Jeff Short chats with comedian and preacher Andy Kind on the challenges he is facing being a self employed entertainer.
Andy: I get booked in three months, six months in advance. So, I'm
working on the basis that for the next twelve months I will not be on
stage. That, obviously, is a challenge. So there are two things you
can do: you can practically work on stuff, I can do some writing and
I'm trying to write my next book, I've released three books; I'm
trying to work on some online video content, funny stuff, recording
stuff to put on line, stand up stories and new material, things like
that. Aside from that, in terms of dealing with it emotionally, being
a Christian means there's always this hope, which is an anchor for
your soul. You know that regardless of what's happening, it's not the
end of the story and in the midst of it we are loved and we're not
forsaken. We are not on our own.
Jeff: I think that's going to be an important thing for a lot of people who will be self-isolating or being forced to withdraw to say you're not on your own. That's quite a statement. How does that become a reality for people, Andy?
Andy: It can just be words for people, can't it? I certainly think it's important to have as much community as you can as well. What we don't want to do is to use a placebo effect whereby we say things that sound spiritual but don't really have any foundation or grounding. For me, spending time in prayer, talking to God because he's always someone I can talk to and hear from as well; reading the bible, hearing what he's got to say about who he is, about who I am in the light of who he is and just trusting that he's with us, he hasn't left us. He doesn't have favourites therefore he doesn't have people that he dishes out punishment on willy-nilly; that's not who God is. He is our Father; He is the person we can always turn to. We do have to spend time with Him, spend time talking to Him and letting Him talk to us. He's not there just for us to shout orders at. He's there to listen to everything that we've got to say. But He wants to speak to us; He wants to bring that calmness and that peace that passes understanding. He wants to bring that security. The way I've always seen it, God is the ultimate relationship that you can have. Whatever your most loving relationship is, that is a model for how God wants you to relate to him. It's just putting it into practice so it's not just words.
Jeff: A little while ago we played an old Johnny Cash song called Personal Jesus and it's always going to be better if you're praying to someone you know, isn't it? It's a no-brainer.
Andy: Yeh, that's right.
Jeff: But as you say, there are things you can do. Do you belong to one of these virtual churches where you can stream worship or have zoom meetings or whatever?
Andy: Yes, I'm in church leadership now as well. My church is Redeemer King Church in Chesterfield. We stream our preaching and teaching every Sunday; I'm going to be speaking on Nehemiah this week on YouTube premier. I'm recording this afternoon and it will go out live. People can check out Redeemer King on YouTube if they want to and engage that way. We're certainly having to react to this 'brave new world'; this new situation because it is the new normal, isn't it?
Jeff: I might tune in to this to listen to this rebuilding of the wall with Nehemiah. The builders each had different parts of the wall, which was perhaps the first social distancing in the building trade.
Andy: Yes, that's right. They were social distancing.
Jeff: Are you going to put some personal videos out?
Andy: Yes, that's right on my Facebook page and on my YouTube channel as well. My YouTube channel is just Andy Kind and my Facebook and twitter are @andykindcomedy and I'd love people to join me on there because there's going to be a lot of fun stuff coming out on there.
Jeff: We could certainly do with a smile at this time. There is serious stuff there, we're not trivialising it but when things are grim we find something to smile about
Andy: Yes, that's right.
Jeff: What inspires you to comedy? Where do you find your material?
Andy: Just from the stuff that happens to me, I suppose, just from the chaos that I tend to get myself mingled in with. I don't have a particular process for writing stuff I just tend to wait for silly things to happen and try and put those into a framework that I can deliver on stage. Sometimes a joke will come to me off the cuff; sometimes I'll have to work on it. There's no rhyme or reason. You just have to keep saying funny things and however you get those funny things, however you create those funny things is fair game.
Jeff: I've just had a message come through from a mutual friend down in Gloucester, who shall remain nameless, who says he mingles with me a lot.
Andy: Yes, a lot of my material comes from that.
Jeff: I can understand that. But obviously we hold you in our thoughts and our prayers because it's going to take a while. I guess a fair bit of work may come through churches and fellowships and they will need to re-establish themselves and start looking at things like outreach evangelism or even just coming together socially in the settings that you would perform in.
Andy: Yes, that's right. Certainly in this time I would really ask and encourage people to check out what I'm doing on line on any of the different platforms and get engaged because I'm going to be doing some preaching and some comedy stuff and hopefully at least some of the stuff I'm doing will be helpful for every body. So I'd love to engage with people on line.
Jeff: Brilliant. I'm told the worse thing to do at this point is to say have you got a joke for us. Have you got a joke for us?
Andy: Let me see: have I got a joke? No, I can't think of one at the moment because my mind has been on other things.
Jeff: Have you got a prayer for us?
Andy: Yes, I've got a prayer. My prayer would be that through all of this we would not lose hope and that we would not allow despair to be our master. Feelings are really good servants but terrible masters. What you know has to be ahead of what you feel. That would be my prayer.
Jeff: That's brilliant. That's a very good word for us.
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