"When I was born, I didn’t breathe for fifteen minutes, which is a really long time" Idle chit-chat with Rosie Jones
You wanted more idle chit-chat, you got it. New to the game of making people laugh, Rosie Jones is fast making a name for herself with her upfront take on her disability, and using that to throw audiences off-kilter. Rosie took time out from practicing for Edinburgh Fringe Festival to answer a few of our questions.
Hello Rosie, how the devil are you?
I’m hot! Extremely hot!
What have you been up to today?
I’ve spent the entire day opening the fridge and sticking my head in there to try and cool down. It’s not worked; it’s just made me eat the entire contents of my fridge. In between these mammoth eating sessions I’ve been working on my show; I have a preview tomorrow and I want to try new bits out.
Normally at this point I tell people their websites are rubbish, you don’t seem to even have a website! So, tell us about yourself, in the style of a haiku.
My name is Rosie.
I like words and I like food.
I don’t like Marmite.
Describe your comedy style.
Anecdotal, and personal. I like to develop a relationship with my audience and I want them to feel like they know me by the end of my show. I like to be approachable, and will often go for a drink with my audience at the end of a gig – I bloody love a drink!
Tell us what you can about your new show for the Fringe, ‘15 Minutes’, in two sentences?
When I was born, I didn’t breathe for fifteen minutes, which is a really long time not to breathe, but actually it’s a short time for a whole life to change. My show explores how those fifteen initial minutes have affected the subsequent fifteen million minutes, and who I would be if those fifteen minutes has perhaps gone differently.
How many times have you been to the Fringe, and what’s your best memory?
Only once! Last year was my first ever time going to the Fringe, and I took a 40 minute show, so it really was a baptism of fire!
My best memory is without a doubt going to see Amusical, an evening where comedians sing songs from musicals. I can’t tell you how much joy it brought me; it’s MAGNIFICENT.
Commas and semicolons. Amazing, right? But difficult to use. But the Oxford comma; are you a fan?
NO THANK YOU. They’re stupid, pointless, redundant, and unnecessary. You see what I did there? I studied English Language at University so I am a bit of a word nerd. I bloody love a semicolon!
You had a bit of a dilemma involving a delivery, a phone call, and a poo. How did that all work out for you?
Ha ha, yes I did, all three were imminent and I didn’t want them to all happen at the same time! Luckily the call and the delivery were late, and I had time to sort myself out!
There lots of talk about female comedians on TV and comedy bills (or a lack of), what’s your experience of being a women in the comedy world?
I joke and say that my biggest disability in comedy is being a woman, but sadly, it’s true. There still aren’t enough women on TV and comedy bills and I don’t understand why not. They’re out there! This year, the Fringe is bursting with women and the standard is incredibly high. Things are changing, slowly, but it’s still hard work being a female in the comedy world. We stick together though, and we have each other’s backs.
From what I’ve read about your Fringe show, it’s got some personal stuff in it, does that make it harder to perform every night?
Yes and no. I thought a lot about what I was willing to divulge in my show, and I wouldn’t talk about anything that I wouldn’t be prepared to share with a room full of strangers everyday for a month! I really love making stand up personal though, and I think that an audience values honesty in a performer.
Is heckling a thing in comedy anymore?
It’s definitely less of a thing, but it’s still there! Luckily, I’ve only been heckled once or twice – you have to be pretty brave to heckle somebody with a speech disability. But when it does happen, I secretly LOVE it! Unfortunately for the heckler though, I ALWAYS finish on top!
You’re pretty active on Twitter, so is it a place for genuine discussion and debate by well informed individuals or a smorgasbord of vile humans arguing with each other?
I really like Twitter. It’s a great place for comedy, and if I ever think of a stupid little joke I use Twitter as a bit of a sounding board, to see if other people find it as funny as I do. But, of course, you do get uninformed people on there, and it can quite quickly turn toxic. As long as you have your wits about you, and take everything with a pinch of salt, Twitter can be great.
You were on Silent Witness this year, isn’t serious acting a bit boring when you’re used to being funny?
No, not at all. I really love it when the pressure to be funny is off. It’s a case of the grass is always greener…when I’m performing comedy, I long for a serious acting role, and when I’m serious acting, I long to perform comedy!
I’m in a really privileged position, where I don’t need to choose between serious acting and comedy – I can have my cake and eat it! I’m never bored because every working day is different.
When was the last time you were starstruck?
I don’t often get starstruck, but I do around one person: Tom Hanks. I’ve never met him but I’ve been in the same room as him twice and both times I’ve forgotten how to breathe properly. If I ever met him, I’d die.
What other comedian is worth checking out?
Jayde Adams. I’m so excited for her show this year – she has a pianist and everything! Her shows are always magnificent, and she’s a great human being.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
You should’ve asked me, “When we come and see your show in Edinburgh, what presents should we bring you?” – great question, thank you for asking. Cider please. And fudge. Preferably Salted Caramel.
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
I always order a Flat White, even though I don’t actually know what one is! All I know is that the milk to coffee ratio is spot on. So a Flat White, in a reusable mug, of course, because I quite like the environment.
Rosie doesn't have a website, so you can hear what she's up to on Twitter, or like her on Facebook for all her new and tour dates.