'I think everyone can do it': Russell Howard advises aspiring comedians to do stand-up gigs for free
Russell Howard answered fan questions in his weekly tour diary
Russell Howard has advised aspiring comedians to take part in as many gigs as possible, even if they have to perform unpaid. The comedian, 43, shared his advice for young comedians looking to get into comedy in his weekly tour diary on YouTube. He answered questions fans sent in from Twitter and Instagram, with one fan asking: “What is your advice for young comedians who want to get into comedy?”
He advised aspiring comedians to “just go for it” before providing interested parties with some resources they could use to make their dreams a reality. Russell said: “My advice would be: There’s a website called Chortle, and if you go on there, you'll see all the gigs in your area that are for open spots, so I would do that.
“I would go to one of those, check out the open spot scene where people do stand up for free and then do as many gigs as possible.”
This was followed up by a question in which Russell was asked if a young comedian could improve their skills if they were to continually perform more gigs even if they were not the best when starting out. Russell responded: “Absolutely [they will be able to get good].
“There’s legendary stories about Izzard being absolute s**t when she started out or, like, Steve Martin. Obviously Eddie Izzard and Steve Martin are incredibly talented, but it can sometimes be a bit hidden when you’re starting or you’re trying to imitate somebody or you’re not quite there, but there’s something about just gigging, gigging, gigging that becomes so natural with yourself, and then you kind of get into this special place. Honestly, I think everyone can do it.”
During the Q&A, Russell also answered questions about his tour regarding his pre-show rituals and his favourite part of the tour. Russell revealed he has to do a vocal exercise before every show because of his “acid reflux.”
He also told fans that his favourite part about touring is performing live because “you can have those moments when it’s truly only funny in the room, but it’s breathlessly funny.”
The Q&A came as Russell thanked fans for attending the Bournemouth shows of his sold out Russell Howard Live UK tour. Russell captioned the thank you post: “Week 12 of tour, DONE! Bournemouth what an absolutely incredible week of sold out gigs, and what a joy to play a 4000 seat venue! Thank you to everyone who came, I hope you had as much fun as I did.”
Russell kicked-off the huge tour on 16 March at the Hexagon venue in Reading, before spending multiple nights performing in Southend, Leicester, Cambridge, London and Manchester. As he is still mid-tour, he has yet to entertain sold-out crowds in Portsmouth, Brighton, Aberdeen and York.