Interview with Mark Nelson

Mark Nelson takes some time to talk to Voice about the show, inspirations, and to give advice to young people.

Interview with Mark Nelson

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hi, I'm Mark Nelson.

How would you describe your show?

It's mainly just a guy with a microphone being funny. The way comedy shows really should be.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

It is the biggest arts festival in the world and, being Scottish, it is right on my doorstep.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

I think just the vast array of acts that it attracts. Right from huge worldwide stars to local guys just starting out.

Do you think the Fringe has changed over the years? If so, how? Are these changes positive or negative?

I think it has stopped being a Fringe festival and far more commercial and money driven. Speaking to more experienced comedians you can see that the people who benefit from the festival has changed away from performers which is hugely negative.

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

I became a comedian because I genuinely love the art of stand-up comedy. I think when it is done at its best it is the most exciting thing you can see live.

My inspirations were always American comedians.

If you didn't have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

In all honesty, I would probably be a stay at home Dad. Or an alcoholic.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Lead singer in a band without a doubt. I fronted a band in High School and I still think it is the coolest thing in the world.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

I remember being taught how to draw a picture of a house in the mountains with snow on the roof. Then when you finish it, it looks exactly like a naked guy bending over to pick up some soap. Can still do it.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

I think comedians should absolutely be social commentators and anyone that isn't, isn't doing their job properly.

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

I think this shift towards people thinking they have a right to be offended by anything has certainly made me a lot more thoughtful in my writing.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

About 24th best so far

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

Steve McQueen. The coolest man to ever walk the Earth.

Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both?

The benefits of a ticketed event are that I think you are taken more seriously and you also have an infrastructure in place to help you and your show. The benefits of a free show are that you actually make money.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

If you are new, take whatever you have written, burn it and then come back in 5 years when you are actually ready.

When and where can people see your show?

8pm at the Gilded Balloon.

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

On Twitter @marknelsoncomic and Mark Nelson on Facebook.

Mark Nelson: Irreverence is performing at The Gilded Balloon at 20:00 on 2nd – 27th August (not 15th). For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is a Politics graduate, and holds a Masters in Journalism. He serves as Editor for Voice, and has an almost unhealthy obsession with Batman. His hobbies include gaming and reading graphic novels - his current go to series is Bill Willingham's Fables.

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