Interview with Elliot Steel

In the run up to Voice's latest coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we have dozens of interviews with performers like Elliot Steel, who we'll be seeing up there.

Interview with Elliot Steel

Firstly, could you introduce yourself, and give a quick summary of your show?

My name's Elliot Steel I'm a 19-year old stand up comedian who is taking my debut hour up to the Edinburgh Fringe this year and it's about how I feel my generation is the worst yet because my generation couldn't have fought in World War Two like my granddad, we'd have started a petition and told Hitler he wasn't allowed in our "safe space".

What is your earliest arts memory?

When I was four my mum took me to a pantomime of Rapunzel thinking it would be cool for a seven year old to see. What she didn't realise was there was a scene in this production where Rapunzel gets her eyes gouged out. That's the earliest memory/mental scare in the arts that I have, which has stuck with me forever.

What first encouraged you to become a performer?

When I was sixteen I was kicked out of education so it was either do stand up comedy or join the army. I fell in love with comedy immediately and from then on always wanted to make it my career and have been lucky enough to do so.

Do you remember your first professional performance, and how did it go?

Oh God, yeah. My first paid gig in front of 300 students who had all just started university and I thought it would be funny as a cocky seventeen year old who never finished education to go on and tell them they're wasting their money. It went down as well as Rapunzel's eye gouging did in front of mothers and toddlers.

What do you feel is the best thing about your job?

Getting to travel and see different parts of the country with other comedians, do a show and then go out and explore whatever city I'm in's nightlife scene. The amount of fun stories I have from just doing exactly that is amazing and it all came possible just because I tell jokes on stage it is pretty mad thinking about it.

Conversely, what is the worst?

Drunk audiences and late shows can really be tough. Especially if they would rather see you fail than do well, those are the gigs where you just have to bite the bullet and get through it.

How do you decide whether or not a show has gone well?

All down to audience reaction. If the audience clap you off as loudly as they clapped you on then must have done something right but if you're walking off the silence then you're going to need to do some work on your material.

If you could work with anybody, dead or alive, who would you choose to collaborate with?

Hitler and probably ask him to stick to painting

What made you want to come to Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Just loved the idea of performing at the world's biggest arts festival, get such a buzz and the feeling of being part of it is priceless. Similar feeling to how a footballer must feel playing at Wembley and feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to make people laugh there.

If you could travel back in time and give 16 year-old you one piece of advice, what would it be?

Well I'm only nineteen so that is not too long ago. I'd probably go back and tell him what football matches to bet on, get back to the future, and then realise I just gave that information to a sixteen year old so he won't be able to place any of the bets.

What advice would you give to young people who want to enter the industry?

Just do it and don't be disheartened because you have died on stage, everyone has to die on stage to get better. The only way to improve is to fail so go out and do it especially when you're younger because you have time on your side.

Do you have social media that our readers can follow you on?

I'm @elliotsteelcom on Twitter and am surprisingly bad at it as someone who is part of the iPhone generation

Where can people catch your show during EdFringe?

My show is on everyday at 6:15pm at the Gilded Balloon Counting House Sitting Room. I'd love for you to come and it is free entry or you can reserve a seat for £5.


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