Only a few weeks ago, Andrea Mann was an aspiring writer looking for a break. Now, she’s making waves at BBC radio comedy – spinning heads with her rapid rise. Read our inspiring in-depth Q&A with Andrea to see how she succeeded and how our very own Screenwriters’ Festival played a big part.
Tell us about your background before becoming a comedy writer.
I worked as a cinema manager, then a stand-up comedy promoter and then an interactive TV manager before redundancy gave me the kick up the butt to pursue a career as a ‘creative’ myself and not just facilitate the fruits of other creative people’s labour. So I took the leap into being a professional singer (I’d been doing jazz open mic slots for a while) and while I became a freelance writer on the web to pay the rent, I actually came to realise that I love writing as much as I love making music.
When the recession kicked in, I had to take an office-based freelance job editing the homepage of a big internet provider – choosing which news stories to cover on there, writing headlines and such. For a long time, this felt like a Boring But Necessary Day Job – but actually, it’s served as the perfect environment for writing topical comedy, as I’ve never been so well-informed about current affairs! I still gig, but less so – as I want to concentrate my efforts on a writing, rather than music, career now, and realised I couldn’t have the success I wanted with my feet still firmly planted in both camps. (more…)