I’ve been doing standup for six years plus now. More than 600 gigs, which is OK by Swedish standards. But after six years on the Swedish standup cirquit I feel it’s time to move on. To find new challenges is a must in order to develop as comedian.
The last year and a half I have restrained from filling my calendar with short open-mic gigs in Stockholm. Not that I have any problem with these gigs, but I feel that I need new challenges to develop as comedian. Instead I have done longer gigs in the Swedish countryside. Today I do mostly 20 minutes or longer, sometimes up to 45 minutes. And that is what I will focus on in the future.
During these six plus years I’ve done Brighton Fringe once, Edinburgh Fringe tree times and a few gigs in the British countryside. Among my UK gigs are around 50-ish in London. Looking back on these years I am quite happy to see that I’ve been developing my act, and instead of playing it safe I’ve been trying new challenges.
The last year I’ve focused on a Swedish stand-up show of my own. Being a Swedish comedian it can seem a bit strange that I’ve done two shows in English before my first in Swedish. But I guess that has to do with me feeling more acknowledged by my UK friends. My British and Canadian friends and colleagues like Paul Foot, Sean Brightman , Manolis Zontanos and others have ever since the first time I performed in London taken my comedy to their hearts.
But I feel that things are changing here in Sweden aswell. My Swedish show ‘Så Mycket Bitter’ has attracted a small but enthusiastic crowd. I have recieved a few – mainly positive – comments in media, and even a few fans. Still no booking agent – I guess my style is a bit too difficult to see as a cashflow – so I am doing it all by myself. Which makes everything more difficult, but in the long run probably better since I can do my own thing in my own way.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a few friends that have believed in me all the time. Real friends that have supported me since they see it makes me feel good and since it is something important in my life. People like Mike Räsänen, Martin Krantz, David Weaver, Anders Celin, and the single most important of them all Mats Betnér, have all had major impacts on my development as comedian.
In the future I will do the gigs I want, and feel can be fun. Not the ones I feel I ‘must’ in order to please others. In the future my focus will be on my own show, and on gigs outside of Sweden. This autumn I will go back to Norway, I will do a few gigs in Germany and hopefully in UK aswell. If the right gigs turn up.
What would be extra fun would be to do Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, and Thorshavn in the Faore Islands. And Canada and the American South. Maybe I will find time and economy to do those places before I grow to old. If I don’t, so be it. But at least I aim to dare to do my thing.