RNC student Calum performs comedy in front of live audience

Calum stands on stage with a white cane in one hand a microphone in the other as he performs live comedy on stage

Calum, a 19 year old student at The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC), faced his fears this week as he stood up in front of a live audience to perform an open mic comedy set at Hereford’s Courtyard theatre.


Originally from Dorset, Calum has been an RNC student since September 2014 and whilst a lot of his jokes are not what you would call ‘politically correct’, he explains “I first started to make jokes about my eye condition to make people feel more comfortable as I know that people get nervous and don’t always know what to say in front of someone who is visually impaired. When I realised that I was making people laugh, I started taking notes on my phone to use as future material.”


Calum is a big fan of stand-up comedy “From the age of 15 I remember really getting into comedy, watching a lot of it on television and going to live performances; Lee Evans is definitely my favourite.” It was at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013, watching the comedians on stage, when Calum realised that he wanted to do that “I imagined myself being up there. But for some reason or another I never managed to get on stage, I always made excuses. I guess I never really had the confidence to go through with it.”


Carol Edwards, Calum’s Key Worker at RNC discussed Calum’s goals with him at the start of the year and set an objective for him to perform in front of an audience. “Part of my role as a Key Worker is to get to know the students; they’re all different and have different aspirations. It’s about setting them realistic targets, giving them something to aim for and supporting them to achieve those targets. Calum’s a really funny guy and just needed that belief before he could get up on stage.”
After his performance Calum said “Carol has been so supportive but never put pressure on me to perform until I was ready. It was such an amazing feeling that a bus load of my friends from RNC came down to watch me perform, this made me feel much more at ease. I had really good reactions from people and they were so complimentary afterwards. I got such an adrenaline rush from performing and I can’t wait to do it again!”


Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC


You can watch Calum’s performance by clicking on the video below;


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