• Mandy Knight

No regrets... Time to re-calibrate and go again

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

Edith Piaf was famous for singing “je ne regrette rien” (I have no regrets).  Now, I can’t sing a note but, I don’t either.

In the 90’s, I appeared as a stand-up and actress on every TV comedy show at that time (“Live at the Comedy Store”, “The World Stands-Up”, “Live at Jongleurs”, “The Comedy Network”, “Comedy Blue”, “Like it or lump it” with the amazing talent and great friend Jo Brand and the “Baddiel Syndrome” with the wonderful David Baddiel) but squandered every opportunity through the misuse of drink and drugs. These days, the only thing I’m waiting for to kick-in, are probiotics.

I learnt from my mistakes, I have no regrets

Frank Sinatra sang “Mistakes, I’ve made a few…” Well, I’ve made loads. But I have learned from them all and that is why I have no regrets.

I remember something that my favourite comic Tom Stade said to me when we were gigging together at the Comedy Store in Mumbai (I know, India – WTF!) when I saw him majestically work out some new material in front of the crowd!!! I was so impressed and amazed I couldn’t help telling him how talented but mainly, how brave he was, and he wisely said to me; “Mandy, if you think you have something to lose on stage, you’re going to die alone in that Chinese outfit.” ...GO AND SEE HIM ON TOUR – you'll be pleased you listened to me!

Five years later (bit of a slow learner) during the autumn of 2016, I had been tirelessly working in the “trenches” of all the top comedy clubs worldwide but I hadn’t written anything new for years and was playing it “safe”. My spirit and creativity, had all but disappeared… I was physically trapped in the chubby-suit of domestic contentment and frankly, was just waiting to die in the Cotswolds - I realise there are worse places - but no artiste wants to feel sedentary or ever NORMAL. There is a reason we went into showbiz and not admin (no disrespect to anyone in admin btw). Comedy is a vocational occupation. We HAVE to do it. As the Ga Ga herself says, “I was born this way.”

I had to totally re-calibrate as a human being

I knew I had lost myself. Drastic action had to be taken. I have always been a person of extremes. I go from one extreme to the other to find the middle ground. I knew I had to totally re-calibrate as a human being… So I decided to lock myself away in India for a month on a yoga teacher training course which actually helped me find my middle - went down two dress sizes! ...Easy when all you’re eating is a bowl of “fuck-all” twice a day, and shitting water for a week!

I was starting to feel stronger and healthier as a person, but as a comic? I was determined not to let anyone there know I was a comedian (people always treat you differently – they are impressed/intrigued, they want to interview you about how you got into it or they want to tell you shit jokes – all of which is exhausting and makes you feel you can’t just be yourself).

...if you can smash-it in an ashram – you’re FUNNY!

On day three we all had to get up and say a bit about why we were there. I didn’t want to lie but I was tempted to say I was in admin so people treated me like a “normal” person. Anyway, long story short, I told them about other aspects of my life and why I liked yoga. And they were all in stitches… and all of them, without exception, came up to me at various points during the course and said; “You’re so funny, have you ever thought about being a comedian?” I had gone to India, to try and find me (worried that all I’d find was a bit of a prick) and I found my comedy voice or at least faith that I had one. Listen bitches, if you can smash-it in an ashram – you’re FUNNY!

I did it, I passed!!

Looking quite pleased with myself for getting my qualification with an A+ pass – so if it all went wrong, I could always teach yoga – thank God it didn’t!

Catch the next installment on my following blog 'A leap of faith...#feelthefear' ...

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