All this month, we are putting Charlie Vero-Martin in the spotlight. Charlie is a comedian. an improviser, and is even in the troupe Glitch where she improvises with puppets. As well as performing as a team, Charlie also does solo shows and today we talk all about it.
You do stand up comedy as well tell us about that!
Until very recently I felt weird describing what I did as stand-up but I think the definition is expanding slightly. About 4 years ago I started doing solo stuff in character. My first fringe show in 2017 (Dante’s History of the Banished) was all characters but the shows I’ve done since then have had a bit more as “me” in them.
How did you get into stand up?
Again I’m not sure if I’d say I am in it! It still feels very strange to perform as myself in a specifically “stand-up” setting. During lockdown I’ve been doing some online workshops with Soho Theatre to help me feel more confident. But I’ve always loved stand-up comedy since I was a kid.
How is it different to being on stage performing improv?
I guess stand-up is more stressful. You usually have more of an agenda in terms of trying out material, recording it, remembering certain ways to phrase things. 5 minutes is also a very short amount of time to get control of the room and do your stuff. It can also be quite lonely. But with improv it’s all the opposite: you try to clear your mind and not think too much and you have other people beside you for support. I think I find improv a lot more relaxed!
I’ve really missed performing and watching live comedy in general. It’s been nice to get back to some old haunts and see familiar faces again.Charlie Vero-Martin
How would you define your style of comedy?
Alternative (I know that’s a bit of catch-all word now), charming… honest? I tend to tell a lot of personal stories and don’t really have a different persona.
How do you find your inspirations?
Observing people. Most of my characters are historical figures. Some of them – like Zelda and Bill the Butcher – were built on my knowledge of those figures but with others like Napoleon and Amelia there’s usually an element of people I’ve met. My stand-up tends to be more based on personal stories or interesting facts I’ve found out recently. A lot of my next show is about marine biology!
# How long does it take you to write a show?
It’s hard to say as you rarely get time to just write your show amongst doing paid work, other gigs and all the admin that goes with the fringe like promoting and producing. Usually I’d say I’d have about 6 months to actually spend on my show but it hasn’t always felt like enough. I’ve started already for Fringe 2022 and I’ve brought on a director – Kitten Killer’s Kat Cade – for the first time, which is really exciting. Hopefully with this extra support and time I’ll get the right balance.
You usually have more of an agenda in terms of trying out material, recording it, remembering certain ways to phrase thingsCharlie Vero-Martin
What else can you tell us about your new show?
Current working title is “Flippiningo”, which is how my 2 year old niece pronounces flamingo. It’s going to be a blend of characters and stand-up potentially set in the retro boutique I sometimes work in. For the first time the characters aren’t all going to be historical. I’ve already started performing as marine biologist, Professor Von Plattfuss. (WIP dates below)
What have been some of your favourite one liners ?
I write a lot of one liners for radio (Newsjack, Breaking The News) but I don’t really write them for my solo stuff. And if I do they’re usually in a story. But if there are any Napoleon fans out there I’ll just say, “non”.
Have you missed doing stand up since the pandemic?
I’ve really missed performing and watching live comedy in general. It’s been nice to get back to some old haunts and see familiar faces again.
What advice would you give anyone who wants to do stand up?
Just do it and take everyone’s advice with a pinch of salt. Even this advice.
Want to see Charlie Vero-Martin live? You can here are dates for upcoming shows:
29 October – 31 October – Museum of Comedy
2 Nov – Aces & Eights (TBC)
7 Nov – Aces & Eights
9 Nov – Hoopla Impro – Charlie’s Comedy Cabaret
15 Nov – Hoopla Impro – Factually Inaccurate