Deli worker Jamie serves up tragicomic love songs in musical comedy awards final
- Credit: Archant
By day Jamie Finn serves up Giacobazzi’s delicious fare but by night her performs on the comedy circuit
By day, Jamie Finn serves up Giacobazzi’s to-die-for lasagne to the deli’s hungry Hampstead regulars.
But by night he is a lovelorn troubadour, poking fun at his relationship mishaps on the comedy circuit.
The actor and comedian has strummed his way into the final of this year’s Musical Comedy Awards, which have helped to launch the careers of Frisky & Mannish and Jay Foreman.
“It started as a way to feel powerful when I was waiting for the phone to ring or going to auditions where you are sat in a room full of actors who look exactly like you,” says Finn, who has lived in the Hampstead area since training at Central School of Speech and Drama in Eton Avenue.
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“A friend got me along to an open mic night and suddenly I am performing every night. It’s not acting, but I use my training through the comedy - and it’s still creating and performing rather than hoping an agent will come through with something.”
Now developing an Edinburgh show called Nobody’s Talking About Jamie, he says his songs are in the noble tradition of Victoria Wood, Tim Minchin or Flight of the Conchords.
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“They’re just silly words to a nice tune with anecdotes about my mundane and completely ridiculous love life, falling in love every day on the Northern Line,” he says.
“It’s completely me up there, trying to be funny. After three years in tights doing Shakespeare, it felt quite raw and open.
“The stories are quite true. The Comedy has come from living life, experiencing things. I’m trying not to turn down any experience in case I can glean some comedy out of it.”
He loves working at the Italian delicatessen - a South End Green institution for more than 30 years.
“It’s a great place to work, I can serve their amazing lasagne during the day, and gig at night. They are all Italian but they took me on two years ago and have been so lovely.
“I am even learning bits of Italian! And there are lovely regulars. I know most of the people who come in.”
Finn’s musical career began when he got a choral singing scholarship as a boy and “sang for the Queen in frills for four years”.
He later learned guitar, which he strums along to songs such as I Can’t Sext; about being useless at ‘sexting’ a long distance girlfriend in Paris.
“It’s about hopelessly trying to be sexy in long distance relationships. I’m no good at it, it’s like with Tinder when you are trying to type out small talk and realise you’d rather just meet someone by chance in a bar.”
He adds: “I love music. I’ve always wanted to be a rock star but have the completely wrong personality for it.
“One of my songs I Am Not Home Alone is about wanting to be a rock star but looking like the Home Alone kid.”
Another is about the humiliation of bumping into an ex girlfriend with her buff new boyfriend.
“He was huge and I am quite slight and skinny – he had been to the gym quite a lot but that was obviously her preference.”
The Musical Comedy Awards are at the Bloomsbury Theatre on April 13.