Because comedy never takes a holiday

Chris Chopping writes... while he's supposed to be relaxing

I'm writing this on the last day of a week-long family holiday and what an idyllic week it's been! Cast adrift on a raft of rest and relaxation I've hardly bothered wearing, let alone checking my watch. Then again of course I can always check the time on my phone. That's the same phone that also provides near constant internet access.

The wifi at this particular complex is patchy at best but nonetheless wherever possible I've been glued to the little screen checking Facebook, Twitter, my Hotmail account and of course the Chortle message boards. Some of this time is spent usefully, trying to arrange spots or confirm myself for various gigs but much of it much less usefully, seeing who got the gig I turned down to go away or looking for gigs I couldn't possibly do because I'm on my holidays.

This, you see, is my first break since I started doing stand-up last October and I'm finding it hard to let go and relax. Now that I've caught the comedy bug it's difficult to switch off and relax. I miss performing and I miss attending all the open mic nights on my local scene, seeing new acts and catching up with my comedy 'colleagues'.

Don't get me wrong. I've not completely forgotten how to enjoy myself. For example, I'm writing this first draft in a gift-shop notepad while I wait for an Italian meal.

But even so holidays never used to be like this! They used to be an oasis of calm, a chance to block out the outside world and thoughts of the spirit-sapping 9-5 to which I would all too soon be returning. There is still an element of that, It'll be a fair old while yet before comedy success allows me to quit the day job. But for the first time I find myself compelled to break the tranquil bubble of holiday isolation with this overriding interest in the outside world and events back home.

I feel like a workaholic character at the start of a Eighties movie. I've no doubt that through a series of comic misadventures I'll learn a valuable lesson about the value of quality time with loved ones. At that point I'll probably quit my job at the metaphorical law firm and set up a family bakery but for now I'm still very much at the opening titles, shouting into a brick sized mobile phone while dated synthesizers play a jaunty opening theme.

So are all my holidays going to be like this from now on? Does this mean I've finally found a job I actually care about? Is this the price I'll pay for continuing to be excited about comedy? Is this the trade off for still getting that buzz when I get onstage and missing it whenever I take a week off? Will I never again truly get away from it all because I'm far too excited about the prospect of getting back to it all?

Because if so, frankly, I'm OK with that...

Published: 23 Apr 2011

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.