Yes But Why ep 209 Steven Morgan is bursting with comedy goodness!

In this episode of Yes But Why, we talk to British comedian Steven Morgan about his experiences doing comedy across the world.

Photo by Katarina Bogata

Steven Morgan is a comedian, improviser, storyteller, actor, writer, and musician that has been featured on Australia’s ABC and the UK’s BBC. Currently living in Nijmegen, Netherlands, where he moved from Brisbane, Australia, Steven has toured and performed in famous comedy clubs and festivals around the world. Since moving to The Netherlands, he has become a performer and teacher with Amsterdam’s easylaughs.

Photo by Renáta Katona

In our conversation, Steven shares stories of his journey, from performing in the UK band, Neon Highwire to hosting “Real Power Talk,” the wild comedy interview show made by Netherlands-based media company, All Things Loud.

Steven talks about how being a comedian was always something that was bursting to come out of him. I totally get that. Me too. But he didn’t get to it straightaway. It wasn’t until he moved to Brisbane and saw the vibrant comedy community that he was moved to join them. There, he immersed himself in classes and shows and fell in love with comedy.

We deep dive into discussing organizing comedy festivals when Steven mentions having organized the “Bris Funny Fest” one year. We talk about improv theory and providing context in your comedy. Steven stresses the importance of community and friendship.

photo by Jack Parker

My big takeaway from my talk with Steven was to make the most of every adventure you have. No matter where the world takes you, have fun with it.

Support Steven by watching “Real Power Talk” or by connecting with Amsterdam’s easylaughs to take online classes or just to donate to keep the comedy flowing.


Yes But Why Podcast is a proud member of the HC Universal Network family of podcasts. Download the FREE HC Universal Network app for Android and iDevices or visit us at and join the fun.

This episode of Yes But Why podcast is sponsored by audible – get your FREE audiobook download and your 30 day free trial at


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(production notes: recorded international skype call with Rodecaster at the home studio on 4/22/2020)





HOST  00:01

Hello, yes but why listeners. This is your host Amy Jordan. Welcome to Episode 209 of yes but why podcast featuring Netherlands based comedian Stephen Morgan. But first a bit about our sponsor this episode of yes but why podcast is sponsored by Audible. You can get your free audiobook download and your 30 day free trial at audible trial comm forward slash Yes But why? When I put in comedy in the search engine on Audible after the inevitable Divine Comedy, I found a cool stand up special from Louis black. Audible isn’t just for books there is a lot of good stand up on here to listen up comedy lovers. Audible is available for your iPhone, Android or Kindle. Download your free audio book today at audible trial comm forward slash Yes But why? This week’s guest is comedian actor and writer Stephen Morgan Stephens creative journey has taken him from the UK to Australia to the Netherlands. Since moving to the Netherlands, he has become a performer and a teacher with Amsterdam’s easy laughs. We talked about so much in this chat. But my big takeaway from my talk with Stephen was to make the most of every adventure you have. No matter where the world takes you have fun with it. I now present to you. Yes, but why Episode 209 Stephen Morgan is bursting with comedy goodness. Enjoy.


I’m Amy Jordan. And this


is yes, but why? podcast? Yeah.

GUEST  02:02

Every single Christmas, our family would have like some get together where like we’d have the relatives round. Like, my, my, my dad and my uncles would drink beer and form a business every single year that wouldn’t exist beyond that evening. Like, my mom, and my aunt’s would like just talk, like, like about everything and anything. And me and my cousins would just play and stuff. But like, I like singing, like a lot. I would just sing all the time about all sorts of things. And there’s one memory that sticks in my head of this period where I was reading, joining Whitney Houston, I will always love you. And I clearly It was long enough ago that that my voice could actually hit the same notes as Whitney. So you know, so it’s adolescence and there was just like, you know, a distant blip on the horizon. There was there was no nothing there. That was To make my voice be anything other than soprano, and I remember that, like me my parents was so loving, so supportive of like anything that we were doing they basically seemed constantly like amazed about the fact that we could do anything at all which was really like, you know, great pure ego as a kid. It’s like, Oh my god, they like drink a cup of water. Wow, you’re so amazing. But symbol changes, like, leaves you feeling like I’m really good at things. And I have this distinct memory of like, my mom being like, Come on, everybody. Stephens gonna sing us a song. You know, he’s gonna, he’s gonna you know, He’s good. He’s not he doesn’t even play any instruments. Well, I suppose I played piano a little bit, but this was not the center of attention for this particular performance. And I literally had, I will always love you played on like, I guess it was a tape or something. And me singing along over the top of it and all of my family just kind of like just sort of just putting up with it. Just Just I’ve no idea how they didn’t like burst out laughing or how they did now that cynicism or anything because I’m just like this little kid who’s just there like just all the way through properly sincere, not a hint of irony or sarcasm, just just just just so pure. And yeah, it was like every Christmas I had to do some sort of performance for the family. It just became the tradition. You know, they love

HOST  04:28

it, though. Did they give you like applause were they very excited at the end. You got like positive feedback about it.

