Tim P Driver thought he would be famous by now. So we sat down with him to find out how that was going.
This bloke is not your average comedian. He’s here, he’s queer and he reads essays on stage for your enjoyment. He also improvises musicals, and is the fourth of five siblings with four nieces and nephews, three more on the way and a long term partner.
I sat down with him this week to talk about the word queer, his solo work, the changing comedy scene and his epic childhood fail.
After working with other performers to create shows for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, three years ago Tim decided he would start writing and performing his own solo work. ‘I started to think about what it was that I wanted out of what I was doing in the comedy festival and what I was going to get out of it, and doing my own solo shows just kind of aligned a little better with the direction I was heading in professionally.’ So obviously, he is massively driven. Plus, having his own solo work means that he can ‘identify a little bit by having a little trademark in the writing.’
‘I started to think about what it was that I wanted out of what I was doing in the comedy festival and what I was going to get out of it, and doing my own solo shows just kind of aligned a little better with the direction I was heading in professionally.’ So obviously, he is massively driven. Plus, having his own solo work means that he can ‘identify a little bit by having a little trademark in the writing.’
Obviously, he is massively driven. Plus, having his own solo work means that he can ‘identify a little bit by having a little trademark in the writing.’
We then talked about his self-identification as a ‘queer essayist’ which I learnt is something he uses to help attract the right audience to his show.
‘I use it as an umbrella term, in that it is just easier to say that than it is to say LGBTQIAP+, which I do try to use in the appropriate contexts. I think that what has happened with that word in particular, it has become more all-embracing and all-encompassing,’ he said.
Tim also talked about approaching the term with caution, in case it limited his audience.
‘I really actively avoided that for a long time, in my writing, directing and what I was trying to produce, I didn’t want to be the ’gay writer’- I wanted to be able to write for everybody.’
‘When I started doing the comedy festival, it was more about finding a way that I can find my audience and making it clear the kind of audience that might be interested in my particular show,’ he said.
‘I think there is room for gay people to identify themselves however they want.’
As it turns out, the comedy scene is changing, and for the better to. Tim explained to me that the ‘bro-ey’ culture of comedy was slowly being broken down, and that is was about time.
While still acknowledging that ‘It’s really really male and its really really straight. It’s really hard for women to enter it, it’s really hard for gay men to enter it’, he told me that he is super excited about the way comedy is heading.
‘I think that there is room in comedy for it to be so much more inclusive, and we’re moving in the right direction.’
As for inspiration for the shows, he is usually lucky enough to stumble across some motivation during the comedy show the year before. ‘I usually come up with my title during the comedy show previous, it just sort of happens. I am just sort of like ‘oh, I know what I’m going to do. I think I got to the end of the show [last year] and I was pretty much like ‘I really thought that this would go better, I really thought that this would be happening for me by now.’
He also revealed EXCLUSIVELY to Catalyst he is pretty sure he has next year’s show title already.
‘I think I want to call it… and this is exclusive… I think I want to call my next show ‘Everything you ever wanted to know about anything and nothing.’ I love random facts, it’ll be like an inverse quiz show, maybe. I just started playing trivia crack.’
You can see Tim’s show ‘I thought I’d be famous by now’ at the MICF from 5th- 16th of April. If you can’t make it, you can find him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.