Comedian Interview: Sanderson Jones

Franco Milazzo
By Franco Milazzo Last edited 91 months ago
Comedian Interview: Sanderson Jones

Sanderson Jones is a man on a mission. At 2010's Edinburgh Fringe, he was the only comic to sell tickets to his 25 shows himself, meeting his audience one ticket sale at a time. With an entrepreneurial zeal that Lord Alan Sugar would be proud of, he now wants to sell every ticket to his 500-seater Union Chapel gig in person.

Here's Sanderson explaining more about his latest adventure:

How do you prefer to get around London? Tube, bus, on foot or water shuttle?
I'm transport agnostic. It's all about the right tools for the right job. Tubing and bussing it mostly, but I am contemplating getting a bike (HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!!!!). A bike will also help my chronic fitness levels that have disintegrated so far that I recently got out of breath during a particularly vigorous mime.

Do you try to sell tickets while you're bussing and tubing?

I haven't yet started selling like that, but I will as of today. No let up. Never. Ever.

Would you exchange a ticket for anything other than legal tender? Would you consider a barter?
Sorry cash only my friend. However, should someone wish to give me something on top of that, it would be greatly received. Last week someone asked: "If I buy a ticket from you, would you let me do your PR for free?". I said "Yes". We are have a strategy tconf (he used the word 'tconf' in an email - he must be good) on Wednesday.

Has there been any clear geographical patterns to the ticket buyers for this show?
So far it's mostly been Soho based. I review movies for The Lady magazine and that's where the screenings are.

My plan for this week goes like this on: Tonight I'll be in Camden from 6pm, Thursday British Library during the day, Thursday evening in Soho. Friday I'm in Soho from 6 doing a preview.

Stalkers/prospective ticket buyers can track my location on Foursquare or this location page on I'll try to make some map with the photos of the ticket buyers on, and where they bought it. That would be nice. Also, if there are any readers in White City, drop me a line as I am planning a trip there next week. Email me, or tweet (@comedysale), or Facebook me, or Foursquare me.

If you could have your choice of any London venue to sell out in a similar fashion after the Union Chapel show, which would you choose?
Hmm...don't want to get ahead of myself- one game at a time etc. At the moment, selling out the Union Chapel seems a task comparable to Sisyphus pushing his rock up the waterfall Jeremy Irons climbs in The Mission. I have had request to do a Comedy Sale in Swansea.

How do the London ticketbuyer requests compare to the Edinburgh ones?
The Edinburgh selling chiefly gets 'interesting' when my inner salesman over-rules my outer comedian and I sell a bunch of tickets to people who are totally unsuited to the show. (If you don't like Venn diagrams, don't come). This Thursday I am meeting a guy called Phil Jones next to Station Jim in Slough. Station Jim is a stuffed dog that used to live in Slough Station. I suppose, he still does live there, but he used to live there and breathe.

What's the furthest distance you have gone to sell as ticket for this show?
So far it is Slough. Someone has offered to get me a ticket on the Eurostar to deliver to Paris. That would be awesome.

What lessons would you pass on to anyone looking to do anything similar?
Make sure you have written your Edinburgh show (due in 6 weeks) before embarking on some borderline lunatic, quixotic mission that involves mass audience interaction, non-stop TFLing and heaps of admin (which you suck at). Writing and doing at the same time is epically foolish. It's like Churchill trying to pen The Second World War, his history of the fracas, during the Battle of Britain (BTW in no way is that comparison hyperbolic. It is EXACTLY like that).

Who should we be looking out for on the comedy scene?
There so many funny funny people out there, I don't feel I can fairly recommend just a few of them, without doing a disservice to the rest. But here goes: Ian Smith, Toby Williams, Caroline Mabey, Ray Presto, and Dave Gibson (in that order).

We wish all the best to Sanderson Jones. More details can be found at his website.

Last Updated 13 June 2011