GUEST  04:36

I think they were excited and positive in that same way as when you kind of like, I don’t know, I mean, like, they were very like, forgiving. They were very, they were positive but I mean, like, you know what, I’m just imagining myself in the in their own situation of just like being, oh, that was very good, but trying not to have an expression on your face of like, why are we having to go Through this, what are you doing to that child and his expectations of the world by making him think that just by singing these songs like this, that people will respond in a positive way?


So, I just have a loving family.

HOST  05:13

Hey, I think maybe you know, when you have kids like they a lot of what they do is really adorable even if it’s really regular like, like my kid very recently. We don’t know how he picked this up or what we’re watching the lead him to have this knowledge but very recently, instead of saying stop, he has said, cut. We’re like, Oh, no, how did he just become a film director? Because like, if you’re like, Hey, we you got to put that food away. He’ll go cut, like, No, no, you can’t just finish the scene like this is still happening. You know, so it’s, it’s hilarious. It’s also like, what is happening and like stop yelling at me little Child, but it’s really huge. So like, That’s

GUEST  06:04

true, but there’s a certain age, right? This precipice there’s a point at which when children do that sort of thing, and they have a certain naivety and innocence, and then it’s actually very cute and you kind of like, be like, Wow, look at their very sort of naive view on the world. And it’s so pure and so wonderful. But I feel that then there’s a certain age that by kids reach where they start to become aware of that by innocence. And you know, and the fact that they get this good response for just doing these sorts of things. And I think that the reason this particular memory sticks so much in my head, is it was probably that age where suddenly I was aware about the fact that this I go if I do this and people respond positively, and there was a certain smugness to my delivery. That was probably where the family start to lose the sympathy and become more like an adult cynical.

HOST  06:50

Yeah, well, you know, yeah, if you come in it came in at it like, You love me. This guy loves me, you guys. Maybe were phoning it in. I don’t know maybe at this point, you know, you had done some sweet gigs and they were big fans of you, but you were just smoking cigarettes and drinking on stage at this point. You know, you’re like, Ha, Gaga, burnin love you guys know? I mean, it was like they were like what is going on with Steven? He’s just lost the love. And then you sang it to them. I will always love you. And they’re like, you know what, maybe he’s right. Maybe he will always love us. And do they make you sing that now? Like when you go home for Christmas this year? Are they gonna make you sing that song?

GUEST  07:39

No, no, no. I mean, like, because it was one of many I think I had to have a different repertoire. Yeah, come on. I don’t know if you have to change it up. If you know they got the same audience, you know that. This, but yes, I mean, I do think that that was definitely affected. Little memory because because, you know, that was the one where there was a self awareness. I mean that years later, we even did things where we would like, we remember one year where we like didn’t obscure back cover of a B side of his or something on one of his early albums. And it’s like, this is like really like potato, grainy video of label family singing along to this no money, no honey song. I’m like, my grandmother is kind of like, you know, she’s shaking her hands around and everything. Like there’s some sort of gospel or something. I’m just like, everyone I’d have that moment ever existed was so beautiful. But yes, like,

HOST  08:40

oh, man, you know what, though? Think about it. Like genetically, they always wanted to do what you get to do and now you get to be like wild and crazy on stage and do whatever you want. And there’s an amazing freedom in that and they never felt like they could have that amazing freedom. So when you were a kid, and we’re like, yeah, grandma, she Those in the video just like this is what I always wanted to do, but she gave her the freedom

GUEST  09:09

that’s it God see the way you phrased these things I just feel so much better about these experiences already this is great

HOST  09:21

well man, the the great thing of all looking back at your life


is you can make it anything that you want. This is this is very true


for changing this podcast to help people maintain healthy delusions


it’s all right I wet myself on purpose. Don’t worry, everybody loves you.

HOST  09:46

Oh man, so what you you’re singing at home? Were you singing in school? Did you do choir or musicals in school? Was there any sort of outlet there?

