There is no defined clear career path for what I do. You have to grab the scythe of faith firmly by the handle and cut your own route. When I first decided to try stand-up comedy I didn't know any comics and I had only ever been to a handful of comedy clubs but I just knew I really wanted to give it a go. One of those gut urges that you can't explain.

Credit: Mark Vessey
Credit: Mark Vessey

I started by doing some research. I went along to loads of open mic nights in London. There used to be tons of these nights, you could see fledgling comics flap, flounder and occasionally fly with some great funnies any night of the week. I learnt a lot from watching the acts doing these shows and noting their mistakes. Don't look at your watch all the time, don't look at the floor as you walk on stage and don't swear at the audience if they refuse to laugh at something that is clearly not funny to anyone other than the creator of the "gag".

Armed with these essential insights into the world of show business I booked myself in for my first gig at Kings Head, a pub in North London that has been running a new act night for many years. The fear I felt before doing my first gig was agonising. I was so anxious, I felt like I could just burst open under the pressure which, granted, would have made my first gig rather spectacular but also my last. When the time came for me to take the stage in front of an audience of 13 other new acts and 5 actual paying punters I took the mic in my hand, felt the heat of the spotlight on my cheek and knew there and then that something had started.

After that night I booked myself into every new act night going. I was out three to six nights a week learning how to be a comic and building on the skills I had already learnt: no watch or floor gazing and no attacking the audience. I will never forget the first time I got paid for doing a gig. I came of stage and the promoter handed me £15. I felt like the Donald Trump of comedy, there was clearly a fortune to be made in them there comedy hills.

I started to get more and more paid spots and within a year I had packed in my waitressing job (clichéd I know) and was doing comedy full time. It was very much a hand to mouth existence for a few years. I travelled all over the country for not much money. In the early years of being a comic often the expense of getting to the gigs is actually more than the fee you are getting paid. I think that is why a lot of people give up in the beginning stages. It suddenly begins to feel insane to be doing something that is costing you to carry on. I, however, had no "plan b" to fall back on, it was comedy or bust.

Comedy won and I carried on. When I think back to the early days of driving to the likes of York and back in the same night for very little financial reward I do wonder how I managed to keep going. I did often have a little weep to myself in the car on the way home if the gig hadn't gone well. Being alone with your thoughts, on a long dark motorway after an awful gig is the hardest place to be as a comic. You have to dig deep, treat yourself to a wine gum, crank up the music and plough on.

Becoming a full time comic is a journey. There have been some really exciting high points. Getting my first Television jobs was a dream come true for me. I have now gigged all over the world. Of course there are the lows as well to contend with. The gigs where you just bomb, getting over looked for jobs and the anti-social aspect of being out working at night or away from home a lot of weekends but everything considered I am so delighted that this is the path I have chosen.

Zoe is going out on tour with 'Mustard Cutter' from the 5th May