New Act Of The Month: Lost Voice Guy
Lee Ridley, a.k.a Lost Voice Guy, is disabled but not silent. Ridley, who has cerebral palsy, lost his voice as a child and has had to speak through a Lightwriter communication aid ever since. He’d always wanted to get into comedy, but the barriers seemed so high he never thought to attempt it – until a couple of friends eventually convinced him to take the plunge.
It’s been just five months since his first gig (Ed: you heard it here first) but Ridley’s already becoming one of the most talked about acts on the circuit; even the industry’s top agents are trying to snap him up. It’s no surprise, then, that Lost Voice Guy is our New Act of the Month for July.
AD: How and why did you get into comedy?
LR: I decided to have a go at comedy because I’m stupid enough to listen to my friends who said I might be good at it. I’ve always got a buzz out of making people laugh, and I guess stand up comedy was always my dream job. Obviously I never seriously thought about it because of my disability. It was only when other people started to suggest it that it got me thinking. It didn’t go away, so I thought I might as well do something about it.
A lot of comedians I asked advice from – like Alfie Joey – said I’d regret it if I didn’t give it a try. I think it was then that I realised that they were right. I guess I just needed a bit of excitement in my life again. It was getting a bit dull for someone who likes a challenge…
AD: If you could gig with one comedian who would it be?
LR: It would have to be Ross Noble. I’ve been a big fan of his for a long time. I first saw him in Preston in 2002 when I was at university. I was just amazed at how quick-witted he was. I’ve been a fan ever since. I also like how every show is different. He manages to tap into my sense of humour too…
AD: Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
LR: Hopefully still on benefits – although David Cameron seems to want to have a say about that! Seriously though, when I started all of this in February, I never expected to get the attention that I’ve been getting. It’s been pretty surreal really. It’s happened so fast too. That’s why, at the moment, I’m just taking each gig as it comes. I realise I’ve still got a lot to learn and a long way to go yet. As long as I’m enjoying myself, I’ll be happy though.
So, if I’m still doing stand up in five years’ time and enjoying it, then I’ll be happy. Anything else would be a bonus, but I’ve learned to stop trying to guess what will happen next! My journey into comedy so far has been crazy enough as it is.
AD: Are you a Tweeter?
AD: Where can we see you next?
LR: I’m doing three dates at the Edinburgh Fringe (8th, 15th, 22nd August) alongside Jeff Lantern and Patrick Monahan; hopefully your readers will come along to that. The shows are part of the Laughing Horse Free Festival and are downstairs in The City Café…
More about that and Lost Voice Guy can be found on his blog here.