GUEST  09:56

I mean, I just like I played piano when I was very Young. And, you know, I did that for quite a few years. Got a little bored of it after a while because my piano teacher kept telling me off for not sight reading and playing by ear, because I like to improvise. Yeah, who knew it? And then, like I eventually my brother, older brother took up guitar. And actually a lot of like, my life decisions have come from this, my older brother did something and I’m like, Okay, that sounds interesting. I’ll do that as well. And he’s playing songs like Nirvana and things like this. And I’m still playing, you know, like, when the saints go marching in or something. I don’t even know what that song is at that age and everything. So I’m like, Oh, my God, I could play songs that I’ve heard on the radio. This is this is a revelation, I should learn guitar. So I took that up. I mean, I did sing in a choir at one point as well. I have like no religious connotations, but it was just the fact they kind of just came around to our school one time and we’re like, oh, we’re looking people singing in the choir, by the way, it’s paid and I was like, oh, I’ll go. I’ll do that. Yeah, that’s like, yeah, that’s that again, you Next thing you know your weddings on the weekends and you know I my first purchase was my first like, paid what do you call it a paycheck I guess it was called cash in hand but with my first payment from the church was to buy myself like this industrial style water pistol, which, which at the time was my number one life priority because I felt like I was not getting the most out of my water trajectory flame shooting my friends and getting soaked by the during that summer.


Hey, man, you see, what’s important to you, you know,


a solid water gun, you know? Yeah,

GUEST  11:40

no, God. No, I know, right? That would have been a great kind of rosebud moment. You know, what I mean? My citizen game.


Or like, or like turns out you’re it’s hoarders and like, we turn the cameras on. God, there’s so many boxes behind them.


Inside these boxes, they’re my things.


Let me find it.

GUEST  12:06

Yes, it’s in bag 64 I’m not bad. Oh, come on 64 I was like trying to pick a year in my head. This is improv a, you know, it’s this is a lot of the time it’s just like these little things. I feel like maybe it’s a past life. You may never know

HOST  12:24

what a past life in 1964 I’m gonna venture to guess you were born not that far after that. So


regardless, this person who’s hanging out in 1964 has to die before you’re gonna be the same soul right? Like isn’t that however then?

GUEST  12:45

Like, is it instant? Is there like some sort of waiting room or like, I don’t know, Daddy counted. You take a ticket and wait, like a podiatry? What’s going on in between? I don’t know. I don’t know. This is like literally kind of like you know, bam. Okay. Oh, here we I did like quantum Is it like as soon as one life ends? Before you go in, you just look in the mirror, you see a different person, you say, oh boy, and then nothing.


If only we all had the music like that, right? Like when a big change happened, and all of a sudden you heard the music and you’re like, oh, okay, go, okay. I’m a new person. Great. Awesome. All right, I’m into it. Yeah, I’ll wait. pictures of me. Okay, okay, great. I’m ready. I’m ready. What am I now I live in Georgia. It’s 1938. Great.


Like, the problem is like in quantum leap, he gets all this context, like a guy shows up and he’s like, Alright, this is the thing you need to worry about. By the way, these are the people we hate. And these are the people we love. trying to be mean to these people. That’s what they like right now.


We don’t have that like you just like pop in. And you’re like what’s happening? I’m gonna tell you my entire belief of the afterlife was built on the Albert Brooks movie, defense. in your life, so like that’s if you know that movie. That’s what I think happens.

GUEST  14:05



Are you aware of this movie? Am I just talking Oh, winter?

GUEST  14:09

No, I haven’t I haven’t seen it. I’m not aware it’s classic

HOST  14:12

available on Amazon. Now everyone who’s sitting at home quarantining, but it’s an Albert Brooks movie. It’s really amazing. He dies spoiler and goes into this, like, the whole movie is after his death. He goes to this purgatory place where he has to defend his life to like some judges. There’s like three judges, they sit there, and they like pop up, like videos of times in his life when he did bad things, and he has to be like, see, the reason why is and so the whole idea. It’s just sort of like angsty Albert Brooks like, Oh my god, they didn’t live a good life, but also coupled with a lovely little love story between him and Meryl Streep, who fall in love and purgatory. So that’s, that’s the movie. It’s lovely. And I actually believe because I watched that more Be so many times as a kid that that’s what happens when you die. And like so at the end of the situation so at the end they decide whether you get to go on to like heaven or whatever and then like call it that but you know, it’s like you get to go on or you have to go back and try again. So that’s that’s how I imagined it. It’s like you go in there like How’d you do? You’re like, not so good. And they’re like, Alright, go back again. Figure it out. See in a little while.

