ADAM Robertson spoke with Scottish comedian Connor Burns on the 10 things that changed his life. 

1. Being best man at my brother’s wedding

IT was the first time I wrote something with the intention of getting laughs. That gave me the bug and made me think I could be a stand-up. I waited a few months after that, did an open mic and the good people of Glasgow let me know there was still plenty of work to be done.

I was 22 when I did the speech and then I think I waited about six months before doing my first actual gig after that. It’s one of those things, I’d never said to anyone out loud I wanted to be a stand-up because you don’t want them to go ‘aye, very good’.

It was very much a thing to myself, I had it in my head but didn’t know how to start, I thought an open mic night was just for music. But I wrote that speech, they laughed when I wanted them to, I guess that’s kind of what stand-up is.

2. Meeting my girlfriend

SHE'S American and from a very different class background to me which I’m learning is a never-ending pit of material. Me being very working class and her coming from private education and stuff, it’s been a really funny clashing of worlds.

It was such a weird situation, her mum is a stand-up as well in Montreal so it’s a very complex situation but we make it work. She’s now a qualified solicitor but she was the sound tech at Monkey Barrel Comedy in Edinburgh and that’s how we met and got chatting.

She’s gone on to do very impressive things and I’m still jumping about the stage like a dafty. It’s one of those things where I realised the relationship before that was not very fun or supportive and you go actually I don’t think you’re supposed to hate each other all the time.

3. Memorable gigs

THE first comedian I went to see was Kevin Bridges at the Hydro as is so many Scottish people’s first experience with comedy. But I think probably more so in terms of being life-changing is seeing Daniel Sloss at the Fringe six or seven years ago.

It was the first thing I’d been to see at the Fringe. Going to see Bridges (below) was incredible but it felt unachievable, I was in a 14,000 seat arena and you go ‘f***, how the hell do you get to here’. But then I caught Daniel Sloss quite early so I think it was like 300 people and it was quite intimate.

The National:

It felt more achievable, I could see the route and now he’s gone on to become absolutely massive as well. It was cool to see how you approach different venues.

4. Watching An Audience with Billy Connolly

BIT of a cliché for Scottish comedians but the first time as a family we watched An Audience with Billy Connolly was huge. I’m the youngest of four siblings by 10 years so I never really grew up with my brothers and sisters but this was the first time where we all sat and watched something.

My parents were pissing themselves laughing, my older brothers and sisters were, I was and I’d never seen someone bridge that age gap between everybody.

There’s something about Connolly (below) where even though it’s kind of dirty you don’t mind letting kids sit and watch it because it just totally transfers over to everybody. I’d never seen anything like that. He never had a handheld mic or that, he just came out and started acting out stories.

The National:

5. First gig outside the UK

I DID a string of gigs in the Netherlands. I treated it as a bit of a jolly because I didn’t think comedy would take me outside the UK. I’d convinced myself it wouldn’t translate but that was the first time I realised there was some references to be nudged around, but funny is just funny.

It gave me the bug for making sure the material I write could be told just about anywhere. I didn’t want to become a postcode comedian. It’s massive to have that experience. I became very aware very fast that I wanted to get south of the Border and go across the whole of the UK.

READ MORE: Scottish comic Connor Burns on viral videos and the Edinburgh Fringe

Glasgow is full of unbelievably good comedians but a lot of the stuff is about Glasgow and there’s nothing wrong with that, that’s their thing but it never appealed to me. I wanted to go to London, to Australia. I wanted my stuff to be funny anywhere.

6. Australian comedy festival

IT was one of those strange moments where I got to play a huge, televised gala at the Sydney Opera House. It was one of those things where I just pinched myself. We’re very working class and good at telling ourselves to stay in our lane, but it was one of the first times I thought maybe I can actually do myself.

Australia, in terms of just everyday material, it’s such a breeze because there’s so little you have to change. Even if you have jokes about big, political stuff in the UK, Australia is quite attached to UK politics more than we’d have a grasp of their politicians.

I’m not a topical comedian, I had one joke about Theresa May which I didn’t think would work but everyone knew who she was.

7. Last full-time job before comedy

I WAS fixing washing machines for a living. Usually, you’re part of a team but it’s just you in the van going to your jobs and stuff. I was pretty miserable and one day I had to go out with a guy who had been there for like 20 years.

READ MORE: Two Doors Down actor Kieran Hodgson on 10 things that changed his life

He was the most miserable, downtrodden man and it was a kick up the backside. Everything he was saying about getting comfortable, I handed in my notice about two months later. My boss was happy to see the back of me I think, I was not a fantastic employee.

8. My dad’s health scare

HE had a bit of a health scare a couple years ago which is the big closing 10-minute story of my current show. I can’t give too many details away but I was out of the country and had to fly back in the middle of the night.

My dad is 71 and it was the first time I realised he wasn’t invincible and it gave all of us a bit of a reset and he has always told me to just go and do what I want to do because you’re not here very long.

I wasn’t in a slump but I was in a bit of a career where I wanted stuff to change and that gave me a kick up the backside.

9. Playing New York

I PLAYED a big theatre in New York opening for Daniel Sloss (below) and that was a real wild moment. There was some genuine celebrities in the audience and stuff. Every now and then you get in a slump and something like that makes you keep going.

The National:

I’D been doing my American debut at the New York Comedy Festival to audiences of about 40 or 50 which was great. But the very last gig I did in New York was about 2000 people at this amazing theatre.

10. Picking up guitar

I WISH I had more time to play just now but that led to the first time I got on stage. I got the bug immediately. Again, like washing machines, I figured out music wasn’t going to be my route to success but it gave me that feeling of wanting to chase the rush of being on stage.

I love being musical, I listen to pretty much anything and I think I would have been a bit more narrow-minded with my taste if I hadn’t picked up an instrument.