Having indulged in the comedy of Ali Woods at the Top-Secret Comedy Club in London, I had to see what else this young comedian had in store. Getting rid of my lockdown blues with his sketches on Instagram, I reached out to this born and raised Londoner for chat about his comedy journey.
Educated in North London, Ali Woods always gravitated towards creativity and went on to study English Literature at the University of York. Being influenced by Live at the Apollo and TV comedians, growing up, he started his pursuit into comedy by joining the University Comedy Society. Dipping his toes in with the improv world, Ali started his style of comedy here and enjoyed the chaotic nature of improvisation.
“I always liked being the centre of attention… I always liked at school people thinking I was funny”
With his comedy society, Ali was given the opportunity to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe and performed Improvisation there. This came paired with stand up that he used to do on campus.
Going through a self-recognised slump at University, Ali always wanted to push himself to constantly improve. Not wanting to cruise through his university experience, he recognised that he had the potential to do more and push himself. Having a “positive impact” as a result of his potential was something that he wanted to do with his life. By using diaries to navigate that “knot in his stomach” and cruising feeling, allowed him to recognise what he needed to do. It was at this point in our conversation, I realised that I too was all too familiar with the feeling of being on auto pilot.
“I hate cruising…because then you’ll wake up when you’re 80 and you’ve done nothing!”
Talking about his outlets, Ali also uses the gym as a way to keep himself in check, not only physically, but mentally too. In the gym, the amount of work you put in is relative and this is the same in comedy. The harder you work on your act is proportionate to your audience reactions and Ali attests to this.
“You can’t just be given a healthier body and it’s the same in comedy, its’ all you”
Following graduation, just like so many creatives, Ali had to deal with balancing his art with actually making money. Having revealed to me that he was once rejected for being “too creative” for an advertisement role, he realised his heart wasn’t fully invested in the jobs he was applying for. His love for performance is what he was passionate about. This was when Ali decided to take active steps in his journey to pursue his comedy career.
Making the decision to move back to North London after graduating, Ali’s plan was to get part-time work whilst working on his material. After reluctance from his parents, he had to enter the graduate level working world – he hated it. This became the catalyst for him to make a strategic plan for himself and get back into performing gigs. By breaking down his goals Ali is now well on his way to becoming a professional comedian. With comedy as his priority focus, Ali also works at a PR firm part-time.
Because of his hard work, Ali has gone on to win comedy awards, and performing at some of the biggest comedy clubs in London and around the UK. He indulged me in some of his manifestations and sayings that keep him motivated. I for one am very sure that even more success is on the line for Ali and I can’t wait to interview him again when he’s on our big screens!
“Everyone has their own version of success”