GUEST  15:26

So it’s like a computer game, man. I get it. Yeah. And sometimes

HOST  15:29

you go in and they’re like, good job. Oh, my goodness. Nailed it. And then there’s high fives all around, and then you get sent to somewhere else which is whatever that is. I guess. There’s endless possible

GUEST  15:43

there’s a sequel waiting right there.


Yeah, because because exactly what we need is an Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep for right now.


What we’re all looking for.

GUEST  15:58

That’s the gap. We didn’t even know We had


guys that couldn’t save everything. Just tell us what happens.

GUEST  16:07

I don’t know how

HOST  16:08

we got off on an afterlife tangent. So tell me more about like you growing up what? Tell me about your theater? When was the first time you did comedy that you were like, let’s do some comedy?

GUEST  16:18

Ah, okay. Well, I was the I mean, even though music was my main thing, I was definitely what you would call a class clown. I guess, in the sense that, you know, it’s like, Yeah, yes, you you get a lot of positive reinforcement from making jokes and making light of situations to an extent where you kind of like use it as a substitute for personality. But that’s more about the therapy and anything else. But you know, it was really kind of a case of, I mean, I don’t think it’s an uncommon trajectory, but it’s just more of a case of making jokes and just like, and it was one thing that it was like, no matter what else was going on in my life, or no matter what else that was happening in school and things like this, that I needed. But it’s like why I got this going for me, you know, I can make people laugh. That’s That’s fine. Everything else it can suffer and everything but I got this isn’t my bedrock. But as a result it was always something then I never really wanted to kind of take that leap into something like, like comedy directly because I was terrified of the idea that if this one thing which like no matter what else happens in my life, I got this I can make the build up, etc etc. And then if somehow I went into that, and then I just had that one core belief of myself, like shattered, but people were kind of like, Oh, you are incredibly boring and interesting. And you’re all that laughter it was just because of familiarity. Then I just imagined it would just be like the most destroying thing like that could possibly happen to me. So like a lot of people I think that it was always one of those things where I was like, Yes, I will try stand up comedy, and it will be an undisclosed date in the future. But I will right My perfect five minutes before then, and I haven’t written any of it yet but when I get round to it, it’s gonna be so good. And I’m gonna have it so prepared and every single second is going to be so like accounted for in terms of like audience response and I will be so in control and so so worldwide in my worldwide and my first ever go with this, but yeah, it’s gonna be amazing and then and that’s the only possible outcome that could happen with this. So yeah, it was a long time before I ended up ended up doing that, but But yeah, instead I kind of I mean, I say instead of if it was like a plan B but like No, I mean, I love my music. I love playing I love like creating I love improvising. I love doing things through that. And, and that for a long time. That was like my Outlook, my creative outlet and what I really got a lot out of, but when a particular project that I was working on, which was probably the one I was most heavily involved in a band called neon high wire dissolved when I moved from London to Australia, which kind of was a logistic problem? And being the opposite side of the planet, they’re not class. They’re not close. No, basically and in time and everything. And so he was like, Yeah, I mean, jeez, see you You really realized you really feel it when you’re kind of like, oh, all my friends and family now and not only a long way away, but they’re all asleep when I’m awake and vice versa. So this is fun.


Yeah, super weird.

GUEST  19:30

Yeah, but that wasn’t until I moved to Australia that actually took up improv and comedy, like directly and, and yeah, and that was just basically through that a being in a position of like having every single thing that you have to know about your life. Stop an end, and just like starting again in a new place, and just be like, well, I guess I’m not those things I used to be. And I can try new things and there’s no one I know to to disappoint.

HOST  20:01

It’s like we were talking about before you. This is you being a new person. You got to be your new person.

GUEST  20:08

Yes, exactly. I mean, when you said that I was very kind of it really hit a nerve because that was very much an experience that I’d had a net and I’d like like a limited versions of before that in my life, but it wasn’t until moving to like, yeah, the opposite side of the planet that it was such a kind of a, a real distinction, like a rediscovery of myself and what, what really mattered and what didn’t.

HOST  20:36

Yeah, yeah, you had to be you and you were the only one there to say whatever that was, because nobody else around you had any idea what you are.

GUEST  20:46

Yeah, exactly. It’s amazing how much you don’t even realize it when you’re in it. But just how like expectations of those who are closest to you. And that doesn’t even mean negative expectations, but that just means good. Kind of like they know what you are, what you were, what you’ve come from, and what they respond to and how they respond to that, compared to a bunch of strangers who are kind of like, you know, you’re just some British guy who just are coming from a blank slate, and they’re just trying to make you from nothing. And then you also realize, it’s like you’re trying to make sense to me. Well, me too. I really don’t know who I am right now. And this is simultaneously terrifying and liberating. Yeah.

