Want my job?...with Neil Frost

Neil Frost can be found at Brighton Fringe this May, performing his one man mine show, The Story of the Nervous Man. 'I think a performer should train in a variety of disciplines,' the comedian, clown and character actor says, 'then create their own practice using the methods that work for them.'

Want my job?...with Neil Frost

What is your current job title and what does that entail?

I'm clown, comedian and character actor. I perform at festivals, in caberet and in theatre.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I don't really have a typical day, which is why I enjoy this type of work. My day may involve compereing for a private event, rehearsing with my clown troupe The Honky Bonk Comrades or performing in an immersive show. If I have no work, I always try to be creative and proactive, avoiding just waiting for the phone to ring.

When did you realise you wanted to be a performer, and when did you begin to really go for it as a career?

I went to an all boys' school; once a year they'd put on a big show at the local theatre in collaboration with the nearby girls' school. Everyone wanted to be in the show, even the hardest kid in the school, as it was the only time we got to hang out with girls. I had a small role, but the first time I made an audience laugh I discovered the true appeal of performing, rather than just the opportunity to hangout with the opposite sex - that's when I decided to make it my career.

You have such a varied practice, when you were starting out did you feel like you wanted to learn a huge variety of techniques, or has this built as your career's progressed?

I originally trained as an actor at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, but found myself leaning more towards comedy as I prefered to make an audience laugh rather than cry (although as a clown you can do both). As I became more interested in comedic performing, I also trained in Improvisation, Clown and Character Acting. I think a performer should train in a variety of disciplines, then create their own practice using the methods that work for them.

The Story Of The Nervous Man employs mime. When did you get into this, and how does it feel to perform it?

I love travelling, but it can sometimes feel a bit aimless if it has no purpose - so I wanted to make a show that I could travel with, ideally one that could be performed in any place to any person. To be internationally understood I had to remove all language from the show. I enjoy the challenge of finding different nonverbal story telling methods, such as mime, as it forces you to be specific with your ideas.

You've performed at Boomtown, at the World Economic Forum and as the warm up for Loose Women. Do you have a preferred audience or is it just great to experience this range?

With any public performance you have no control over who will attend, a random group of strangers will be brought together, whether it be in a theatre, club or a festival field. Each time you perform it's unique to that group of people and may never provoke the same reaction again, I find this a rewarding part of live performance.

What do you think Fringe Theatre can offer in particular to performers, at any stage of their career?

When developing a show, a Fringe Festival gives you an open minded audience each day to explore ideas with and discover what works. For the duration of the festival all the performers are focused only on creating, watching and discussing live art; an escape from the concerns of everyday life.

And finally, what advice would you give to any young person who was looking to take their show to the Fringe?

Enjoy it. Even if you have only one person in the audience, if you don't find pleasure in performing for them, the audience will know and it won't work.

Want to know more about how to make it as an actor? Check out Creative Choices, the arts careers website:




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