Streets in the City: We’re not laughing, we’re looting


City high-flyer by day, comedienne by night. Meet our columnist, Julia Streets

I’m amazed I’ve been invited to become a regular contributor. In business, first impressions count. And my interview with LondonlovesBusiness.com didn’t exactly create the best first impression.

Of course, I went suited and booted. Then, heading for a Limehouse café to meet Rebecca Hobson, I was caught in that delight of English summertime: an aggressive storm.

I arrived drenched. Towards the end Rebecca asked if she could take some photos. By this stage I’d dried out a little and consented.

Two weeks later came the request for some stock shots. (Is LondonlovesBusiness.com not impressed by the drowned rat look? Really?)

My life is a mash of marketing, markets and amusement. By day, my firm helps financial services and technology firms with their business development, marketing and communications.

In my spare time, I’m a stand-up comic and compere, offering observations of corporate life and stories from my 20-plus years of earning my pinstripes in London.

“Because on Thursday afternoons the audience who appreciate observations of corporate life are – well – busy elsewhere conducting their corporate lives”

This summer, I was invited by Funny Women, the network of female comedians, to present my show at one of their Edinburgh Fringe afternoon showcases. Quite an honour, I thought.

To truly understand the impact of sales, flyer a show at the Fringe. With 21,000 performers offering 2,500 shows you need to learn fast how to pull your audience in. Unless, of course, you like talking to empty chairs.

On the day of my show, the international markets headed into a downward spiral. My material rather followed suit.

Presenting observations of corporate life on a Thursday afternoon is not necessarily going to work all that well. Because on Thursday afternoons the audience who appreciate observations of corporate life are – well – busy elsewhere conducting their corporate lives.

Fortunately everybody in the audience laughed at something. Just not necessarily in the same place. Or at the same time.

It’s all good practice though. And I experienced a comedy first!

My first walk out.

Two goth transsexuals. (How many performers can claim that?!)

Back to London and to a City in total carnage. Homes and businesses destroyed in wanton greed. I couldn’t believe what I was reading and seeing.

What blew my mind was the destruction of home communities. “They don’t understand how we live and what it’s like,” a looter told a reporter. So smashing it up makes it better?

I did wonder what the outcome might have been had it rained?

So I prayed for LondonlovesBusiness.com interview-style weather. The gods, sadly, were not on my side. As the weather held, the photographs of burning buildings and mob violence went global. Not great marketing for a city I’m usually so proud of.

I wish LondonlovesBusiness.com every success and look forward to offering observations and musings of business and life in our incredible City.

Julia Streets is the founder and director of Streets Consulting, a business development, marketing and communications agency. As a sideline, Julia is a stand-up comedienne and compere. Julia has performed at The Edinburgh Fringe, Henley-on-Thames Fringe, Sevenoaks Summer Festival, City and corporate events, and has been featured extensively in the media.

Julia Streets will be performing her show ‘Streets in the City’, in aid of the charity ‘Children in Crisis’ at Le Pain Quotidien, 1 Bread Street, London, EC4M 9BE on 21 and 29 September 2011, 7pm (approx. 1hr)

Tickets £10