HOST  21:30

You know, may I ask you had spent a lot of time focused on your music, and you got involved in neon high wire and you were making things and I mean, I’ve listened to it. I looked at a couple of the videos that seemed like a fun situation. What was the poll to get you to change that like, were you just like done with the project and you needed to move forward artistically or was there something else that like, got you and moved you Across the world

GUEST  22:02

is a combination of things. I mean, obviously, there was the physical thing of the moving, but simultaneously and perhaps partly of what inspired the move as well, is that I was like making like electronic pop music sort of thing and have a sit on it. I’m realizing as well that we were kind of like getting a little older. And, you know, it’s a very sort of young game in that sort of the terms of that sort of music and that sort of thing that you’re doing. And also that when you’re in a band with people, especially when you’re like meeting multiple times a week for years on end, yes, it is as intense as a relationship. And it has all of the highs and lows that a relationship will have like a romantic relationship. And so there’s so many things that are kind of about you know, trying to get the best out of someone trying to make sure that someone’s happy sometimes getting frustrated with people, sometimes showing that in to them in my positive Sometimes showing that to them in negative ways. But this was one particular circumstance where I was so like, deeply invested into it. And so kind of like bonded to the two people that when I then had this impotence of impetus of moving, I was just kind of like, Jesus, you know, it’s like, Am I gonna be able to recreate something like that I really wasn’t feeling any inspiration for anything musical. And I really did kind of, like, feel like this, this fear that I’d had for so many years. And for so much of my life, of actually putting this like, you know, this comedic side of me to the forefront and actually exposing it in some sort of way that was going to really sort of say to me, whether people did find me funny or not, or something I could learn about it, or at least acknowledge that it was just a side of my personality and not just this kind of, I don’t know this this like this, this thing, which I couldn’t speak of, or didn’t really properly critically analyze. And yeah, and actually explore it and see what it was like, you know, and and see if it Something I was going to enjoy and see what it was that I was going to enjoy about a bit and see what it was that I assumed about myself about performing about all these sorts of things, which, until that point, I only really imagined or vicariously kind of learned.

HOST  24:16

Hmm. So you kind of like, your comedy side had to come out. It was like, bursting and you had to get out of there. But yeah, like, I don’t know about you. And here’s the thing I understand moving. I moved far away from where I grew up to, but like, not to Australia, but you know, London’s got a lot of good comedy. I mean, like, there’s a lot of good theater, a lot of good performing. Why move.

GUEST  24:45

It’s so true. But you know, what’s also intimidating about London, is the fact that like, I was very much a consumer there as well, in the sense that I was like, I was like, going out. I was like, oh, what should I do? What should we do this evening? Oh, let’s go watch. You know, some Incredibly, like renowned internationally touring show that is coming to town for like one night only. And that’s happening like every single night of the week in London, you are surrounded by so much talent so much incredible. Just even on the small scale, even just like seeing these low key theatrical productions and you were just seeing these people who would come to this city to really try and make something of themselves. To be honest, I found that so intimidating, not on a conscious level. But just there I was kind of just thinking like, this was incredible. I was coming up from performance out of performance. I was just enjoying these things. I was reviewing these things. And I was seeing them and I was just thinking how do these people even do this? This is so amazing. I was so blown away so often that the idea of just kind of like me going like oh yeah, I could do that. Didn’t didn’t really register so true in my mind, you know, I just felt like, Oh my god, this is something that these people can do and I cannot Huh,

HOST  26:01

yeah, I mean, you’re totally right. London is a big deal town and I can’t imagine, like the how hard it is for any band to put up a show. Nevermind, a show that is a smaller theatre group or something like that when you’re right every night of the week. It’s like, last concert ever with this amazing band. And oh, by the way, this guy’s coming out of hiding Like what? Come on. Like Banksy just drew a building and it’s real. What? No wonder like, Guys do you know I can juggle. It’s really difficult. I can see that now. I understand. It’s like, I’m from Boston, Massachusetts, and everyone was like, why didn’t you go to college there and I was like, everybody goes to college. They’re like, I’m not one of those people. I just can’t be part of the like thousands of people. have billions of No no, I’m not that crowd. I need to find another job. So I get it. I moved to Texas my entire upbringing. People were like, What? You went when some of my family members still think I have like horses and stuff. I’m like, I live in a city. Come on. Right. So. So how did you like were you like spinning a globe with like, and like you just picked Australia? Or did somebody say this is a comedy hub? You got to come here? How’d you get there?

