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Fringe Q&As: Charlie O'Connor

Charlie O'Connor talks to HeraldScotland about career choices, riders and battling pre-gig nerves.

Tell us about your Fringe show

It's an odd one. A smorgasbord of comedy really - but put simply I would describe it as: weird jokes, dick jokes, and a couple of songs for good measure.

How does it feel to be playing the Fringe for the first time?

Feels great! I'm still fairly new to the game so I'm just glad to have the practice. A chance to really hone my view and style. Twenty five hours of stand up? That's a lot of stage time in comedian hours.

Best live act seen at Fringe?

So far. Eddie Pepitone - he's wonderful!

Best thing about the Fringe?

It's what makes it so hard, but the sheer amount of shows going on here. There's no other event in the world quite like it. I think we take for granted in the UK how we have such a magnificent cultural event taking place in our country every year. More people should take advantage.

Worst thing about the Fringe?

You're away from your home, the people you love, and you only get to do one hour of work a day - so I find myself getting a little bored during the days.

If you were not a performer/comedian what would you be doing?

I've always said if I didn't want to be a comedian or performer/artist I would probably pursue psychology/psychotherapy. I think people are the most interesting thing on the planet - comedy helps me explore them.

What do your family think of your show?

They love that I'm pursing my dream, and they're proud of me for bringing a show up - but the show's quite rude and fairly personal at times, so I think they found some moments a little harrowing.

How do you combat pre-gig nerves?

By putting it all into perspective. In the end, how the show goes isn't that super important. There's so many shows on at the fringe that the likelihood of receiving the recognition for the amount of hard work we've all put into our acts is pretty slim. Maybe ten of us will get it. The rest of us will all just either get a light pat on the back or just go under the radar - aka - our lives won't be that different once the festival is over. So we might as well just try and enjoy it.

Worst on stage experience?

The first time I went up at The Comedy Store in LA. Before I could get any words out someone from the back of the room shouted "He looks like a b***h!" and it got a huge laugh. I didn't mind him saying that, the problem was that it ruined my set because all my jokes were about how I looked like a lady. He did my entire set in five words.

How do you recover from a hefty heckle? Do you have a set of stock replies?

Not really. I normally just try and personally engage with them more than they were perhaps expecting. "Hey man, what's going on? Are you ok? Is everything alright at home?"

What do you love about Scotland?

The no bulls**t attitude.

What do you like about Edinburgh?

It's a beautiful city. Wonderfully gothic. Just walking is a thing to do in Edinburgh.

What's the most Scottish thing you've done?

Seriously considered buying a kilt. I'm still thinking about it.

Who's your favourite Scottish comedian?

Easy, Billy Connolly. But isn't that everyones?

Favourite joke?

The bit in This is Spinal Tap when Nigel says "It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is - none, none more black."

Charlie O'Connor's comedy show "Dandyisms" will be at Underbelly until August 24. For tickets visit www.underbelly.co.uk

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