Fame is fickle and doesn’t always equate with success. People can be as famous for their failures as they are for their achievements.
‘Remember me when you’re famous’ is something I sometimes say to new acts I’ve seen in our Awards who I think have real potential. The honest truth is that, if somebody really does become famous, sometimes I have to beat a path to their doors along with everybody else!
Funny Women can’t take any credit for somebody’s fame or success other than to be occasionally remembered as one of many steps along the way in a career full of achievements. If we make the yearbook I am always very happy, as I know that this encourages even more women to seek us out so that we can help them find their voice through performing, writing and creating comedy. Ours is a small part of the big production.
The fame bit, or the bit I prefer, success, is down to you. If you want it, you have to go out and get it. Nobody else can do this for you and people like us at Funny Women are here to help you with the small steps along the way. You need to visualise what success looks, feels and even tastes like and then make your plan to seek it out.
I had the privilege of speaking to the famous Jason Manford, who is our guest on the latest Funny Women Survival Guide Podcast hosted by Alexis Strum. Jason talks about unexpected fame, and the happy ‘accident’ of having a hobby he loved become his job. It’s true that if you enjoy what you do, there is a very good chance that you will become really good at it too.
“Fame is a bi-product of the job I’m good at,” explains Jason, “not an aim or aspiration. At its heart comedy is a hobby that I love and get paid for.” He goes on to talk about the price he has paid for this and how some aspects of his life are easily misrepresented by the media. It’s all part of the job.
Comedy isn’t always a case of content over style either. You may learn your craft but there’s the magic X factor too. I know people who have had a vision of themselves performing stand up with no experience who literally learn on the job and grow into it until comedy becomes their career.
The balance between wanting it, being truly talented and ensuring that you have the resilience and ability to weather whatever might get thrown at you along the way is the path to success. So many people in the world of entertainment fail in their personal lives because the price of fame is too much.
In this COVID-19 riddled, mid-lockdown world I’ve found it really interesting to see famous people reach out to help their communities and neighbourhood. At Funny Women we’ve had an open-door policy within our community and we are providing support and entertainment as best we can through online events, the podcast and this website.
It’s particularly special when a successful comedian like Jason Manford spares some time to talk to us. We invited him on the podcast to talk about his experience of volunteering to drive a van for Tesco. His offer wasn’t taken seriously and he is now serving his community in other ways, which we talked about and we covered many other topics including dealing with mental health and homeschooling his large family in lockdown!
Tesco’s loss is our gain and there’s a lot to take out from this particular interview. I look forward to speaking to even more famous people in the years to come, whether they remember me or not!