GUEST  27:30

No, I mean, like, like with so much of my life, the the major decisions, I have kind of just kind of gone along gone with the flow. And my ex was someone who had lived in lots of places had travelled the world a lot, and had was just finishing her PhD in in Oxford. And basically, she was like, well, where should we go next? And I’m kind of like, well, I’m ready to go anywhere because it feels like the band’s coming to an end and I’ve always wanted to live in another country. I feel like I’ve learned something, you know, all of these kind of these hashtag type of inspirational motivations to move somewhere else. And I yeah, and I was kind of like, Yeah, let’s do something and she got a job in Brisbane in Australia, which I have to admit, I was kind of like, you know, while I know Melbourne, I know Sydney and Brisbane reputation is a little bit rednecky but you know, it’s like, I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’s one of the biggest cities and so yeah, we’re really moving to

HOST  28:30

Texas you like really do it’s like so?


Yeah, yeah.

HOST  28:35

No, exactly. It’s like Dude, we are connected similar journeys. Tell us you’re going to Brisbane it’s not too bad right you guys get there. Willy you for like going with the girlfriend right? A lot of people I’m sure would have been like, Listen, you’re great. Good luck with you. Time over there. I’m swinging somewhere close by so like, Good on you for taking the adventure.

GUEST  28:57

Well, that’s it i mean yet because to me, it was coming. have like a it was like an hour never type of thing. And I felt like it was something which would be a positive experience or an experience in some way that learned something. And it really was all of those things I talked about before, you know, the fundamentals of kind of like discovering myself, I mean, also being a younger brother as well, and often kind of like with a slightly lazy, soft side of my personality of just kind of like someone else is doing this. They’re having a good time, I will do that too. And realizing that once you take the other people away, or the people that who are around you, you can’t really empathize with as much or anything like this. You’re kind of forced to start to really genuinely think about, like, Well, what do I like and what don’t I like and what parts of me Do I want to kind of explore more and really push more and which parts don’t die? And so yeah, I am. I remember I started as I took a stand up comedy course, as a sort of thing of like, okay, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s probably like a nice entry point. point that means that I’ll be forced to actually do it rather than just to keep talking about it. I also took up Taekwondo which, you know, this is this is a definitely a point in my life when I was doing things which I was kind of like the me two years before that would have just gone, huh. Yeah, so yeah, just really embracing that. And it was really cool. And it was really nice. And it was only a short time. And yeah, now after the stand up thing, then I took up improv and, and while stand up is kind of like a roller coaster of emotional intensity and all this sort of thing. improv was the one thing which no matter what else was going on, below was just like, I am loving this. I am constantly buzzing and engaged with this on every level and I come away from every single jam every single show and everything, just kind of bouncing off the ceiling. So it was a it was a really good revelation. Huh?

HOST  30:56

What school did you take your classes at? Where did you start?

GUEST  31:01

Yeah, so there was a, the probably the most prominent improv group in Brisbane recall the impro mafia. They put on shows at the Brisbane comedy festival every year which is like a curated festival with like, I go, like an international lineup. But they also put on like weekly shows at a bar. They’re in town, they run a lot of courses, you know, they really have the kind of like end to end everything from like people who are doing courses to like the big shows, with your audition casts type of thing going on. And they were, it was really cool. I mean, he was, you know, I was like playing with people who’d like never done anything before. And people who had like over 20 years experience who have you know, and just everything in between and just right from the beginning was getting all sorts of people to play with and I did get and it was just like, it was really exhilarating. Just Differences between those and just kind of went into everything with a sort of attitude of like, Well, yeah, I’m going to do that. And I’m going to join in with that. I mean, after my second year, my second improv course, I audition for one of the shows at the Comedy Festival, which was a Harry Potter based improv show. And actually, that would have been my first one. So that would have been like, after doing improv for three and a half months. And, and yeah, and I went to this audition, and then the director at the end, you know, there were about a 30 or so people in there, and he kind of came over to me and he said, like, I know everyone in this room, but I don’t know who you are. Can you just give me a little explanation about your background? So I sort of explained to him, you know, I’ve been just like very much wanted to be honest. Like, I’ve only been doing this for a few months. I and I really enjoy it. And But yeah, I can’t like to you and say that I’ve been doing this for years, I just took this up and it’s it’s really enjoyed. And yeah, so I ended up kind of, I ended up getting an understudy role in that show, and but also front of house. So like a lot of audience interaction stuff at the beginning and end, but it meant that I actually then went through the entire, like, rehearsal and practice with the main cast for then the next like, few months. And that was on a weekly basis. And like, you know, I was the least experienced there by far, and it was amazing. And it was just like, this whole feeling of like, even though I was clearly the least experienced there, and I was going in with everything that I had, that everyone was so supportive, and so kind of like, and also being so vocally critical, but in a positive way, about things that I could change and improve. And I was just loving it, because, you know, because even though I knew that, like maybe I hadn’t done the best jobs, I needed a bike. You know? Good I could tell from the way that they were giving me this feedback that they were like, you know, I’m mostly they go you’re dealing, but you know this is if you do this then you could be even better or you know, think about this you’re you’re forgetting this part of what you’re doing. You’re getting too caught up in this you’re, you know, and it was it was an amazing experience. I loved every minute of it.

