© Andy Hollingworth
Lauren Pattison is one of the youngest comedians to have been featured on MoodyComedy, having being named September’s Comedian of the Month, though watching her perform does not leave an impression of inexperience or immaturity. Lauren is a bright and exciting performer who grows in popularity with each passing year, becoming associated with bigger names in the world of comedy as she does so.
I asked Lauren these seven questions to find out more about her…
1) What lead you to stand up comedy at such a young age?
I don’t know, it’s really weird. I wasn’t even an attention seeker or anything, I was dead shy! I just got a bit obsessed with making people laugh. I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh and it’s an addictive little habit to fall into. Less addictive than crack but just as moreish. I think it helps I’ve been brought up on good comedy by my dad! One of my earliest memories is being off sick from school and we watched the Jolly Boys Outing episode of Only Fools & Horses together. So blame him if you don’t like my style, it is all his fault and nothing at all to do with me. I had my first go of stand up when I was 15 because the Youth Theatre I went to every week for drama lessons ran a comedy course for us. I bloody loved it. It was just a bit of a fun but I knew I’d found something I absolutely adored. I felt too young to really do anything else with it other than a couple of performances at my drama group, cause I was too young to get into any clubs or pubs so I decided I’d do something about it when I turned 18. I spent the next couple of years just absolutely devouring comedy, while most girls my age were spending their money on make up and cider I was spending mine on tickets to see comedy. And cider. Sure enough when I turned 18, I tried to get into it, just as a hobby and it’s safe to say it snowballed just a tad.
2) What are you grateful for?
The Boots Meal Deal is a saviour and I am grateful to the Gods that it exists.
But seriously, I’m grateful for having lots of lovely supportive and understanding people around me! For my mam and dad who didn’t kick off when their youngest offspring was like ‘HIYA I WANT TO EMBARK ON A VERY FINANCIALLY UNSTABLE CAREER CHOICE AND I’M ALSO GONNA DROP THE C BOMB IN FRONT OF LOTS OF STRANGERS ON A REGULAR BASIS’ and who come see loads of my gigs and don’t tell me off for swearing and still laugh even though they’ve heard it a million times before and it’s almost definitely not funny anymore.
And to my comedian friends who get messages from me at like stupid o clock in the early hours of the morning like ‘hello I am not good at comedy aren’t I tell me the truth am I wasting my time’ and every time they tell me I am being a nugget and try their best to talk some sense into their favourite little mess of a human. Corry Shaw, Matt Reed, Adam Rowe, Si Beckwith are always good at cheering me up and Sam Gore and Rob Mulholland were my favourite alcohol angels in Edinburgh that kept my spirits metaphorically and literally (aka gin) topped up at all times.
I’m also so grateful for some of the opportunities I’ve had through comedy, literally couldn’t have even dreamed I’d get to do some of the things I’ve done! This all started as just a hobby, a bit of fun, I never would have expected to be on stage in front of 2500 people at Latitude or a theatre full of people doing tour support for Katherine Ryan. I’ll never take anything I get for granted, I’ll always feel so grateful for every cool thing I get to do cause I know how lucky I am to be able to do that for a night instead of working a 12 hour shift on minimum wage!
3) Who would you most like to see right now?
My nephew! He’s ace. I love him to bits. He’s only 5 but I think we are right on each other’s wave length. He tells me I am ‘the best joker’ and that is the highest praise I could want from the only critic who’s opinion I truly care about. He got really upset when I told him I was moving to London and went upstairs to pack a bag then got even more upset and told me he only had ‘3 moneys’ for the train and would someone be able to lend him ‘just 2 more moneys’ so he could come on the train with me and my little heart just BROKE INTO A MILLION TINY PIECES. I miss him loads. And I miss having a little human to take to the cinema to see kids films and eat his sweets when he’s not looking. Now I have to go on my own and look weird and steal other kids sweets.
4) What keeps you awake at night?
EVERYTHING! Mainly worry and comedy and worrying about comedy. I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights since I moved to London! Most people know I’m a massive worrier and I don’t have a whole load of self confidence (if anyone knows where I can get me some of that please email me) and my brain tends to really like to remind me of these things just as I’m snuggly in bed ready to go to sleep.
