Samantha Pressdee has been lookin’ for Lockdown Love
Hello Sam – so how are you finding the lock down so far?
At first it was really tough, then I came to an acceptance after I asked the archangel Michael to cut my energy cord to the mainstream media. That’s when I got back to being creative. I started an online study group of The Artist’s Way. With some lovely people I met at clown school – I was attending Ecole Philippe Gaulier before the lockdown in Paris).
I managed to get a bit of spring cleaning done and started an online course in Jungian Archetypes. In a way I am grateful for this pause. I feel like I have been running really fast for a long time trying to keep up with everyone in the comedy world. I think I needed to catch my breath. I was exhausted after last Edinburgh.
How do you feel the comedy world in general is being affected by the Lockdown?
It’s like a reset button has been pushed. Everyone has had to stop what they are doing and some files have been lost. Stand up is all about flying by the seat of your pants, but now we are all lounging around in our pants. Although there is nothing like performing for a live audience, some people have gone online. Some people have got proper jobs and some people are just taking this time to reflect. I feel when live comedy comes back it will be with a renewed energy and be more enjoyable than ever!
The lockdown has been a bit of a cooking cauldron for the creatives, what have you come up with yourself?
I am now a series producer. As I couldn’t do my live show and all live work was canceled I have turned my energies to the online world. I am currently producing, writing and performing in a reality dating series called Love In Lockdown. It’s about trying to find love in these strange times, rather desperately. This character has emerged who is slightly aggressive, mischievous and more than a bit bonkers. Nothing like my actual personality.
What was the moment of inspiration, the eureka moment, when Love in Lockdown was born?
I was writing my morning pages (An exercise from The Artist’s Way) when I came up with an idea. I am recently divorced. I’ve been single and celebate for a year and half. People have been asking me when I will start dating. I have always said I would start dating in April. I thought it was funny that after 18 months of no sex, we got to april and the option to date was no longer there. So I made a joke dating profile video and posted it to my facebook page. People loved it, it had thousands of views. They were saying things like “I needed to laugh.” So I decided to turn it into a series. People have been really enthusiastic and I am reaching an audience who may not have found me on the live circuit. I hope to meet them in person at a gig when all this is over.
So are some of your new fans asking you out on a date?
Yes but I am only accepting submissions via Plenty Of Catfish, only one person has had the courage to send a video submission so far. I don’t trust people on the internet, I would never have turned to online dating had it not been for the pandemic. At least with a video I can read their energy by gazing into their eyes, and I know they’re not a catfish!
What goes into making an episode, from inception to editing?
I take inspiration from what has happened during the week. It could be that something has happened politically, or there is an interesting news story. Or maybe my fans have been chatting me up and I screen grab their comments and politely reply. Then I choose two or three topics for joke writing exercises and free writes. I always write at least 3 pages on A4 paper when free writing. I underline anything funny, or interesting then start making it into a script. I have been writing 2 or 3 drafts before finalising. After that it’s into hair and makeup, while my dog sets up the camera, sound and lights. Then I film about 3 takes and spend hours and hours editing. It’s a lot of work for a few minutes of comedy, but I usually drive for hours to get to gigs, so it’s worth it.
What are you learning about yourself from doing this series?
I am learning that I have to be creative. It’s who I am. That’s probably why my last marriage ended. My husband wasn’t happy living in the UK and I couldn’t be happy living in Kos, Greece and working on the beach because my only creative outlet was karaoke. I am also more aware of how hard I work, I’ve actually been working too hard and trying too hard. I knew something had to change after last Edinburgh because I was exhausted as soon as I got there and couldn’t perform at my best. I was mentally and physically exhausted after the run, it went ok with a few sell outs but I knew I could have done so much better had I felt more prepared. Painful lesson, but it inspires me to keep grafting. Learning to work smarter instead of harder and I have been learning more about physical comedy by going to clown school. I want my comedy to become more universal and appeal to the international audiences we attract at festivals such as The Edinburgh Fringe.
The Lockdown won’t last forever, what plans have you got for the series once normality returns?
I have already found a potential husband, so I imagine the series will climax with a wedding soon. Just like the netflix show ‘Love Is Blind’. Unlike the contestants on Love Is Blind. I will marry my husband without ever meeting him. Planning a zoom wedding with comedy blogger John Fleming as the Vicar.
What are the first things you are going to do yourself when full normality returns?
The first thing I need is a massage. After being single and celibate for 18 months and now under house arrest, I NEED SOMEONE TO TOUCH ME.
& finally, Sam, do you have a message for any of your fellow comedians struggling during the Lockdown?
Just keep writing, we can’t perform on stage yet but you may find your writing suits a blog, a screenplay or a masterplan. I heard Shakespeare wrote a few plays during a quarantine. That didn’t turn out too bad for him.
LOVE IN LOCKDOWN