Jonathan Pie: From poverty to ‘politics’
After I graduated from drama school in 2000, just like any normal acting career, it was feast or famine. For three years I barely had an audition, but I wasn’t going to give up on acting without a fight.
At the time, I didn’t have any control over my life, financially and career-wise, and the only things I could control were what I ate, how much I exercised, what I drank and how much I smoked.
Therefore, I made the decision to give up smoking. To make that possible, I had to give up alcohol for a month.
After a couple of weeks, I felt healthy. I was waking up going, ‘right, let’s do something today’, instead of wallowing in self pity. So I did something. By the time that month was over, Jonathan Pie had kicked off. That was back in 2015.
A PINNACLE MOMENT
It was a character I’d had in my head for some years. More than the politics, it was this idea of people having public and private personas. The difference between the ‘off air’ and the ‘on air’ persona of someone on television is something that we can all relate to in our own way.
I put my first clip on YouTube and after a week, it had two or three thousand views. So I thought, ‘right, I’ll do one a week’. After either the third or fourth clip, a friend of mine phoned me and said, ‘Your thing’s had a million views!’ In 24 hours, the views doubled to two million.
I now realise that was the moment my life changed forever, because the following Monday morning I received emails from the national press, I had requests to go on TV to do interviews and I was approached by a broadcaster to use the material.
MAKING A MARK
Up to that point, I was skipping a meal a day because I couldn’t afford it. Now, I can finally get a round in for my mates! I appreciate the money but, more importantly, I now do something that I’m really proud of. I knew that something had to change, and that it had to begin with me.
See more on Jonathan Pie‘s website…