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Matt faces 'shocking' charity comic challenge

PUBLISHED: 10:02 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:14 12 July 2010

Matt Taylor, who works in Environmental Science at the UEA, but is also training to be a comedian for a performance in London, using his childhood diary in his act.

Matt Taylor, who works in Environmental Science at the UEA, but is also training to be a comedian for a performance in London, using his childhood diary in his act.

When dealing with the serious subject of climate change there is not much to laugh about.

But Matt Taylor, who lives in Wymondham and works at the Low Carbon Innovation Centre at the University of East Anglia, hopes his funny side will shine through tomorrow when he gives stand-up comedy a try for charity.

By day he works for the pioneering CRed carbon reduction campaign at the University of East Anglia but on Saturday night Matt Taylor from Wymondham tried his hand at being a stand up comedian - with some success, as he recounts here.

Who's laughing now?

I heard the compere say: “Put your hands together for Matt”. A cheer went up. I walked to the stage. I was handed the microphone. I put my water down, stood up and in the spotlight faced the audience. The room went quiet. I said my first line. I was off.

Months before I had received the telephone call from my friend and director of the X Foundation, Paul Thomas, asking me whether I wanted to be a stand-up comic for one night for charity.

My answer had been “No, but yes”. Of course no one would really want to put themselves through this, but then when would an opportunity like this occur again? It was a challenge that I just had to take.

Since then I had written material, performed material and in front of fellow apprentice comedians died on my backside. I had re-written material and now there was no turning back.

I was the seventh novice to perform on the night and the comedic bar had already been set astonishingly high by those that had preceded me. This was no show of amateurship - there had been laughs aplenty from the very start. The quaking nerves behind the scenes seemed to be supplanted by the thrill to entertain once on stage and the routines that my comrades had worked so hard on were now reaping rewards in heartfelt guffaws.

I secured my first big laugh after around four minutes. I had practised my set so often in my head that I was quite bored of it, but now in front of the crowd it had come alive again; sometimes needing space, sometimes needing pace and sometimes needing nothing but a shrug and a funny face. All I knew was it was going well, I had not forgotten anything and people were laughing, thankfully in the right places.

I reached the end, I signed off and with cheers, clapping and pats on the back I went back stage to grab a welcome beer. The bowel quaking nerves now replaced with palpable relief.

Later a cup was awarded to the best newcomer and amazingly I won - the compere even offering me a gig. Would I do it again?

I don't know. Maybe. This was for charity and the experience and I am in no rush to give up the day job. Would I recommend the challenge to others? Absolutely, you never know, you may discover your funny bones.

I would like to thank you all for the donations.

For more information about the X Foundation visit http://thexfoundation.org/


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