Chichester set Suzi Ruffell on stand-up road as she heads to Brighton
Stand-up and former Chichester College student Suzi Ruffell calls those moments her “3am press conferences” – those moments when all the worries come crashing in.
She’s a natural born worrier – and that’s the starting point for her latest show Nocturnal which she is currently touring, including a date at Brighton Komedia on Monday, March 18.
“I have always been a worrier, ever since I was growing up. It was a bit of anxiety. I was always worrying as a child.
“I don’t know if I saw something or was scared of something, but my mum is a worrier as well and maybe that’s the connection.
“And then I started talking about worrying on stage, the 3am press conference, I call it, when you wake up in the middle of the night and you are worrying about all the things going on. I was talking about it on stage, and I realised that it could be the basis of a show.
“So many people were nodding and agreeing, and I was thinking ‘OK, I might have stumbled on to something here.’ I could sense people nodding and saying to the person next to them ‘Yes, you do that!’ It’s a great feeling when you get that kind of response, and I think everyone seems to be worrying more in the current climate.
“There always seems to be something else to get concerned about.
“I don’t think it is necessarily that the world is worse, but it is just that everything and everyone is so much more connected now through Twitter and Facebook and the internet. With politics, it is all constantly being updated without much consideration for other people. Before, people would have read the papers at the end of the day to find out what is happening, but now the up-dating is all the time, and it is the same in social circles, people updating Facebook all the time so that people know what they should be striving for and how they should be. It is all adding to the worry. I have got a couple of cousins who are school age, and I would hate to be that age now. The world is so aloud with social media.”
To combat the worrying, Suzi has taken to exercising. She is also trying meditation: “I am finding it really hard, but I am wanting to use it to centre myself for the day.”
But she’s certainly not trying to hound the worrying out of herself.
“The kind of conclusion that I come to in the show is that we all have to be worriers for the world to become a better place, for us all to be caring about each other and have empathy for each other. Worrying can definitely be useful.”
Originally from Portsmouth, Suzi found herself when she started studying at Chichester College: “I was there about 15 years ago, and they had a great drama department. I did a BTEC in drama before I went off to drama school, and it was a place where I really felt I thrived. School didn’t suit me. I was very dyslexic. I didn’t get in the gangs, and I decided I needed to go to somewhere out of Portsmouth for college.
“People said to me that Chichester was great and that they had their own theatre there. I went there and looked around and as soon as I did, I wanted to go there and I loved it.
“It was a place I enjoyed going to every day. I really like the place. It is such a sweet city. Being dyslexic didn’t matter and I found lots of people who liked similar things to what I liked.
“I just felt it was an environment where I really thrived. It helped get me into drama school which helped get me into stand-up.”