Alex talks about his time on the Stand Out programme...
Stand Out - September 2010
My name is Alex Johnson, I’m 19 years old from Maghull and I’m going to tell you the story of how I got into stand-up comedy. Now…where do I even start?
It was October of 2010, I was 14 going on 15 and just started Year 10 at Maghull High School. Now at the time I wasn’t much of a sociable person, most of my time was spent in the library with the only friend I had talking about Dr Who. Unfortunately, at this time in my life I felt left out from a lot of things which emotionally affected me causing me to grow depressed. However! That was all going to change and that change was about to start now.
Less than a week later I had a one to one session with one of the teaching assistant staff who helped me considerably throughout my time in high school. Whilst walking with her to our session I told her how I felt about things that have been happening recently. I remember saying to her that I wished I had the confidence to get out there and be sociable…and guess what, my wish was her command.
‘How would you feel about doing stand-up comedy?’ she replied. The question briefly startled me.
I thought to myself ‘Me doing stand-up comedy? You’re having a laugh aren’t you?’ (Apologies for the unintended pun!). After overcoming my initial shock I replied ‘Okay, I’ll give it a go and if I don’t like it then I don’t have to do it again.’
Flash forward five years later from that moment and I’m still performing routines and yes The Comedy Trust definitely changed my life in ways I didn’t think it could. For example, a few years ago I wouldn’t go on the train into town on my own, but now over these past 3 years it’s become second nature.
As well as boosting my confidence I have met a few people who I now call close friends both inside and outside The Comedy Trust. Not to mention having the opportunity to meet a few famous faces like John Bishop and Pauline Daniels to name a few. To add the icing on the cake I love it when I get laughs from either my friends, family or audiences, it gives me such a thrill and a feeling of joy to have my jokes laughed at and adored by people. Overall it has had a massively positive influence in my life.
If I was to give any words of advice or inspiration to future participants, I would say “RUN RUN BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!”……Ahh I’m just kidding. In all seriousness you will meet fantastic, interesting and talented people from all walks of life both within and outside the trust. Also treat every performance as experience for yourself, good or bad, because you will learn from them. Never be deterred from getting up and trying again if something goes wrong because we all learn from past experiences, they help us to grow as people.
So here’s to the next five years and whatever they may bring !?
*On top of the groundbreaking progression Alex has made transitioning to university he has also grown in confidence and volunteers regularly at The Comedy Trust’s events*