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I TALK TO Tom Lucy

After making his debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year, Tom Lucy is back in 2018 with his second hour, Reluctant Millennial.

Having sold out his entire run it's no surprise that he's back and his reluctance to be called a millennial having turned 21 in the last year, forms the basis for this year's show.

So you're back at the Fringe this year. Last year's debut seemed to go well?

It's quite difficult to know exactly how well these things go but the show sold out for the whole month and I really enjoyed it, I had a lot of fun.

Were you always going to come back this year?

If it went badly I was going to quite possibly give up comedy. I think I was always going to come back, that was the plan.

What did you learn from doing last year's show?

I'm finding this year much less stressful because the first time you do it you have no idea what to expect and you don't really know how to put together a show.

Now I feel a lot more relaxed. I know I can do it, I just need to work and prepare properly. It's just terrifying the first time you do an hour, so to get that out of the way is such a relief!

When did you start working on this year's show?

It was about September last year. But it's weird because I had four years of material to pick from for last year's show, whereas for this year's show it's all been written in the last nine months.

It's a bit more difficult in the sense of making it tight and good because you have less time. But it's been fun and I do think this show is already much better than last year's and I'm excited to perform it.

Do you feel more confident this year?

Yes, I think so. A year is a long time anyway so you're going to get better over a year. I just feel like I'm a much better comedian than I was 12 months ago. Just because I've had another 12 months of gigging.

Also, you're material grows up a bit and naturally gets more interesting. I had to perform material from last year's show the other day and whilst I was relearning it I remember thinking at the time that it was really good, but now a year later I'm not so sure it was that good actually.

You've called it Reluctant Millenial, why that title?

It's what the whole show is about really. Last year was just a collection of material really and the title didn't have a whole lot to do with the show.

But this year the whole thing is about me struggling to come to terms with growing up. And also me not particularly liking my own generation. That's quite a big theme throughout the show. Me not wanting to be involved in the things my generation are doing. That makes it sound very cynical, but that is what it is.

Has it helped you shape the show this year to have a narrative?

Definitely! The thing I struggled with last year was having all these separate bits of material about different topics and trying to pull them all together into something that holds as an hour.

I set out from the very beginning of this show that I was going to call it Reluctant Millenial and write stuff around that which makes the whole process much easier.

If you're doing 20 minutes in a club, it doesn't really matter if the material holds together, but over an hour it makes it a much nicer thing to watch if it all holds together.

How have the previews been going?

They've been alright... they've been good. They're not the most fun things in the world, Edinburgh previews but you just have to get through them.

They're always quite sparsely populated. But you have to do them and also they're quite good because if the material works in front of not many people in a bad room, then when you get to Edinburgh where it's all nice and the venues are great, you'll be fine.

It's actually good to test material out in a rather difficult environment.

What's the most challenging part of doing Edinburgh?

It was that thing of doing a show every day for a month. Also, you can't ever really take your foot off the throttle because you don't know who's going to be coming in every day.

Last year, I chose not to know whether or not anyone was coming in because I would get too nervous. You have to hit 100% every night because you just don't know who's in the audience.

That gets draining after a while but I did really enjoy it.

Is it difficult to not burn yourself out?

Last year was really nice because I was living with my cousin who was up there working for the month. Normally I've lived with comedians but to live with someone who wasn't in the industry at all and didn't really care was actually really nice.

Because you can come back at the end of the day and not talk about Edinburgh and comedy all the time. To not get too involved in it all is good for your mental health.

I feel like that about the industry as a whole to be honest. I think it's really important to not get too swept up in it and maintain some sort of reality. For me that's hanging out with mates who have nothing to do with the industry and don't care.

Who are you looking forward to seeing this year?

I haven't actually looked through yet! There are a few people that I see every year because I think they're great, like Ivo Graham who I really like and Tom Allen, but he's not up there this year. One of the things I'm going to try and do this year is see more stuff.

Last year, because it was my first show and it was all a bit intense, I didn't really watch that many other things. I'm going to try and get out a lot more this year and watch stuff.

Do you think you're going to enjoy the Fringe experience a lot more this year?

I think so. I mean, I didn't not go out last year. I wasn't locked in a cupboard! But I just think the whole experience will be a lot less intense than it was last year.

The first year you go up is always quite nerve-wracking so once you've got that out of the way and it's not gone badly, you can't relax because you've still got to work really hard, but you know what you're doing a bit more.

What is it about Edinburgh that's so appealing to comedians?

I don't know really! I came into the industry and it was already a massive thing that you have to do. You really have to do it. Not that I don't enjoy it, but it's kind of a right of passage of developing as a comedian. If you want to be taken seriously as a stand-up you do have to go up at some point.

Also, I just really like Edinburgh as a place so to live there for a month is fun. Also doing an hour every day is such a privilege. When would you ever normally get to do your own show every day in a really nice venue for an hour?

What would you like to achieve in the next 12 months?

I think I'm going to do a tour next spring, so I'm going to take this show that I'm going to do in Edinburgh and possibly add some of the best stuff from last year and put together an hour-and-a-half tour show and take that out at the beginning of next year.

I'd love to do more TV stuff. All the usual things.

Finally, how would you sum up your show in just five words?

It's better than last year.

Tom Lucy: Reluctant Millenial runs from 1st - 26th August (Not 13th) at 8:15pm at the Pleasance Courtyard (The Attic). Book tickets here.

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