An interview with:
By sticking to what he knows he can do best is working well for Dominic Holland.
Since he first hit the comedy circuit in 1991 Dominic, or Dom, (he said: “Both are correct and I answer to both.”), has never looked back on his chosen career. Currently touring the UK with his latest stand-up show he can turn the clock back to his school days to pinpoint the time when that decision was made. It was one of the things we discussed when I spoke with him between gigs.
He said: “It was the only thing I was aware of at school. I was not clever in academic subjects but I could make people laugh as much as everyone else. I thought if I can do this in real life and make a career of it I will. It is always best to do what you can do. I do have a B.A. and Masters in textile management from when I was at university, but it was only putting off the inevitable. If I was not on stage I would probably have ended up as a middle ranking sales person, not a CEO or a big player in a corporation, just an ordinary sales guy, and I would be much less happy than I am now.”
Like all comedians Dom is always on the search for new material to keep his act fresh and said inspirations come from what is happening at the time, both in the news and in his own life. The recent big robbery in London providing one source but for Dom, there is more to comedy than just taking an event and putting a comic slant on it. He explained that his comedy is a reflection of his own life and finding fun in everyday situations. He said it is also important to be able to laugh at yourself.
Dom said: “People are the same and can see themselves in the same position and can see the funny side of things. I won’t lie and say to you it is easy, it isn’t. You have to continue to reinvent yourself and keep trying new stuff. You have to keep at it and work hard, but for me, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
Having said that, there is more to Dom than just his stand-up routines. He is a script writer, actor and author – he has written three novels and one non-fiction book. However, the thing that gives him the greatest buzz is performing live. There have been so many highlights in his career. Among his favourite memories are his three appearances (to date) on Have I Got News For You. His first one-man show and going on stage at the Royal Variety Performance he ranks as being the times he was most nervous.
He added: “There have been so many I cannot pinpoint any one specific moment. I love being on stage and doing new stuff. It’s a real joy.
“I also love it when people email me, and I get regular emails, and have had people saying they are sitting on a beach in Rio and reading one of my books. When people are enjoying the stuff that I have written and take the time to get in touch with me online like that it means a lot.
“My latest book, Open Links, is available as a Kindle download and every penny from sales is going to the Anthony Nolan Trust helping to save lives of people with blood cancer.”
Apart from touring Dom is currently in the process of writing a new series for Radio 4, keeping up his blog pages and, with fingers crossed, hoping the project to develop a sitcom series for an American film company will get the go-ahead.
The person who has a natural talent for making people laugh paused for a moment when I asked him what makes him laugh.
“That’s a good question,” he replied.
Several seconds later his answer was: “Brian Regan, an American stand-up comedian and Bill Burr, another American stand-up. Oh, and the booking policy at the BBC, so many stringent measures.”
Working in the world of entertainment Dominic has rubbed shoulders with many celebrities but given the chance I asked him which four people, living or dead, he would like to invite if he was hosting a dinner party… and what a party that would be. His choices, in the order they were given, may surprise you.
He said: “Tiger Woods, though I am not sure how much conversation there would be, Floyd Mayweather, Warren Buffett (business magnate and third richest man in the world) and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (actress/model).”
That dinner party may never happen, but one thing is certain, Dominic is heading for Kettering Arts Centre where, on Saturday, July 11, he is headlining the Rolling in the Aisles Comedy Club Night.
Dominic’s book: Open Links can be downloaded at amazon.co.uk and costs £3.99. ALL proceeds are in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust.
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Tickets for this event are available from Waterstones, High Street, Kettering, by post from Becky at St Andrew’s Church (cheques made payable to “PCC of St Andrew’s Kettering”) to St Andrew’s Vicarage, Lindsay Street, Kettering NN16 8RG