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Loving the local arts scene: an interview with comedian Tom Elliott

Thanks to our community of Patrons, we’re funding a community-driven comedy project headed up by Tom Elliott. Tom is a comedian and magician who’s familiar with the church circuit, but has recently founded ‘The Big Local Night Out’, a network of nationwide community arts projects — no strings attached, just to benefit the scene. Watch our interview with Tom below, or read on for our quick Q&A.

We firmly believe that a thriving arts scene is a common good that blesses many. Why not join us in supporting intrepid performers like Tom, by joining our Patrons scheme for as little as £5 / month? Find out more here:

Hi Tom, can you introduce yourself?

I’m a professional Comedian and Magician and director of Cornerstone Entertainment Ltd. 

Having performed everywhere from comedy clubs to cathedrals, I’m passionate about enabling the church to be present amongst its community. Jesus spent a lot of time in the temple, but he also did incredible things in the marketplace. That’s where I want to be. The arts gives me a great opportunity to blend the two. 

You’ve largely made your living through touring churches in the past, but youre presently looking to transition into working in the mainstream arts space. What is your new project and why have you chosen to take this route?

The Big Local Night Out is a community arts initiative, aiming to help the church be at the forefront of community life. It’s not directly evangelistic, but it does enable relationships to be established and nurtured, connecting with those who perhaps would never step in to an event held within a church building. Combining the professional talent of mainstream musicians with the participation of local choirs and school groups, this series of four events across the year, seeks to increase community cohesion and wellbeing. I’m now pretty confident that we will be launching 5 locations this year, with a vision to expand significantly over the next 10 years. 

What lessons have you learnt so far about how your creative skills and faith best work together?

For those of us who have developed our creativity in Christian circles, it can be so easy to stay put and never stretch beyond the four walls of the church. 

As I’ve entered into the comedy club scene, I’ve been amazed at the low key but none the less significant conversations I’ve had with other comics about faith. I’ve been so encouraged to read Daniel 1 and trying to live out the same strategy! 

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine, which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

“Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.”

To stay connected with Tom Elliott and his work, you can follow him on Twitter, or check out his website.