Ed always wanted to be a star, but at the age of 22 his father encouraged him NOT to accept a place at The Guildhall School Of Music And Drama in London, and to instead devote his inconsiderable talents to screenwriting, a profession for which he had hitherto demonstrated neither the aptitude, nor the psychological resilience. Ten years later, despite a string of somehow-produced scripts and nominations for meaningful-adjacent awards, he washed up in LA. At which point, he stumbled across UCB and his life stayed more or less the same, with one crucial difference: from now on, he had a truly Sisyphean cause to tie his self-immolation to – long-form improv. And just like that, with the disregard for financial reward of an Alaskan winemaker, he dedicated himself entirely to its practice. It was only after several years, urged by both his therapists (neither of whom was aware of the other) that Ed made the obvious connection between his needing people to laugh at him, and the deep sense of loss he experienced as a ten year old boy who was dispatched to a British boarding school. At this point, although nothing fundamentally had changed, he at least now understood why he was so terrified before every show, no matter how inconsequential. Because every time he steps out under the glare of the spotlight, he sees behind the shadowy heads of his audience, the faces of the young boys who were his tormentors all those years ago, with their cold baths full of refectory-waste, lovingly-orchestrated pillow-fight ambushes, and ninja-cruel nicknames, like Mug Handle. If Ed could change one thing about the way he performs, it would be the way he arrives on stage. He knows that no one is convinced by his clapping.

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