Stevie Martin is a stand-up comedian, journalist and podcaster. Fresh from performing her latest show, Hot Content, at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Stevie is here to shed light on her first forays into comedy and writing, as well as share her opinion on video games…
1) When did you first encounter comedy?
When I was little my parents used to play The Goons tapes in the car, and when I got a bit older I’d watch videos of Reeves and Mortimer obsessively. I had a very absurdist sense of humour for a six year old and once sang ‘My Rose Has Left Me’ at a school talent show which included bellowing the line ‘She wasn’t immunised – THAT’S A LEGAL REQUIREMENT’, so it’s not surprising I got heavily bullied if I’m honest.
2) What do you really not care about?
I don’t care about video games. I really don’t think I could give less of a shit about them. I’ve tried to get into a range, you know, even fun ones like Crash Bandicoot. Or story-led ones like Red Dead. Or classic ones like Goldeneye. I think they are a massive waste of time and I get bored after a few minutes. It has nothing to do with the fact that I’m terrible at them in case you’re wondering. I downloaded that goose game yesterday and my boyfriend had to calm me down because I couldn’t pick anything up with my beak. On second thoughts it sounds like I care too much.
3) Where is your safe place?
Reading a book on the chair in my living room that my grandma gave to me. It is black leather and so in the summer if I’m wearing shorts my legs stick to it and I have to rip my skin off to get up but it’s worth it. Or reading Harry Potter anywhere. I also like being anywhere with no wifi that means I absolutely can’t continue to check my fucking phone which I do every 3.4 nanoseconds.
4) What motivates you to work hard?
Looking back aged 70 being like ‘WHY DID YOU SPEND SO LONG TRYING TO GET INTO GOLDENEYE WHEN YOU COULD HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK OR SOMETHING?’ Also when someone says something mean to me. That’s such a motivator. Once when I was a waitress, one of the regulars who apparently worked in counter-terrorism said ‘You don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll never be a writer’, so I quit waitressing and started house-sitting for a friend’s mum while looking for writers jobs. At one point I couldn’t afford food so I ate nothing but eggs out of their fridge for two days, but I got a writing job SO THERE, STUPID COUNTER TERRORISM MAN.
5) Why is comedy the right job for you?
To be honest it isn’t! I do a lot of different jobs, not just comedy, and am terrified by performing live so it sort of gives me a kick up the arse in other areas. I just like making and creating things, whether that’s an hour of comedy or a podcast (I have one called Nobody Panic) or an article (I’m a journalist) or trying to get stuff made for TV. I also want to write a book. Basically I have zero attention span and am just attempting everything that will keep me out of a 9-5 office. One day I might open an aquarium. WHO KNOWS.
6) Are you avoiding anything right now?
Yes, I’m doing a monthly new material comedy night and I need to write ten minutes and so far I’ve written the word ‘worms?’ so very excited to see how the comedy pans out. It’s incredible what I can get done when I have to write new material. My bedroom is so tidy and I’ve ironed everything.
7) Are you at all similar to your parents?
Yes. My parents like to ‘joke’ that I received all of their worst qualities combined. I worry a lot and don’t ever feel like I’m good enough, which is apparently something they recognise in themselves. There are good things though – my mum has incredible skin, is incredibly creative, and is the kindest, silliest person I’ve ever met, and my dad is the most hard-working, generous and funny person I’ve ever met so I hope and pray I have received even a tenth of those genes.