Andrew Dipper

New Act Of The Month: Micky Cochrane

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Micky Cochrane is a 38-year-old stand-up comedian from Gateshead. After attending John Scott‘s comedy course at the Live Theatre in Newcastle, Cochrane caught the comedy bug and has gone on to perform his debut show at Jesterval and the Edinburgh Fringe this summer. The Geordie comedian, actor and musician is currently preparing the show for dates at The Customs House in South Shields and The Stand in Newcastle. He is our New Act Of The Month for October.

AD: Hi Micky. How did you get into comedy? What made you first want to get on stage?

MC: There have been two aspects of comedy that I have always thought I could do over the years but didn’t have the balls to try – stand-up and improv. Two encounters led me to doing both.

One was when I bumped into an actor mate of mine who said he was doing the stand-up course at Live Theatre. I didn’t know there was such a thing but I thought that was the push I needed so I enrolled on the very next course.

The second was at a party where I was talking to Bev Fox out of The Suggestibles – or talking at her because I was full of premium lager – asking why they’d never asked me to be a guest. She rang me the next morning to ask if I would guest for a show the following day. I did a little wee then accepted. I started stand-up and improv more or less at the same time.

AD: What’s been your highlight so far?

MC: Jesterval. I asked a mate of mine to help me get on the bill as he knew the organisers. I thought I might be able to get on for a fifteen minute slot which was my longest set at the time. I was offered an hour. I did a little wee then accepted. I wrote a one hour show in a matter of weeks, I was so nervous on the day of the show when I walked out in front of 200 people. It was my ninth stand-up and I thought to myself ‘What are you doing?’ An hour later I didn’t want to leave the stage, it was an amazing experience I’ll never forget.

AD: And low point?

MC: Walking on stage to some schmuk shouting ‘Neil Morrissey’. I immediately cut my hair, stopped texting Amanda Holden and started behaving well.

AD: Who would you say you’re most like on stage?

MC: This is an interesting one for me. I feel like I am still forming my identity and finding out what I can do and the boundaries I can push. I guess I bring a lot of my performance skills to the act so it is a mixture of the everyday with some weird made up far out stuff. My Edinburgh review compared me to Kevin Eldon and Rik Mayall. Good mix I’d say.

AD: Who are your comedy heroes?

MC: Rik Mayall was the comedian I was first aware of growing up. Brilliant performer who acted like he had no fear. I love seeing comedians who let off the shackles and just go for it. I love watching early clips of Jim Carrey, even though he isn’t everyone’s cuppa, because he is a great performer.

I like the comedians who have the courage to say what they believe, Bill Hicks being the obvious example. I like the journey Russell Brand has taken where he is speaking out but is still a funny guy, and I can watch Tony Law all day cos he is fantastic.

I’ve always been a fan of Gavin Webster and it’s cool and weird to have got to know him better. He asked me to play for his 6-a-side football team the other day. I did a little wee then accepted. It went well apart from me having my shirt on the wrong way round for kick-off.

AD: You’re involved in all sorts of things – you’re an actor, you’re in a band and now you’re trying your hand at stand-up. What are you most passionate about?

MC: Stand-up is where it’s at right now. I have ideas for two new shows which I am developing, I love forming new ideas. It is giving me the chance to express myself and I feel that I have a lot more to give. I love acting and I really love singing but right now I get the most pleasure from stand-up.

AD: You took your first show to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer – what did you learn from the experience?

MC: Get help organising it. I was a very late addition to the bill and it only really happened because of Jesterval and the success of that show. I took on a lot and although I only did a few shows it was a lot of effort. I loved it though, Edinburgh is such a great city.

AD: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

MC: I’d like to keep on writing full length shows as I think it suits me better. Established enough so I can attract some cool gigs. I’ve been trying to develop a sitcom and a play that are inspired by comedy and acting experiences. I’ll be performing but hopefully writing a lot more.

AD: Are you on Twitter?

MC: Yes but I’m still rubbish at it. @MickyCochrane and @FudgeCocas are my handles – is that what you say. Please follow me and tell me what to do.

AD: Finally, where can we see you next?

MC: You can catch my show, What the Fudge, at The Customs House, South Shields on Thursday 9 October and at The Stand Newcastle on Tuesday 25 November.