The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post
Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy.
IT’S LONELY AT THE TOP....SO I’M STAYNG AT THE BOTTOM
If you’ve ever contemplated becoming a comedian, you’ll need more than the ability to make people laugh and a memory capable of stockpiling several hundred jokes.
A microphone’s a must, too.
You’ll also need to be happy in your own company. Being in your own company and self-employed at the same time can cause a lot of confusion with the Tax Man.
I spend hours on my own, driving to and from gigs. I’m alone when I write new material - well there’d be no point in me writing old material.
I’m alone when I haunt cafes, observing people and ear-wigging their conversations in the hope that an odd turn of phrase might inspire my creative comedy juices.
Then, when I arrive at a gig, I’m alone when I pace around my dressing room, going over the act in my head, hoping the act won’t go over the heads of the audience.
My profession demands that I spend time alone – but I’m rarely lonely.
I wouldn’t call myself ‘Gregarious’. Mainly because ‘Gregarious’ Evans sounds ridiculous. But... when I put my work aside, I enjoy the company of family, friends and colleagues.
Of course, I’ve had times in my life when I felt lonely, just as the whole world has. Which is why songwriters and performers have always tapped into this truth.
“Only The Lonely”; “On My Own”; “All By Myself”; “ I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”; “Downtown”; “Lonely Boy”; “Alone Again (Naturally)”....just a handful of classic songs about loneliness.
And another is Harry Nilsson’s “One Is The Loneliest Number”
One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do.
Two can be as bad as one.
It's the loneliest number since the number one.
The combination of simple lyrics sung in a minor key give it a poignancy that we can all relate to.
Oh dear. I seem to have got something in my eye. Where’s my hankie?
I read recently that despite social media which allows us to communicate with each other 24 hours a day via all the shiny electronic gadgets available, modern life is making us lonelier.
I’ve always thought ‘social isolation’ referred to those amongst us who, because of a disability or economic reasons, were unable to socialise as most people do.
But the rise of social technology has meant that many of the generation who sit at their keyboards communicating with dozens of ‘friends’ scattered around the world, are unable to make friends in the real world.
Some of these people wouldn’t consider themselves to be lonely in the accepted sense, but 48% of us think we are getting lonelier in general.
So come on, people! Get out from behind those keyboards, put down those tablets and iPhones and make new friends. Join a society. Volunteer for charity work. Take a course in a subject you’ve always wanted to try: flower-arranging or underwater yoga.
Best of all, if you want to be surrounded by bright, intelligent people, become a member of the audience at a Phil Evans comedy night!
The start of the bank holiday weekend for me was a visit to a small coffee shop in heart of Mumbles, a nice relaxing breakfast and a catch up with the local papers.
My attention was distracted as an elderly lady, sitting opposite me, was smiling away to herself whilst also reading her newspaper. On slightly closer inspection, while desperately trying not to draw attention to myself and to be accused of stalking, I managed to get to the bottom of it.
To my surprise, she was reading the Evening Post, and my column of last Wednesday, April 1st edition.
For me, this was a lovely surprise and part of me wanted to introduce myself to her, but also I didn’t want to invade her privacy, therefore, the only satisfaction I had was knowing that this lady was reading and enjoying my work. Sometimes, my curiosity gets the better of me and I’d love to know who is out there reading this! Get in touch with me and let me know!
I wish I’d have introduced myself to that lady now.
She had no idea who I was, which for her sake, could be a blessing!
Well, it looks like Spring has finally sprung! The daffodils are all in full bloom, the evenings are staying lighter longer, I’m no longer leaving the house in the morning in the dark and we all feel a little bit more cheery now that the long winter is over.
But how do we really know it’s Spring in Wales? That one’s easy to answer. Men in shorts.
There may still be ice on the car windscreen in the morning, but it doesn’t matter. The shorts must come out; Welsh men have an inbuilt trigger that as soon as they see more than three hours of continuous sun, it’s time to wear shorts.
Now, while I don’t mind this, there is one thing that does make me cringe, shorts accompanied by beige socks.
I may even start a campaign to ban beige socks completely. They have no place in society.
Team the beige sock with a Jesus sandal and I may just have to stop you in the street and point out the error of your ways.
So look out if you are brave enough to combine the two this Spring.... I’m watching.....
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk