An Interview with Steve Whiteley : a.k.a. Wisebowm

bw (4 of 6).jpgHello Steve, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Hi! I’m from London and am currently residing in Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival.

When did you first realise you were, well, funny?
At the age of 7 when my best friend Josh would cry with laughter at everything I said. My parents blame him for me going into comedy.

What does Steve Whiteley like to do when he’s not entertaining?
I’m a big surfer, nothing beats a sunset surf sesh. London’s surf options are somewhat limited though so Croyde, Devon is my regular haunt. But keep that to yourself.

You’ve been washed up on a desert island with a solar-powered DVD player & three films. Which would they be?
The Usual Suspects – Heat – OJ: Made In America. It’s 7hr 47 minutes and I’m going to have plenty of time to kill.

Your Youtube channel Offkey Steve has been something of a hit. How has this changed you?
I mean I wouldn’t say it’s gone to my head, I’m just a regular kind of guy. All I ask for is that my fans don’t look at me in the eye when asking for autographs. I said ask twice, but it’s fine right? Sorry, I shouldn’t have asked that.

Comedy rap is one of your fortes, what are the creative processes behind these?
I usually start with a subject matter in mind and then write lines that rhyme, like that one. The biggest challenge for me has been putting comedy first. The priority used to be lyrics first and comedy second, but that doesn’t go down too well at a stand-up comedy night. People just want to LOL not wax lyrical about….lyrics.

Steve Whiteley Edinburgh 2017 V13 (1).jpg

You are bringing your show Wisebowm: The Struggle Is Real to the Fringe this August, can you tell us about it?
Sure, I wrote the show whilst I was living in a Buddhist community for 4 months, so a lot of it stems from my headspace at that time. It’s about urban poet Wisebowm who has wrote the world’s greatest…and only, urban poetry musical and is presenting it at the Edinburgh Fringe, which is really just a dry run for Broadway. The show follows his heroic struggles with addiction (to gluten), his attempts to win the heart of middle class beauty Samantha and how mindfulness came to his rescue. It’s a character comedy show mixed with comedy rap. There’s 110 sound cues and I play 6 different characters. I like to make life difficult for myself.

How are you finding things so far?
Really positive (I have to say that right). Genuinely happy with the response it’s been getting, the audiences have been very kind and receptive.

What is it about performing live you love the most?
I like that you can have an idea and perform it in front of a crowd that night. With my YouTube videos you go on views to appraise whether people liked it. Whereas with live comedy, the feedback is immediate. Laughter is my drug and I want to be high 24/7.

What other acts will you be seeing, or at least trying to, this August?
Tom Ward, Abigails Party, Abandoman’s Rob Broderick, McCann and Omobitan, Matt Hutson & Rob Copland, Jen Wakefield, James Acaster, Tim Key. The list is endless!

What will Steve Whiteley be doing after the Fringe?
Having a few days off to count all the millions made through my bucket donations. Then I’ll reinvest the money to make a few short films and a Wisebowm web series


You can catch Wisebowm at the Fringe right now

OPIUM : Aug 9-19, 21-27 (13.45)

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