With the difficult times we are facing at the moment, it is the perfect time to try something new whilst you are forced to stay indoors and over the next couple of weeks we are interviewing acts that are putting on everything from projects to lessons. Today, we are talking to Troy who is part of the comedy sketch group The Scribbling Ape. In Lockdown he started up a Youtube channel to create an outlet to test out new characters and to find a channel to feed his hunger to perform.
Hello there Troy! Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a reverberating node of Krishna consciousness, a comedy writer-performer and someone from Wolverhampton in that order.
Tell us all about the project that you are bringing to the online world at the moment?
I have started populating a YouTube channel with various characters, it is a repository of weird ideas which have been circulating in my head for a while. Ordinarily I would attempt to bring them to life on stage at one of the scratch nights that myself and my writing partner Ziggy host but considering the state of the live scene at the moment this is not possible.
What times does it run throughout the day?
I upload a video every Wednesday!
How much does it cost, what platform etc?
It is pure YouTube, Facebook and Instagram so the only cost is your personal data.
How was the project formed?
The lockdown inspired a wave of productivity in me, I wrote two sitcom pilots by myself and a further two with Ziggy before realising how much I missed performing. Making the channel has enabled me to inhabit my writing in a physical sense and it is a really useful outlet for the actor inside me. It is still VERY early days but the initial response on social media has been positive so I intend to continue. The idea is, I get to experiment with various characters whilst building an online portfolio of my work which can be sent out with my scripts to producers etc…that’s the “idea” anyway.
How has it been going so far?
I think I’m heading in a northerly direction… I won’t pretend I have legions of adoring, teary-eyed Japanese fans just yet but I’m learning the ropes and having fun.
How do you create a character?
Usually free form babbling around the house until something intriguing pops up from my unconscious. Running, bathing, doodling- they all help too, as does watching a grotesque amount of comedy.
How has it allowed you to be creative?
Online comedy is the closest thing to the live experience at the moment, writing scripts intended for producers can be a lonesome road and it may be weeks or months until another human being reads your work. As a result, in the early stages at least, you’re never really sure how successful it is! Posting a video might not be exactly the same as performing to an actual fleshy audience but it is the next best thing and it keeps me disciplined.
You are part of the Sketch group The Scribbling Ape – how has this channel allowed you to develop future ideas for the show?
Generally we keep the material separate however making the videos has been useful for our social media presence and vice-versa! Cross pollination is sexy. We have toyed with a crossover sketch but as a company we’re pretty busy writing scripts at the minute.
With everything happening in the world at the moment, why is it so important to have activities like yours available?
I think the universal lack of pressure to socialise over these past few months has been a positive part of an otherwise terrible situation. That’s not to say I enjoyed every minute of it but it has forced me to be more focused and find creative solutions. I’m fortunate that my facebook friends allow me to share my nonsense!
Who are some of your comedian inspirations that create characters?
Julia Davis is sensational, her comedy is loaded with venom and she is not afraid to tackle the weird, the macabre or the outright disgusting. Nighty Night and Sally4Ever in particular are so disturbing and ridiculous that whenever I watch them I often feel like my own writing isn’t hitting nearly hard enough. She’s also a versatile actress as demonstrated by her superb performances in Jam with Chris Morris and Gavin and Stacey. I feel like Sacha Baron Cohen should receive an obligatory mention for sheer fearlessness and Steve Coogan for his exceptional performance skills.
What can people expect over the next few weeks from your project?
Over the next few weeks people can expect the next few videos! Each character will have a clear line of development as time goes on and I’m eventually going to start featuring multiple characters in the same video so they can interact. I guess the goal is to establish a Royston Vasey-esque space where they all live amongst each other.
If people want to find out more about you on social media where shall they visit?
And finally why should people get involved?
To pacify my ego.