Name/age/what you do
Andrew Blair, 28, comedian/journalist/author/poet/playwright/musician/performer.
Shit polymath, basically.
What does your creative work involve?
Some would call it deconstruction, I would call it taking the piss quite slowly. It's usually an abrasive polemic disguised as whimsy. I enjoy an audience's dawning realisation that the tone has changed. Quite drastically.
Describe a typical day
The afternoon is spent on Write or Die, bashing out the first draft of a novel.
Mornings are usually deadline-based, so it could be sending off stories or pitches; working on sketches requiring video, audio and script-editing; sometimes I'll Google stuff like “how to use semi-colons”.
Tell us about one thing in your IdeasTap portfolio that you’re proud of
Titanic 2: Pig in the City - a narrative sketch show that got ridiculously ambitious pretty quickly. It went from a vague idea to a new comedy troupe, Chutney Exhibition, in four months.
On top of making people laugh, we had to sink the Titanic on a budget of £45. It was on for one night only, so we were pretty psyched when most of it went right. We're looking to do it again.
How did you learn your craft?
Winging it and research.
I started off with my own blog – just to get into the habit of writing – and easing myself into open mic nights. It allows you to make mistakes relatively quietly while building confidence.
From there it snowballed into doing related things like Stage Management, props, lighting designs... anything that needs done. If it's a short turnaround you ask someone for the basics and just go for it.
Are there any big lessons that you’ve learnt in your career so far?
Make your own platforms.
There are enough free or cheap venues – online and off – to put something on and hone it, so that it's as near to what you want as possible. Rather than sending off scripts, you can convince producers that there's an audience for your work by actually building up an audience for it.
In a parallel universe, what would you be doing instead?
Which parallel universe are we talking here? Is it the one where God has proven s/he exists but s/he's really infallible and keeps zoning out, or is it the same as this one but over to the side a bit? The options are infinite.
Either way, I would be running a comic book section in Waterstones.
What are you up to at the moment?
December House asked me to write a novel, so I am.
I'm directing a sketch group called We've Become Mango at the Edinburgh Fringe. I've also got two Chutney Exhibition projects (besides gigging and recording sketches): a spoken word show called Knife Whimsy, and we're starting the Alternative Edinburgh Walking Tour. That's pretty exciting, plus it'll counteract the amount of time I spend sitting down in front of a computer.
Otherwise I'm writing for Den of Geek, redrafting a play, redrafting Titanic 2, and getting married. Also I just spilt some coffee.
Who are you looking to connect with on IdeasTap?
Short form prose comedy writers.
Anyone who can help me realise ludicrous prop and tech requirements.
Some bad-ass nihilistic marketer who hates the same adverts as I do.
A patron with more money than sense.
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