So, you are heading to Edinburgh for your first headline show at the festival. How are you feeling? Excited? Nervous?
I'm flitting wildly from feeling fully prepped and excited to wondering how angry my parents would be with me if I didn't go, wondering just how comfortable they'd be with me having spent 2 grand just to sit in cafes and look stressed in front of a laptop for no reason.
What can we expect from "Adventures In Limited Space"?
Who knows. It changes every time I perform it but a framework is slowly solidifying around a bunch of similarly-themed stuff. I do know, in a very broad sense, that it's about identity and how we define ourselves, the roles we play day-to-day, the voices we slip into when we've reached the limits of how to communicate earnestly. But it's in no way a serious dissection of myself. More like an absurdist autobiography. Like, there's a lot of stuff about my heritage and upbringing that's complete nonsense. I like the idea of playing with what defines 'truth' on stage. What is 'real' to me might not actually have taken place in a factual sense, but it's what I feel has happened. There's a lot of dancing and stupid faces too.
This is obviously peak Edinburgh preview time? How is it going?
I've got a few lined up over the next month but I never feel like I have enough. I'm still at a 'throw everything out there and see what happens' stage, so a lot of if is falling really flat. But it makes it all the more exciting when you hit on something that people enjoy.
I believe you are a great analyser of shows. Do you ever stop tweaking your material?
Not really. It's such an evolving thing. I doubt my show will feel 'complete' by the time I'm in Edinburgh but I find that very exciting, the prospect of it changing throughout the month and eventually becoming something I can't currently envisage.
What made you decide to take a show to Edinburgh this year?
You know at school when you'd get out of PE because you felt inadequate about your sporting ability, and while sat on the bench watching everybody else play you'd see they clearly had the same inadequacies about themselves but were doing it anyway, and having a great time bonding and connecting, and you realise you probably should have just done PE after-all and the teacher never believed you were on your period anyway? I was sick of feeling like that.
Increasingly people appear as part of the Free Fringe. What made you decide to take a paid show to Edinburgh this year?
I did apply for the Free Fringe strands, but I was fretting about the lack of response as it was getting closer and closer to various deadlines when someone recommended Just The Tonic, who have been great.
You won the Welsh Unsigned Stand Up award in 2012. How has that changed your life?
It transformed my life, momentarily. With the prize money of £1000 I was able to live like Donald Trump for about 30 minutes.
There is a lot of live comedy in Cardiff and you always seem to be gigging. Do you ever get bored?
Not really. Even if the gig doesn't go so well I still get to hang out with other acts afterwards.
To get on in comedy there is a feeling you have to move to London. Is this something you have considered?
I think about it frequently but I don't think I'd cope. I'm not at a professional level where I can go straight into paid work the moment I arrive. I'd have to start from scratch at open mic nights, and my experiences of them have been chillingly off-putting. Plus London is only a 2 hour train ride away. You don't have to live there to be involved in what's going on.
Who were your Comedy heroes growing up?
Hans Teeuwen is my hero. Check him out. He doesn't seem to want to perform in the UK anymore but he's amazing. Maria Bamford is great too.
Can you recall your first gig?
I was booked to do 5 minutes and ended up doing about 18. It was in the side room of a pub, where a Portuguese family had just finished eating and were now confronted with a very nervous young man struggling to finish sentences in front of an over-amplified microphone. They all left during my set, one by one, until there was one woman left, who moved from chair to chair in an attempt to get closer to the exit, choosing to move during the silences between my jokes like some sort of misery musical chairs.
Can you remember the feeling when you earned your first laugh on stage?
Yeah. Though it wasn't on stage. It was just after I'd got off stage when an audience member told the compere that she could have done better then me and everyone left in the room laughed heartily at the brutal truth of it.
Have you been to the Edinburgh festival before? If yes, what are your memories?
I went up about 7 years ago with my family to see my sister in a college play. We were there 5 days. We saw one show. My sister's. The rest of the time we were huddled in rainy doorways struggling to decide what to see and eventually just getting an early night. It was the most existentially torturous holiday I've ever been on.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
My fellow local acts who are taking shows up too.
How do you plan to survive that month of mayhem?
Meditate. Run. Think as little as possible. Avoid comedy entirely.
Jordan Brookes: Adventures in Limited Space is on most days at 13:35 at Just the Tonic at The Community Project (Venue 27)