Gary Faulds, 31, reflects on life before it all got so hectic as he gears up to continue his rapidly popular tour around Scotland.
The dad of five has been bringing stomach–aching laughter to the people of Glasgow and Scotland for years, but it’s only lately he has been able to turn his hobby into a major career.
Selling out his two previous shows at the SEC armadillo, where he is due to return again in November, this guy really is hitting the funny bone with his Glasgow inspired patter.
He has had to adapt quickly to his rise in popularity, with more shows and many of his Facebook live videos going viral.
“I started doing live shows and it just went ‘bang’” he says. “Even though I was getting all these comedy clubs booking me, I would drive to Manchester for four hours and get 30 quid to do a gig for ten minutes.
“It was so costly, and it started to strain my relationship. I told her [my wife] I was going to give the Facebook live thing a bash.
“I done a daft Facebook live, talked about being a taxi driver and then shoved my phone in the glove box. I woke up the next day to a text off my mate saying ‘mate that’s f***** incredible, have you seen your social media?
“I had 20,000 likes on my page and my life just flipped. My first reaction was that I threw up, it was so overwhelming.”
Talking about his fans he said: “It is difficult to adapt to, but I hold so much respect for my following. It can be a strain when you are used to having moments of privacy to having nearly none. I would never refuse someone wanting a picture, I have so much love for everyone it’s like a family.
“I am a people’s comedian: the people put me where I am today, and I can’t shy away from that.”
He hilariously signed CD covers, not realizing until he had signed over 500 copies that he had been signing the cling film wrap, which as you can imagine left many unhappy fans.
“You won’t be finding those signed copies on eBay, the wrappers are in the bin.” he joked.
Gary explains just how crazy the last six months have really been, and how it amazes him just how quickly life can turn around. Gary grew up in Springburn, his upbringing as a ‘scheme boy’ he says will always be a part of him:
“I don’t want to end up one of these famous people with a big private car and a publicist. I want to be the humble guy who still lives in the community, takes the bus and grabs a chips and cheese from the local – I don’t see myself leaving Springburn.
“As a young boy growing up in the schemes of Glasgow, we always looked up to drug dealers because that was the best of the best. A fancy car, nice house and a great looking girlfriend. That was the dream for us, it was all we knew.
“That is why I am so proud to come from a scheme, I hope younger people can look up to me and think ‘well he did it, so can I.’ Drug dealers don’t need to be the goal and inspiration in these places anymore, I am an example that it can be done.”
The rough and ready upbringing Gary experienced has made him appreciate the opportunities and luxury of doing what he loves even more so. He explained how his career has changed his personal life: “I don’t know how to describe it other than proper love. From being in a council house and struggling to feed ourselves some weeks, balancing the taxi job and having five kids to now having all of this in the space of six months is phenomenal.
“I can do what I love and provide for my family. Money means nothing – I would still gig for free, but being able to buy my family things and show how much they mean, means a lot to me.”
Gary has been heavily involved in his community over the years. He set up a men’s group for mental health, after suffering badly with anxiety and secluding himself from the outside world for months. Comedy got him to his feet, and the group he says has kept him where he is today: “I can open up to these guys and tell them when the attention is making me think negative thoughts.
“Last week we all went out hill walking together, not only helping me but watching other people get their lives back in order and connecting with their families and relationships again.”
Having asked Gary about his performances going from such small crowds to places like Glasgow’s armadillo he said: “I thought I’d never sell the armadillo out. It was always my goal to play there but you know what it’s like: you make goals in life, like a 19-bedroom house and a pink pony and it never happens, but it did.
“We checked on the first day and 2000 tickets had already gone, I nearly s*** myself.”
Speaking about how much he enjoys connecting with his audience, Gary explains how he doesn’t think he would like to perform in SEC Hydro for that reason:
“I like the idea that the Armadillo is still a theatre, and you can to some extent still have that connection. You wouldn’t get that with the Hydro – people just see you on a screen and everyone looks like ants, you’d need a pair of binoculars.
“I have always wanted to play at the Pavilion theatre though, although its twice the size of the Armadillo there is something so magical about it. I used to love going there to watch pantos when I was younger.
“Glasgow is a place with one of my biggest gigs, I am a scheme boy from Glasgow and that is the way it is always going to be. I tell my audience to come to the Armadillo, it’s my city.”
Gary’s show at the Armadillo is on 2 November, head to his website to grab a ticket.