COMEDIAN Susan Calman gets such an huge adrenaline rush before she goes on stage she needs blu-tack in her hand so she can hold onto the microphone.

So when she appears at the McMillan Theatre in Bridgwater on April 1, with her new show The Calman Before the Storm, she will have a piece in her hand.

The Scottish comedian, who hails from Glasgow, described herself as a ‘cautious and prudent woman’ who does not take risk but she took what for many would be a gigantic leap of faith when she quit her job.

Somerset County Gazette: Susan Calman

Having worked on Death Row and at the United Nations in Geneva as a former corporate lawyer, Susan decided to give up her promising career to become a comedian in 2006 when she reached the semi-finals of the BBC New Comedy and So You Think You’re Funny Awards.

For Susan it was a life-changing experience which she says was ‘the best thing I have ever done’.

Explaining more, Susan said: “Making the switch was a joyous decision and one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. It was a risk but worth it.

“It (being a lawyer) was a huge amount to give up as I had been studying to become a lawyer for seven years and was a lawyer for seven years and that the time that amounted to a third of my life.

“But giving it up gave me freedom and for me was life affirming.

“It is much more than a job, it is something I have always wanted to do.

“It is pretty much ingrained as part of my life.

“They (Joyce Grenfell, Hattie Jacques and Victoria Wood – her comedy heroes) seemed very important to me. They were doing something I wanted to do. I did not know they were comedians, I just wanted to be like them, whatever that meant.

Somerset County Gazette:

“I think I just wanted to be a comedian but I am a very cautious person but I had to see what was possible. I had to live my dream as doing this was everything I was missing in my life.

“It was a difficult decision as I am a prudent woman who does not take risks but I felt I need to make a change and just did it and it has been the best thing I have ever done.”

“No there is not any humour in corporate law. It is all about documents.”

Susan’s numerous radio credits include The News Quiz, The Unbelievable Truth, Now Show, Dilemma, ISIHAC, So Wrong it’s Right and she has presented Woman’s Hour, all for Radio 4.

She also hosted Listomania for Radio 2.

A second series of her sitcom Sisters will be recorded in the autumn and her third solo radio series, Keep Calman and Carry On, was broadcast in spring 2016.

But being a stand-up comic is her first love.

She said: “It is a great feeling doing stand up as it is live, it is intimate and you get a form of pleasure from doing it when people enjoy the show. There is some form of addiction and as a comedian you do get a rush of endorphins. And that is part of the thrill.

“Most stand-up comics want people to know and say they are funny and want that affirmation. That is one of the reason most of us do this.

“I don’t know where my humor comes from as no one in my family was in the entertainment business. It was for me just one of those things.

“You can learn to be a better stand up. It takes hard work, but you can make yourself better.

“This is my second tour of the UK and I learnt from my first tour and I am doing things differently now as opposed to when I first started.

“There are things you can learn and I have spent the past 10 years learning my trade.

“If an audience is quiet at the start then let them build up slowly. If the audience is noisy then take control of the room straight away.

“All the best comedians are like psychologists, as they can analyse a situation and make decisions on the spot.

“In a way it is doing your job. You can do it in an instant so it becomes second nature. But it is a skill you can learn and make yourself better.”

If Susan was writing her own tag line or press blurb for her show she said it would be ‘It will be funny and we will all have a drink afterwards’.

All you have to go along, watch the show and then and have a drink with a talented comedian 

  • Susan Calman will be appearing at the McMillan Theatre in Bridgwater on April 1. Tickets for the show cost £16 and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 01278 556677