedy…
Laughing Horse New Act of the Year Competition.
As a newcomer to stand-up, I was eager to make a splash and 'make it' as quickly as possible. So, when I advanced to the final round at the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year competition, I was over the moon.
But, when I saw the judges sitting in the front row, I became overly focused on impressing them. I performed the entire set as if they were the only audience members, and while it was a good performance, my eagerness to please took away from the joy of performing.
I learned a valuable lesson that day: it's all about the audience. The connection with the crowd is what makes stand-up so special, and it's what I've come to love most about it.
It's all about the audience. The connection with the crowd is what makes stand-up so special
First full weekend at The Comedy Store
To comedians, this is the holy grail. This is where you know you’ve made it as a professional when you’re playing the full weekend at the Comedy Store.
This was the first time I felt like a professional comedian, and from which point I started telling people so.
I’d played there as an open spot a few times and progressed very quickly to get this position and I knew there was a lot to play for. Making it here would open the doors I’d been banging on for a while.
It was on the Saturday early show when an audience member came up to me and asked me to sign his ticket and said, “I think you’re going to go far”. That made me feel a real sense of achievement.
Supporting Jason Manford
Being a supporting act on a tour can be a challenging gig, as the audience is not there to see you. But performing as the warm-up act is a unique opportunity to captivate the crowd and make an impression.
Walking out on stage to a 10,000-strong crowd at Leeds Arena that had not paid to see you intimidating to say the least. However, the sound of that many people laughing was a truly electrifying experience and a moment that fuelled my ambition to reach even greater heights.
That performance gave me a new-found confidence and drive to work harder and push myself to the level where I could command a crowd like that.
It was one of the first times I truly saw myself making it in the world of comedy.
Live at the Apollo
This was like meeting your hero and they’re everything you’d dreamed. From the beginning this was always the goal, to walk out from underneath that legendary sign.
I’d given myself the unrealistic target of five years to achieve it. So, in the September of my fifth year in comedy – which is when the show is filmed – I’d accepted that it wasn’t going to happen for me yet, but there was always time.
My agent called me for a catch-up and at the end of the call told me that he’d be coming down to London to see me on Tuesday (three days’ time).
I had no idea why, as I had nothing in the diary for that day, he then told me that he was coming down to watch me perform at the Apollo! We’d booked it!
When I came off stage that my agent said to me, “now the real work starts”.
Dave Comedy Award for Best Newcomer 2022 Nomination at the Edinburgh Fringe
I was elated to perform my debut show at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival in a 120-seat venue. Despite feeling nervous, I poured all my energy into delivering a show that I could be proud of.
To my surprise, the show received overwhelmingly positive feedback and ended up selling out every night. Imagine my excitement when I received a text notification congratulating me on my Edinburgh Comedy Award.
My social media exploded with messages from loved ones, as I never expected to be recognised among the thousands of other talented performers that year.
It was an indescribable feeling to have my hard work and dedication recognized at such a high level.
I’m exceedingly proud of this show, I look forward to seeing you on the tour if you’ve read this far. It’s already started to sell out so go get your tickets now!
Tickets are available via emmanuelstandup.com.