Recently I haven’t been able to sleep cause – I’m worried moving to London was the wrong thing to do, I’m worried that I’m never going to be able to be in a position financially to leave my day job and just be a comedian, I’m worried I’m going to sleep in, I’m worried that I’m not good enough to be a comic, I’m worried I worry too much, I’m worried where I’m going to get the money from to pay the rent, I’m worried I don’t eat enough vegetables and won’t grow big and strong, I’m worried that I haven’t got enough gigs booked in and I’m going to have to move back home or up my day job hours to full time, I’m worried that I’ll have to give up on my dreams, I’m worried that me with comedy is like when you watch someone really bad audition for X Factor and you wonder who on earth told them they were any good, and everyone is like ‘oh god why is Lauren even bothering to chase comedy when she’s shit at it, that’s so embarrassing.’ My brain is really kind to me at 1am as you can see.
5) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Sleep! And watch trashy telly. I’m so tired. I think I’ve been burning the candle at both ends since I moved to London, working a day job, gigging almost every night, finishing my Masters, travelling here, there and everywhere and then over the weekend I just got hit like a bus by this illness which has completely taken it out of me, just in time for to go back up North for a busy week of gigs. Good timing Lauren’s immune system, thanks for that. I don’t feel like I’ve had a full day to myself to do nothing in ages so I’d love nothing more than to just wrap myself in my duvet like a little burrito and watch RuPaul’s Drag Race all day with a mountain of snacks. And have a proper princess bath with loads of Snow Fairy from Lush in it so I can smell like candy floss
6) Which comedians inspire you if you ever feel like you’re beginning to lose your love for comedy?
I really look up to Katherine Ryan. I should have included her in the grateful answer – she took a huge chance on me letting me do her tour support. She saw me do 5 minutes in the Funny Women Final and about 7 months later sent me a message like ‘dude how much material you got, wanna open for me in Middlesbrough and Kendal?’ I’d never done a set that long, or anything in front of that many people and it was the best experience. I must have done OK cause she asked me back for some stuff on her next tour too! I feel like things started going good for me from then, so I probably owe a lot to Katherine. If she’s reading this ‘THANK YOU you are incredible and I have the utmost love and respect for you bae.’ She inspires me a lot, like just look at her career! She’s worked hard, she’s a bloody grafter and she’s reaped the rewards. I remember reading in an interview somewhere she was faced with either going back to work full time, or going for comedy and making sure it worked. It was either be poor and hungry or become successful and I think we know which one happened! I can very much resonate with that at the minute, I am definitely poorer and hungrier than I was when I was a bloody student so I have no choice but to become successful or I will probably become a street urchin.
And Chris Ramsey too. I went to see him about 6 years ago in a tiny theatre in Newcastle, the one where I did my drama lessons at. I’d never seen or heard of him before, I was actually there to see Alun Cochrane (soz Chris!) and he totally blew me away, I came out of the gig telling everyone he was gonna be massive. Should have put money on it! I’ve watched him play bigger and bigger venues and really break through and I think cause I’ve watched his career progress he’s a good person for me to look at for inspiration if I’m feeling a bit shitty about comedy cause I’ve watched him work hard and climb the ranks. He’s someone who always just looks like he’s having so much fun and thoroughly enjoying what he’s doing and I find that really lovely and motivating and other nice words that I can’t think of right now cause I’ve just sneezed 6 times in a row and am worried I am about to combust.
7) Do you have any set goals for your future?
I desperately want to go full time with comedy. I’m finding having a day job harder and harder, both for juggling and managing my time, and also just cause the more progress I make with comedy and the cooler gigs I get to do, the harder it is to go back to serving burgers the following day. Customers at my day job never laugh at my jokes as much as they should and that both frustrates and upsets me. I did a lovely gig in London the other week and it went so well and I felt all lovely and tingly which could have been the response from the crowd or the 3 large glasses of rosé I had but either way I felt like a champ, then I got home and set an alarm for the morning to get up and go to normal person work and I could have cried. Again, could have been the burning desperation of wanting to be a comedian and nothing else, or it could have been the 3 large glasses of rosé. I’d love to do that by next summer, ideally before Edinburgh and I think that’s realistic enough!
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SEVEN QUESTIONS WITH…