Aaron Simmonds

February 28, 2023

Aaron Simmonds

What do you do?
I am a stand up comedian, that doesn’t stand up. (I do now stand up and have a new show about it but it’s still a good joke.) I have been doing it for 9 years and it’s been my full time job since July 2019 when I quit my day job, which is obviously the perfect time to quit a job with a steady income…

What has been your greatest achievement?
I feel it’s difficult to say. The things I have had success in have all been so varied so it’s difficult to compare successes. Sporting achievement wise it would have to be winning the World Drug-Free Powerlifting World Championship in 2013. But I think I’m prouder of what I have achieved in comedy so far, even though I have done things subsequently that are arguably more impressive or a rarer feat of achievement, I think the thing that makes me feel most proud is becoming a BBC New Comedian of the Year Finalist in 2017. As I say there are things that I have done since then, but I don’t think they would have happened if I didn’t achieve this.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I found the pandemic really stifling creatively, I didn’t want to write jokes about it, mainly because there were times when it didn’t look like stand up was going to be a thing anymore, but also it felt like writing about it made it feel like I was reliving it and once was bad enough! In terms of overcoming that I worked on different projects instead, I wrote a sitcom with my best friend from school and like every other comedian did a podcast over lockdown. Eventually when things started opening up again and I started doing more things than just sitting in my flat, I felt like I had more things to write about.

Who was your role-model growing up?
I’m not really sure I had one as a child, I certainly can’t remember one off the top of my head, I’ll ask my mum when I next see her. As a teenager when I started playing wheelchair basketball my main idol was Kobe Bryant but I think Ade Adepitan was a bigger role model and I very fortunately got to play with Ade for multiple seasons. He’s a good egg.

What do you think would help more adults with CP achieve their ambitions?
It’s a difficult one, I know from personal experience the thing that has held me back the most is me getting in my own way and insecurities not allowing me to go after the thing I want (Luckily this hasn’t happened in comedy! Yet!!). There are obviously logistical barriers, such as accessibility needs, but I think the bigger issue is perceived barriers, the assumption that someone can’t do something and therefore getting overlooked is a bigger issue than what someone can or can’t do. Unfortunately I have no potential solutions to that.