Simon Amstell: Do Nothing

Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Michael Matheson
60 min

Ladies and gentlemen,

please will you welcome onto the stage

Simon Amstell!


Thank you.

How are you? Are you okay? You all right?

Well, this is fun, isn't it?

This is sort of a fun thing to be doing.

This is fun. It's fun, right?

I'm quite lonely. Let's start with that.

Nothing can be done about it,

people of Dublin. Nothing can be done.

I bought a new flat about two years ago.

In this flat, in the bathroom,

there are two sinks.

I thought that would bring me some joy.

It is a constant reminder.

And so what I've had to do...

This is what I'm doing now in my life.

I'm actually doing this.

I'm using both sinks.

I now, every day,

brush my teeth in the left sink,

and in the right one, mainly cry.

I think the problem comes from the inability

to be purely in the moment without fear.

I think we're all stuck in the past,

and looking to the future.

And it's in the moment where true joy exists.

It's in the moment where love can occur.

It's only in the moment where

you can be fully at one with the universe.

I was in Paris recently,

with a new group of people,

one of which was quite a sort of

kooky, interesting girl,

although, in hindsight, not that interesting.

I always get fooled.

I always think, "Oh, she seems fascinating."

Is she, Simon?

Or does she just have short hair?

Completely fascinated, and I'm thinking,

"Oh, I'll talk to her for the rest of my life."

Bored after 10 minutes.

"You should grow your hair

and stop misleading people."

So she suggests,

at about 3:
00 in the morning,

that we all run up the Champs-Elysee,

to the Arc de Triomphe.

And I guess telling you about that now,

it sounds a little bit exciting and fun,

but at the time, I just thought,

"Well, why would we do that?"

And then, "What's the point?"

And then, "When we get there,

then what will we do with our lives?"

And I'm sort of analysing

what the point of it is,

and, "We live that way,

and it seems a long way to go."

And everyone else is just not analysing,

they're just running,

and I'm running as well,

because of the peer pressure,

because I'm fun.

And we're all running and running,

and everyone else, I think,

is just at one with the moment,

at one with joy, at one with the universe,

and I'm there, as I'm running, thinking,

"Well, this'll probably make a good memory."

Which is living in the future,

discussing the past with someone

who, if they asked you,

"Oh, what did it feel like?",

"I don't know,

I was thinking about what I'd say to you."

I think it comes from childhood.

When you're a child, you're free.

You're purely in the moment.

You're not worried.

It doesn't even occur to you

what other people might think of you.

You don't analyse every moment.

You just live, moment to moment.

And then something happens

where you realise

you have to think before you act.

We get taught we have to think

before we act.

When I was 15...

And this happened when I was 15,

but I think it's too odd a story if I was 15,

so I think it's better if we say I was 11.

I was in my grandparents' house,

and I used to have quite a good relationship

with my grandma.

She used to really validate me and my life.

I used to do little drawings and doodles,

and she'd say, "Oh, that's nice."

I'd do another drawing, "Oh, that's nice."

Another drawing, "Oh, that's nice."

And at one point, I distrusted

the consistency of her reviews.

So I did a deliberately bad drawing

to see what she would say.

She said, "Oh, that's nice."

And I thought, "I can't deal

with this inauthentic sycophant."

So one day... And I know now that I did this

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Simon Amstell

Simon Marc Amstell (born 29 November 1979) is an English comedian, television presenter, screenwriter, director and actor, best known for his roles as former host of Popworld, former host of Never Mind the Buzzcocks, co-writer and star of the sitcom Grandma's House and for writing and directing the film 'Carnage'. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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