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13 Questions: Comedian Ted Shiress

by Ivy Broadhead

23 year old Cardiff based CP-er, Ted Shiress, is a budding comedian, with the dream of some day going professional. He Uses a scooter to get around and, while his experiences of comedy venues have been overwhelmingly positive, he finds travel to gigs a challenge. But a lack of opportunity to perform live certainly hasn’t stopped Ted getting his stand-up routines out there for all to see.

A regular Twitter contributor, he also has a very busy YouTube channel. Over 50 videos have been posted there to date. They're a mixture of custom-made sketches, audition tapes and recordings of his live comedy routines.

Disability, driving and drink all get a look in, (although not at the same time) as Ted Shiress answers our 13 Questions.

My first job…

Ted Shiress performing at a comedy gig
Was doing comedy gigs as a student at Cardiff University. I also used to help out at a radio station, and after that I did some admin for the Big Issue. I enjoyed it, but the building was horribly inaccessible and I had to ring my boss up every time to let me in.

I spend most of my time…

Looking for voluntary work. Something with admin or computers would be good, but even though I've sent my CV out to lots of places, I've had no luck so far.

I struggle with…

Walking long distances, which is why I use a scooter.

I excel at…

Comedy, if that doesn’t sound too arrogant. I seem to get really good laughs most of the time. I don’t think my comedy is all about disability, but it’s about my experiences, which of course are shaped by my cerebral palsy.

To relax…

After a gig I like a drink. Comedy and alcohol often seem to go hand in hand, and I do enjoy my ales.
Ted Shiress in New Zealand

If I could live anywhere...

It would be New Zealand. My Mum is from there so I’ve been over a couple of times, and I like how easy all the houses are to get into. Everyone is so friendly, the countryside is beautiful, and even though the cities are built up, it’s really green at the same time.

My dream dinner party guests would be ...

Bill Hicks, because he’s one of my big comedy heroes, and Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young, because I love their music. Neil Young seems to say something violently leftwing one day and something violently rightwing the next, so how the evening went would all depend on what mood he was in!

I wish someone would invent...

A car that I could drive. I’ve looked into it, but haven’t found a way yet and I’m terrified of going into spasm driving up the motorway! I find it really hard getting to gigs outside Cardiff. I had to cancel one in London a month or two ago because getting there without a car just seemed impossible.

I couldn’t live without...

Music. I go to a lot of gigs. The last one was a band called Letz Zep, a Led Zeppelin tribute act. The singer had it spot on.

I'd like to ban...

People parking on drop kerbs, it drives me crazy! Where I live in Cardiff there aren’t really enough anyway, and when you finally find one and there’s a car parked on it there’s nothing you can do.
Ted performing at a gig

My motto is...

When life gives you apples - make beer! "But beer's not made out of apples?" you say. So forget the apples!

The best thing about my job is...

The feeling of making people laugh after a really good night. At a gig a few months ago the person before me was a horrible, racist, woman-hating comedian, and everyone felt really uncomfortable. When I came on, people seemed to laugh and relax. I really restored the atmosphere, which felt great.

In the future...

I’d love to be a professional comic. Maybe I’ll find that my voice is a limiting factor because of my cerebral palsy, but people do seem to understand me. I hope that if I start doing bigger gigs it doesn’t become a problem, especially if I get into a rant and a bit shouty, which happens quite often.
• Ted Shiress is on Twitter @eccentricman87. View one of his Youtube videos here, and find out about Ted's upcoming gigs at comedyclubhouse.co.uk/tedshiress.

Warning, Ted's Tweets regularly contain very strong language.

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