Comedy is something that really does surround our life, from being on television, hearing it on the radio to even trying to be a little funny yourself. I know I sometimes have the habit of trying to be funny and then laughing at my own jokes. Sad right? But back down to a little bit of serious, it really does form a platform for a lot of people to express their own opinions. Through means of being a strong willed person you can say what you believe through the form of jokes.
As autumn roles in there is nothing better than to have a little giggle sat in the comfort of your own warm home. One series that has just hit our tv screens with a huge success was ‘Bad Education’, written by and starring Jack Whitehall as well as a brilliant cast behind him. We follow his character, Alfie, an incredibly bad teacher and his class as they enter a new term at school. One of the school kids that he teaches is a character named Joe, or known as his real name Ethan Lawrence. Joe is typically the kid that gets bullied on. As the series evolves you see quite a unique bond between Alfie and Joe, resulting in Joe falling into humiliating situations.
So lets have a natter to Ethan and find out what he’s really like as an actor, student and real life person.
Nicola Manuel: Hello! Could you explain a little about who you are?
Ethan Lawrence: Well I’m Ethan. I’m twenty years old. I come from Essex and I’m studying Drama and Creative writing at Royal Holloway University of London that, counter intuitively, is in Surrey. I live with four other students in a little house.
NM: We know you from Bad Education, the new series that has acclaimed high success this year. How did you manage to secure the role of Joe?
EL: I’ve fielded this question before and my answer never fails to disappoint! The truth is that I fell into this quite by chance. I had parted ways with my agent before I went to Uni and stopped paying for the casting website I was on, so as to remove myself from it. But I had paid for the full year, so my profile still existed, held aloft on a cloud of ones and zeros. Tiger Aspect found me two weeks before they started filming and the rest, as they say, is history.
NM: I think this is a question for me really because I’m a huge fan of Jack Whitehall. What is he really like to work with?
EL: Whatever you think of the man, there is no doubt that he is a grafter. He was in every day with a super professional attitude. But being a comedian means he was still a laugh to be around. This was my first professional role and I was made to feel very comfortably by both the production team and Jack himself.
NM: Can we expect a second series of ‘Bad Education’?
EL: It was recommissioned after the second episode which is extraordinary really!
NM: Now that bad ‘Bad Education’s first series has come to an end, what does the next few months hold in store for you?
EL: Well since I entered the show with nothing, I still have most of that left. The most recent couple of weeks have seen me trying to find my feet professionally. And obviously I’m back at Uni now, so I’ve been balancing the agent search with lectures, writing and steadily drinking myself into a coma. I’m on the student radio station at Holloway (www.insanityradio.com plug plug) 5-7 pm every Tuesday so I’m keeping busy.
NM: When I bumped into you, you were on your way to do some stand up comedy. How did that go?
EL: Well I was heading to do a 5 minute open mic slot at Torriano’s TNT night. It was my first gig in a few weeks, so I was feeling pretty apprehensive. As it stands I needn’t have been. It probably stands as one of my best gigs of the year so far. And there have been many of them
NM: Have you been a stand up comedian for very long? And where do you get your inspiration for your jokes from?
EL: That night at Torriano’s was the unofficial anniversary of the first time I took to the stage. Since then I’ve racked up over 70 gigs in London, Essex and Surrey. As for the inspiration for jokes… well, contrary to how I may come across in Bad Education, I am a very cynical young man with disdain for most things. So most of my comedy stems from real life experiences seen through the filter of a world weary man child. Whenever I see something that deserves to be pilloried (Bruno Mars. Dubstep, ambiguous sinage) I take out my little notebook and scrawl bile for a bit.
NM: What is it about comedy that really appeals to you?
EL: When I was younger, I loved to laugh. I’ve been very fortunate over the course of my short tenure to meet a lot of very funny people. I started performing in my teens, doing musical theatre, and found a sense of euphoria in getting an audience to laugh. There is no other feeling like it. So the rest of my life has been a long quest for laughter. To find that high.
Quick round question time. I’m going to say words to you and you have the say the first word you think of…
Jack Whitehall: Graft.
Comedy: Best Medium.
So if you love a good laugh then please do watch ‘Bad Education‘ to see Ethan in action or follow him on twitter. I bet it’ll bring a cheeky little smile to your face. Watch out for him in the future, he’ll be sure to appear on our screens again soon.