Radu Isac: Most impoverished comic in Britain?

Radu Isac

In 2015 when I moved to London from Romania, I knew I had to get a day job until I could earn a living from comedy again. I managed to get two jobs for a total of about 5 months. Had a bit more money but also more expenses to accommodate the having-a-job lifestyle. Ended up pretty much in the same place at the end of the month.

I decided to pick between having time and no money or some money and no time. I choose to be poor.

You ask me how poor? I've been taking the bus instead of the Tube poor, and walking instead of taking the bus poor. Having the time to walk instead of taking the Tube made me very happy though.

I've been relearning-about-life poor. Jumping train barriers poor. Had months at a time when I never used a fork poor. My food just wasn't sophisticated enough to require cutlery. I've been buying a round of drinks and getting really angry at my date the second the money left my hands poor. Being bought stuff that I really wanted and getting weirdly suspicious at the person that bought it for me poor. Seeing a mouse in my room made me way less paranoid than seeing a well-meaning person there.

In the past year 99.9% of all my human interaction where with people that disposed of more money than I earned. I found all of them annoying and most of their problems futile. When I met someone that was poorer they scared and impressed the hell out of me. Finding out I could make do with even less was scary. For that reason I ended up spending more time with annoying people.

I've mostly been living on paid middles and expenses showcases. I did any sort of one off comedy competitions and last minute spots, I've basically been living of flukes for a couple of months. Now I'm still poor but I have a busy agenda of better paid shows for the autumn.

I've been told I have a very bright future ahead of me. I'm waiting for it to start, but living life on the edge of poverty does have its great moments.

One Romanian Answering Questions is on every day until 27th August at 3:45pm, at The Cellar Monkey.

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