HOST  34:20

That’s so fun. What a great like a first experience to like get involved and be so totally immersed.

GUEST  34:29

Yeah, yeah, I mean, I think it was a huge, like, you know, kind of me because like the show itself, then, you know, it had it every I think because of the Harry Potter affiliation. Every single one sold out, you know, and they were like, they had to add x extra dates on to it. It was it was such a good show. And like the, the core format of it was just, you know, a hat full of 200 periphery characters from the Harry Potter verse and just a two cents. description of each of these characters. They went into the audience, someone would pick out one of the names, the name would be read and then the two sentences that describe them. And then instantly from that then and 60 minutes show based on that particular character. And something about them, which you know was which was me for someone who was near was kind of like, so so we we get nothing else. There’s so, and it’s 6660 minutes. Yeah.


And then they watch the Nobody leaves What’s happening?

GUEST  35:41

And they know we’re making this up, right. They think they know,


right? They don’t know. They don’t even know as well as I do. They don’t know. They don’t, no

HOST  35:50

matter how many times you tell them they don’t.


It’s hilarious. It’s hilarious. So

GUEST  35:58

nice though. It’s like when they No, you did not mean that you must have prepared some of the things and you’re like No, no. That must have been must have been rehearse and I get the other bit but you got no no no, it’s it’s such a lovely feeling.


Oh my god. Yeah, no, it’s so funny. I can’t tell you the number of meetings I’ve like legitimately had running theatres where we’re like, how do we let them know without directly letting them know? Because

HOST  36:24

like, people were like, you guys don’t do improv or like we do improv please. Good Lord, like Yeah, but that’s so funny. So you mentioned you got into the Harry Potter show, like after three months of being part of it now were you three months part of like a community doing random jams? Are you like taking classes and you have some sort of background of how to do it? Or did you just get thrown into the water with the Harry Potter thing?

GUEST  36:57

So I had so that was three months worth started with. A course an eight week course, which had a graduation show. And then I’d been to a few jams after that, where we’re not jams when they were actually performances. So they were kind of like, not directly, but roughly like a Maestro sort of format, you know, but on a weekly basis with a first turn up kind of thing. They were very sort of like low key things, but it was good that he was on stage because he always had that thing of that you knew that whatever you were doing was on stage rather than, you know, kind of like, Oh, I’m just going to stop here and just talk about what we’ve done. You know, you had that extra sort of thing, that driving you that there was an audience, even if the audience was small. And so I really didn’t have much like in terms of experience or background in that, you know, I mean, I admit, I really sort of like gone headfirst into it like so after the course and really sort of piled into those performances. But I very much you know, did not have the experience, especially the performance experience in medium and playing with so many different players, you know, and really kind of like playing with different formats and really starting to understand it. It was it was very much like when you’re taking driving lessons and you kind of like okay, now I know how to change gear and or now I know like you know which side of the road to drive, but I’m probably at my most dangerous now because I don’t really know what I’m doing yet I’m actually capable enough to be on a road.


That’s why people always fear level one recital shows. They’re like


it terribly, terribly wrong. And sometimes it does.


Oh boy, how he does it.


I’ve watched Oh, no, what are we doing? Why are we talking about this? No, but it’s in front of an audience. And I’m like, Oh, yeah, that’s my class. They’re doing that.


We probably shouldn’t have talked about women’s rights. No, no, you should. No, no.


