Humans Of Comedy: Kieran Hearty

Comedian Kieran Hearty

At Leading With Humour we are bridging Science, business and entertainment. We believe you don’t have to take yourself seriously to be successful and we bring you tools to laugh your way to the top and live a life full of laughter! We regularly bring you humour superheroes to inspire you. With Humans of Comedy we want to understand the human behind the comedian. Today we meet comedian Kieran Hearty.

Humans of Comedy Interview

Who is the human behind the comedian?

My original involvement with comedy was as part of a Theatre Group, for who I wrote a lot of comedy sketches as part of comedy revue shows. I decided that I would like to learn and master the (difficult) “craft” of Stand-up Comedy, and enrolled in some courses in 2016 and 2017, including one run by Jay Sodagar (great course – great guy)

How did you start comedy?

My first stand-up performances were in June 2017. Firstly as MC for my 60th birthday party (where Jay did a set), followed by my first proper “gig” which interestingly, took place at “Rome’s Comedy Club”. I can honestly say that from day 1, I’ve been an International Comedian!

Why?

In my opinion, stand-up comedy is a weird combination of  “learning the craft” and anticipating the “subjectivity” of audiences I.e a well-crafted joke does not always get laughs! For me, success is all about “progression”…from the small soul-destroying open-mic nights where you have to sit through (and encourage) so many awful performers who think they’re great; to your first 10 minute set; and then towards the lower hierarchy of “paid gigs”. 

How was your first stand-up experience?

I’ve reached the upper level of “open slots”, so my personal success to date is securing open spots with Mirth Control (run by the excellent comedian Geoff Whiting) and getting the odd spot at Angel Comedy in London. It means I’m getting better at the “craft”, which is what counts.

What was your biggest failure?

Failure, for me, has been writing material that I thought was funny but didn’t get laughs. I’m saying this for the benefit of so many performers who are respectfully, pretty dire, but fail to act on audience (lack of) feedback. By treating “failure” as “feedback”, then acting on it, your material  (slowly) improves. That’s YOUR JOB not the audience. 

What is your favourite comedian?

My favourite MC is Mandy Knight, she is hilarious (in an apologetically brutal way!) One of my favourite performers would be Stewart Francis because he has clearly mastered the difficult “craft” of great one-liners. I also love Angela Barnes, and of course Lynn Ruth Miller.

A book or show you recommend?

If I was asked to recommend a good book; it would probably be Logan Murray’s “Be a Great Stand-Up”. There are some great coaches out there including Logan, Jay Sodagar and Chris Head.

How comedy transformed you/shaped you as the person you are today?

Because I’m not a “serial gigger”, I’ve learned more slowly. But since 2017, I think I’ve progressed from E to C-minus (needing a C+ for lower end paid gigs) 

What lesson did you learn from comedy?

Treating stand-up as a “craft” has made me more humble. I cringe when I think of the times I was super-confident, without having good enough material to back it up! I’m honest enough to be very self-critical, and I’ll admit to not always being 100% sure about how an overweight 63-year-old guy is going to work successfully with audiences, but I’m getting there!

Kieran is one of our “Comedian Therapist” performing stand up in our “Comedy Therapy Practice” aka Virtual Comedy Club. Book your ticket.

Leading With Humour is an innovative consultancy and learning & development company. We are dedicated to developing leadership and emotional intelligence through humour. We offer a variety of training and coaching programmes and business services dedicated to leading and living with humour and laughter.  To discover YOUR sense of humour and how to laugh your way to success, take our FREE Humour & Leadership Quiz