Sam Avery will tackle parenthood at Aldershot’s West End Centre on Thursday, 28th February. Peter Anderson quizzes him on how he devised the show.
Parenthood is a crafty beast. The second you master something, it changes the game, so you are rubbish at it again. So says stand-up comedian, viral blogger and best-selling author Sam Avery (aka The Learner Parent) and he brings his tales of twin toddler tantrums, and the sleep-deprived route from first-time parenthood that got him there, to Aldershot this month.
As to how Sam discovered his love for comedy, we have to go back to his own childhood and of course the paper round. “I always liked comedy and making people laugh as a child. When others were doing their paper round listening to the pop songs of the day, I was listening to comedians like Ben Elton.
“I was shy when I first started, I was 25, the first gig was rough, then the next two were good, I thought I was getting the idea then I bombed again.
“Afterwards, one of the more experienced comedians came up and said – don’t worry it’ll probably take you five years to get the hang of it”.
So, who was his inspiration? “My family definitely, all of them are funny. But then probably Richard Pryor; I saved up about £90 I think for a CD box set of his career, from when he was starting out very much in the Bill Cosby mould to when he had created an identity of his own.”
What can audiences expect from Sam’s show? He tells me it was a kind of pseudo-sequel to the book, covering the twins so far. It’s an old chestnut but I wondered if he had struggled to tell them apart? Initially he had been saved the embarrassment, as he tells me…
“When they were born it was actually easy because one of them had to have an operation so had pipes and then a scar. Now they are three years old and most of the time I can get it right, but if I get it wrong, they happily correct me.”
Was writing the blog something that helped him through the lows of that first stint of parenthood?
“I really did find it useful because through doing it not only was I able to pick up good advice, but it helped me realise I wasn’t the only person going through these things.
“Perhaps what was the nicest thing was that some people rather than giving advice were getting the same strength and support that I got, and they said it was really useful for them.”