A catch up with Sarah Bridgeman!
We caught up with our good friend and podcast collaborator, standup comedian Sarah Bridgeman to find out what she's been up to since appearing as a special guest on the Comedy Geek Sketch Podcast back in October 2018. Fans of our show will remember Sarah as our favourite "Duck Buddy" in S1Ep10 - Fetch the Special Sauce! (QUACK!)
Since you featured as a special guest on the Comedy Geek podcast, what awesome stuff have you been up to?
I’ve been gigging lots! I recently had a spot at The Glee Club, Cardiff and I’ll be back there in September. I’ve been hosting at music gigs which is a little different; I hosted at Merthyr Rising and at the Swansea Air Show. I’ve also been looking after Rough As Comedy - a new act and new material night - as we’ve moved venues a few times (thanks Brexit!) and also we’ve started an improv troupe.
What inspired you to create Rough As and have you achieved what you set out to do?
I was inspired to start Rough As due to the fact there weren’t many new act/new material nights happening in South Wales where I live at the time and the ones that were available had a few months waiting list. Plus I noticed that everyone was doing their best stuff; it didn’t seem like a very creative arena, it was more a place for acts to show off their best stuff.
I started Rough As where you could always have a spot regardless of how it went and you could do whatever you liked. The emphasis is on being creative rather than being the most polished act.
Rough As Comedy crops up all the time when we interview local comedians on our show and it has undoubtedly provided a great launch pad for many newbie comics. How has the comedy landscape in South Wales changed since you first began?
There are more nights now. When I started there was only one night in Swansea and one in Cardiff for newbies and there was only 1 semi pro one that I was aware of. Now there’s loads. There are a lot more new acts; we had around 15 new acts ten years ago, now there’s around 30 - 40 that use Rough As and there’s more that don’t come to us.
There is a good welsh language scene now as well where it used to be only pro acts on the Welsh language scene. There’s even a new material night for welsh speakers. The scene is really thriving now.
You recently took Rough As to Neath Comedy Festival. Tell us about that!
It was really good fun. We had some acts who were new to us as they couldn’t come to our normal club night so that was good and we had a fantastic dedicated audience who were really supportive throughout. Plus, as we had lots of time, I was able to allow some longer spots for Edinburgh Fringe Previews. Plus I was able to show off our new merch! A t-shirt and a mug for acts to buy as a way of helping us to raise money for resources for new acts. It was very exciting to be part of a big festival as well.
You recently launched the Rough As Comedy Podcast, which we love! What inspired you to make this show and what response have you had so far?
Rough As is all about helping comedians with what they need and when they start they need a lot of support. The podcast is an extra resource - its the sofa-to-standup course I created plus interviews with acts, some of whom have not long been newbies and their advice on each stage of the path to getting on stage for the first time.
Each episode is a new lesson on things you need to be thinking about and doing as you work towards your first gig.
The response has been amazing considering I haven’t really pushed it out into the world yet. I wanted to get the first series done before spamming it all over the internet, plus I now have somewhere I can point people to when they want information and advice as they start. I’ve had some lovely positive feedback from people who have said its helped them and I’m really pleased about that.
Has recording your own podcast about standup comedy made you think about your own material in any new or unexpected ways?
It’s made me go back to the drawing board of joke writing. I’m quite a chatty natural performer and doing the podcast made me re-read some of my joke books and also inspired me to buy new ones.
Who are your own personal podcast heroes and are there any shows you’d recommend (comedy or otherwise)?
I only got into podcasts in a big way around 2 years ago. Before that I liked Marc Maron WTF and the Nerdist then got a bit bored with them. In the last couple of years there have been some great podcasts coming out. I love the Adam Buxton Podcast. I love his sense of humour and homemade jingles. I recently got into the Mark Kermode podcast Kermode on Film and I can recommend Jon Ronson's The Butterfly Effect and Rule of 3. There’s loads though!
What gigs have you got coming up?
I’ll be in Cardiff opening Funny Fuel on the 18th July, I’m hosting Edinburgh previews for Robin Morgan and Ignacio Lopez in Swansea on the 25th July and I’m on The Glee Stage at Cardiff Pride in August.
Also Rough As is the second and fourth Tuesday of every month in Swansea - all details are on the Rough As Facebook group - just answer a couple of questions to join!
Thank you Sarah for taking the time to answer our questions! It was lovely to catch up!
If you are a new comic or thinking of giving live comedy a go then make sure you check out the Rough As Podcast as it really does contain some fantastic content. And if you live near Swansea, why not pop along to a Rough As Comedy night and take the plunge? [Dan & Amy: We go all the time and it's great fun - come and say hi!]
Also, if you haven't seen Sarah Bridgeman perform then try and catch her at one of the dates she mentioned - you will not regret it! Sarah is simply amazing at putting audiences at ease and takes everyone along for a very funny and relatable journey into her world.