By Colin Falconer (@cs_rose1)
“It took 6 months to get a penny.”
This is the unfortunate truth of the way in which live comedy venues were treated in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since live venues shut at the beginning of the pandemic the arts have been one of the industries that has suffered the greatest, and comedians are among those being dealt a harsh blow by lockdowns and tiered restrictions.
“I had a genuine worry, when the Prime Minister comes on the TV and tells you to stay at home, that’s not good.”
“I’ve bingo carded a few things in this lifetime and when you see that for the first time it can’t be good.”
Billy shared the scepticism that the initial lockdown was going to last a great deal longer than initially was advised and took his live show’s to social media through Facebook and live online gigs. Although getting a few hundred viewers on his individual page he wanted to take the Monday Night Improv show to an online forum and his colleagues were sceptical. But has definitely been a hit on Monday Nights
“It turned into a kind of support group the more we did it.”
Although Billy has been very productive throughout his time in lockdown between being a dad, husband, stand up comedian and radio host, there are those out there who are not so lucky and he believes there hasn’t been enough done to help the arts and live comedy venues in particular.
“When you think that some people haven’t earned a penny from comedy now in 10 months it’s now been. They haven’t done enough.”
The full interview with Billy can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg7B94gH-nQ
I also spoke with Stephen Buchanan a comedian from Glasgow who has had to push multiple show’s back to July at the earliest and still doesn’t know if even they will be going ahead.
“It’s such a broad thing “the arts” there has to be specific help for the specific types of art.”
With the many different branches of the arts, Stephen believes that each one should be handled separately as there are very different disciplines with music, poetry, theatre and comedy.
“Not a lot of people earn enough to go fully self employed with their craft, I do feel for them who can’t benefit from the self employed help.”
Both of these men are making the most of their situation and producing content in an online capacity from their homes and trying to bring light to the gloomy situation that we find ourselves in at the moment.
Both social media accounts are tagged in their names as well as some clips of their work, and are well worth a look to put a smile on your face in these uncertain times we find ourselves in and hopefully it won’t be too long before they can be seen performing in front of a live crowd.
You can find Billy live on Monday nights with the rest of the improv team on The Stand Comedy Club’s YouTube channel.
Keep up to date with Stephen’s activity over on his Facebook page Stephen Buchanan – Comedy for new zoom shows and online content as and when they are published.