Jake Mills is one of Liverpool’s brightest up-and-coming comedy stars. A regular on the stand up circuit as he balances student life with an increasingly busy live schedule, he has managed to impress some of the biggest names on the regional scene.
Mills, 22, studies media at Liverpool Hope University as well as juggling a part-time job and gigging up and down the country, and after graduation plans to work full time on his comedy career. It all began a couple of years ago when he took part in the Comedy Trust’s Funny Business workshops, a series of lessons in stand up working up to a live appearance in front of friends and family. From there, there was no looking back.
“Up until then, I’d never considered it,” he says. “I always knew I wanted to do something with comedy, but not necessarily as a stand up. But once I got that first laugh, I was addicted. That’s what did it for me. It’s one of the best things in the world to hear people laugh.”
It wasn’t long before he was being offered paid spots and taking regular slots at Rawhide and Laughterhouse, as well as corporate gigs and work around the country. He describes his style as observational and influenced by his love of people-watching, and says being cruel and crude just wouldn’t suit him.
“People I’d looked up to, like Neil Fitzmaurice, Sam Avery and Chris Cairns, who taught me at Funny Business, are now friends and colleagues. And to hear them say nice things about me, well, I like that! I don’t feel like a new act around them, and it’s testament to them as people. From the beginning, people had confidence in me and that’s what I’ve always been grateful for. It gives you confidence in yourself.”
Once again for the Liverpool Comedy Festival, Mills will be appearing with former Hollyoaks and Casualty star James Redmond. The pair have been honing their acts over the same length of time and have become good friends on the stand up circuit, first pairing up for the festival last year. They hope to make it up to the Edinburgh Festival in future, but for now, will each perform sets of all new material at Baa Bar on Myrtle Street on April 30.