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The book that defined my teenage years…. Lace by Shirley Conran. The book that changed my life….

The book I tell everyone to read…. Heartburn by Nora Ephron. Your comfort read….


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The book that made me want to be a writer…. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Guilty pleasure…. The literary character I am most like…. As a writer…. They laughed at a couple of my jokes but struggled to understand most of what I said because they were so drunk. Several groups were mostly just talking among themselves.


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That was about as good as it was going to get. As one of the comics had said earlier: "They're a pretty basic audience. I had survived, though, bruised but not crushed. Not one of the comics said: "Well done" or shook my hand in the way that they do when things have gone well.

Audience member after my first gig: "You remind me of Victoria Wood. Thank you so much. You just look a bit like her. This guy sits down and immediately puts his hand on my knee. I am so incredulous that he has done this that by the time I have registered it is happening, it has become too late for me to say anything about it without it appearing like an accusation, which will cause trouble.

He asks me if I saw the comic on earlier. I reply, still flinching under his knee-hold: "That's a bit harsh — he just did a really good set.

I don't overreact, though, as I can tell he is the type who will get aggressive if I flatter myself by making out that he's coming on to me. His eyes are bloodshot and tired.

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Taking a stand: when stand-up comedy turns ugly

There's nothing about him to suggest he's drunk, but his manner is not entirely what I would call daylight behaviour. He doesn't smile, only grimaces.

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This is the impression you are supposed to give. Then I got pregnant. He doesn't laugh. I'm trying to make a joke. Thanks for asking. The hand is removed. Then he says: "Come outside so we can talk. He is in charge. He runs the place. He has let me on stage. I haven't done well tonight, but it's one of the only places that always has a big crowd. On the way outside, the girl at the bar shouts: "You really made me laugh. I have a witness. Just outside there are two or three older men in crumpled suits smoking. What did you think of her?

Oh dear, I think to myself, this is actual bullying. He knows nothing about me at all. He has just met me. I turn to the promoter with a smug expression on my face, as if to say: "See? Relieved, I go back in.

Taking a stand: when stand-up comedy turns ugly | Global | The Guardian

Two minutes later I can feel his hot breath near my neck once more and he motions for me to come back outside again. And you CAN go after what you really want in life without destroying everything around you. Well, not absolutely everything. Skriv anmeldelse. Betal med gavekort her. Viv Groskop's searing memoir charts the highs and many lows of her showbiz career to date, and is a tribute to following your dreams - even when they threaten to become a nightmare.

Groskop is clearly some kind of superwoman.

21 readers tell their experiences of sibling bullying - past and present

Her devotion to the quest and energy levels are astonishing. It could make a great movie. Kristen Wiig in the lead role, naturally. A kind of Fever Pitch for the world of funny. Brave, yes.


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Crazy, almost definitely. But underneath all the jokes and bad nights, I Laughed, I Cried is the honest version of what pursuing a dream really feels like. Viv Groskop has paid her dues so you don't have to.