September 18, 2014

Scotland The Brave / Wur All Doomed

Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival for 21 nights. He won the bet!

So in less than 24 hours Scotland may have overthrown the tyrannical yoke of English rule, or they’ll decide that the sassonachs are not too bad and we’ll give them more money.

Of course if they do vote for independence they’ll have no nuclear deterrent or army, so the English could invade straight away, whilst the Scots vainly hurl scotch eggs and cans of Irn-Bru at them. Or perhaps an Independent Scotland could charge an entrance fee from England like the Welsh do?

Funnily enough though at a conference last week I met a contingent of English people who would quite happily move to Scotland if they do vote for independence so they would never have to listen to David Cameron ever again!

But when I was in Edinburgh recently it really does feel that opinion was divided. Of course in my mind Edinburgh seems to be the most anglicised of all Scottish cities.

It also feels really posh, how can you tell if a Scottish man is posh, well instead of having a forename and a surname like normal people they just have two surnames e.g. Cameron McTavish, Campbell Burns, Keir Mccloud, whilst most Scottish people have ordinary dull names like Alex Salmond or Danny Alexander …

I do feel for the Scots, the better together campaign hasn’t really campaigned with joy or hope, it says how badly off the Scots will be if they leave the Union, which in case anyone hadn’t noticed is the same argument the European Union is saying about Britain if they leave the EU.

On the other hand the yes campaign seems to be relatively joyful and full of hope and promise. The question is, is it true?

Of course, having listened to all the arguments I’m still no wiser to whether Scotland is better in or out of the Union, and I would have no idea which box I would tick on that ballot paper.

However on the radio today someone did say if Scotland did leave, the resulting financial crisis would mean UK interest rate would remain low for about a decade, so that would be really good for my new mortgage.

But in a world where Ukrainians and Russian Ukrainian’s are openly killing each other and where Sunni and Shiite Muslims are at war in Iraq, it makes me very proud to live in the United Kingdom.

No matter what the outcome tomorrow I hope both sides of the campaign can shake hands and work out what’s best for everybody, you never know the oil may run out tomorrow…


Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

 

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September 11, 2014

Marc Calling Orson

Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival for 21 nights. He won the bet!

I’ve spent a few weeks thinking about the death of Robin Williams. I didn’t want to write something straight away, some knee-jerk reaction, or platitudes to a man I had never met.

I grew up watching Mork and Mindy in the 80s, in fact my Mum has a photo of me in the garden wearing a Mork and Mindy T-shirt, red shorts, long socks and a bowl haircut (the photo has been locked away in a vault and my mother is under strict instructions never ever to release it on Facebook). Even at the tender age of six I knew Robin Williams was cool.

The unfortunate cliché of the troubled comic genius is all far too common. Having met many comedians over the years, and spending the last six years on stage being ‘quite funny’, I know that many of us, (myself included) have used comedy as a way of working out the stuff in our heads, or sometimes as a way to hide away from the stuff in our heads…

It’s like some form of extreme group psychotherapy, but instead of the group nodding in support and patting you on the back they’re throwing half empty beer glasses at you.

By the way just to be clear I’ve never spoken at a corporate event where the audience has thrown half empty beer glasses at me. That would be a bad event, if you can’t keep the South East Auditors’ annual conference from tipping into violence, then perhaps it’s time to change jobs.

People assume, that because you’re a business speaker, you’ve got all your stuff together. They think that you have the answers to life the universe and why the printer always jams 5 minutes before an important presentation…

The thing is I worry all the time. I bring two shirts with me to every event, just in case someone spills tea, wine or blood on me. I obsess that my false front tooth implant is going to fall out mid-joke. Every lump is a tumour, every conversation is loaded with subtext and every time my dog runs off no matter how many miles I am away from a road, I fear I’m never going to see him again…

There are days in the office where there is zero productivity, I’ve reorganised files, done my VAT, recycled all my paper, hell I’ve even polished my computer screen (that’s not a euphemism by the way).

I can’t pretend to know what was going on in Robin Williams’ life or head when he decided to commit suicide, but I have experienced anxiety, feelings of failure and at times have thought in far too much depth about my own funeral…

I don’t think I’m alone, I’ve known a number of people (all men) who sadly have taken their lives in the last few years. I know lots of people who are on antidepressants and who are either wealthy enough, or lucky enough to be in therapy. There is nothing wrong with getting depressed, if you’re lucky it will be transient and a year later you’ll look back on it as a rough patch that you got through.

But if it’s more than that, if you have been feeling down for a while or anxious or afraid don’t hide it. Sometimes you need to trust the people you love and tell them how you feel. Seek help. There are more people out there then you know feeling the same way as you.

RIP Robin Williams July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014.


Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

 

Follow Marc_Hogan on Twitter