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18 November 2014

Tom Elliott, Comedian

Tom Elliott, Comedian

Tom Elliott is a 24-year-old entertainer who aspires to be different to the usual crude comedians. Among plenty of laughs, tricks, silly props and audience participation, he shares a positive and life-affirming message. The funny man who fronts Laughing with Tom also contributed to Does God LOL, alongside names such as Milton Jones, Paul Kerensa and Tim Vine.

How did it all begin?
At secondary school, my friend and I used to do magic as a hobby, as often as we could. We absolutely loved honing our skills and entertaining family and friends. After school, he went off to get a proper job, but I decided to take this passion a bit more seriously. While studying as a youth minister with CYM, I read books on art and faith and felt challenged to begin using my gifts for a purpose.

Tell us about your most awkward moment on the stage…
I was doing a festival in Gloucestershire and, with the world record holding escapologist Steve Legg, was hosting the afterhours entertainment. I was handcuffed inside a chained mailbag for a planned stunt, but it was unfortunate timing for it to go wrong, and after a few minutes of wriggling I had to be let out by an audience member. Fortunately they found it hilarious anyway.

What do you love the most about your job?

Definitely the best part is the combination of people laughing and experiencing God. The comedy aspect is like a tiny glimpse of what the celebration of heaven must be like. I love creating space where people can let their hair down, laugh and relax, but at the same, maybe think about issues of life and faith. I love using humour and everyday storytelling to stir up some conversations.

How does your faith influence you?
I have a passion for what I believe and to share the good news of Jesus. I don't just want to talk about it, I want to let people see it in the way I live both on and off stage. I make sure that I am grounded with the local church and am part of a small group of close Christian friends to uphold my own spiritual life - not only giving out but receiving.

What's your vision?
My aim is to entertain and stir a laugh but inspired by John 10.10, to also encourage people to think how to live life to the full. I just want to be creative about the way I share my faith, serve churches and equip others to use their gifts and share their faith, too. My shows, DVD, courses and resources can enable people to do just that.

Any challenges?
Recognising that culture changes and attitudes towards faith and God shift so rapidly means I have to find new ways of relating to people who would never walk into a church. It is a challenge to tap into those areas and take opportunities in the field of entertainment without compromising my Christian message.

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