When you go down a political rabbit hole, and you’re like,

GUEST  39:10

Oh, yeah, times, like it’s mostly in standard with that, though, it’s like when I’ll see someone who will try and do edgy material, and they, you know, they’re kind of like, they feel like they’re ready. They feel like they’ve really thought through their viewpoint. And, you know, it’s, it’s just like, whenever you’re trying to up the stakes in terms of like what you’re trying to do, and you’re, you really need to be so aware of your delivery, but instead they just sound like that drunk and go in a corner, who’s just slight shouting slightly offensive things, and like, you know, waiting for people to respond, but they don’t. They don’t respond, or they respond with silence. That response. That’s all getting and that’s all you deserve.

HOST  39:55

Yeah, I’m gonna say that stand up has the tendency to sometimes go a little crazy when it comes to you know it being a viewpoint into a person’s psyche a little bit too much you’re like oh he’s angry oh no angry quick get everyone from outside smoking to come watch this he’s angry you know the the I’ve seen people go on like total meltdowns and we’re like oh boy. But you know when you’re the person doing it you think you’re being edgy anytime okay any comedian who’s listening to this, if anything that you’re doing you’re like this is edgy. Take a look at that with your grandmother and see if you can find a way to communicate it to her and then if you can, you have a G material but like, No, no, no,

GUEST  40:48

no Nice one. I like that is that as a as an analogy or like a method to really test the material to really think it through and to really think about the back you know, you have this generic audience It’s not just this like straw man that you’ve developed in your head who’s just kind of like basically knew, but for you that loves you and dislike keeps going. Yeah, great. I agree with your opinions. Yeah, yeah. You know,

HOST  41:12

well, not only that, though, but like, I feel like edgy material, quote unquote, edgy material is often well intentioned, and that they feel like they have a point to make. But the problem is, they don’t know all the words to say to truly make that point, because it’s in their heads, like it’s already half told to them. So they just go like, and then like, maybe they shouldn’t be in the stores is all I’m saying. And you’re like, wait, what are we talking about? Like, so they’re there. They’re halfway through it. That way. If you check it with someone who’s like, probably gonna disagree with you, you have to tell them in like a much larger sense. So you’re like, Okay, Grandma, listen. So there’s a thing that’s happening and there’s a problem. And now I have a problem with it because of this reason. Now, this goes on and I’m upset about it. What do you think and she can be like your Probably shouldn’t be upset about it or she can be like, I just, you know, and then you can find a way to like, then you’ve been able to explain it. And that’s the hardest part for me. I teach writing classes. And it’ll be like, we make a lot of assumptions about what we think the audience knows about what’s going on, but they don’t know. Because people will be like, What do you mean? Should I say outright? I don’t understand what this is as the character I was like, Yeah. How else does the audience know? Like, if the audience isn’t like I’m angry about peas like nobody knows that that guy is going to keep getting upset about the peas like someone has to say it. You know what I mean? We’re not making like a movie that’s like a still shot on some piece and then a still shot on his like angry face. You know, like, oh, like, that’s not you know, you have to say out loud everything that you want in comedy and a few times, because the thing is, it’s like ringing a gong over and over. That’s what comedy is. Right? It’s not like playing a tune where there’s like a beginning middle and end and there’s like a bridge and you’re like, Oh, I feel like I learned something by the end. No. No one’s learning. Everyone’s just being crazy. Gong Gong, there’s no like, you know, maybe I shouldn’t bring this Gong because it’s super annoying, and everyone hates it No, ever occurs to them. They’re never thinking that right? So you have bigger and Wilder and also re explain stuff. And I feel like a lot of times in stand ups talk. They’re talking like they’re having a conversation. And that’s great. But you have to be like, here’s the context of where my brains going. Because I feel like we were talking about earlier about how like, there’s like, just like different kinds of people. And like the way they process the world. Like, you’ll see them say something and you’re like, what is that person mean? And then when someone like explains the larger context of where they’re coming from, you’re like, Oh, yeah, no, I get why he’s angry about that. Now, that makes sense. Yeah, he should be angry. You know, but like, you’re like at first you’re like, wow, this guy is what you know. So you Everything needs context. And I find that in standup, there’s less context. Then in like an improv or a sketch scene when like, your context is the like desperate moments where you and your scene partners are like secretly telling each other things in front of the audience. And the audience is like, they’re just doing dishes and really, you’re like, you’re like doing dishes in a way that like, looks at them. Like I’m the angry roommate. Okay, good. Good, you know?

GUEST  44:27

Yeah, but that’s so true. That’s so true. Yeah. Cuz like, um, it’s Yeah, it’s suddenly the context is so much like narrower and it’s, it’s, it’s really easy to get. I mean, I think that so many of those things you’ve just said, I like General, good lessons for life, full stop, and interacting with human beings and realizing that people may not fully understand where you’re coming from or you know what your context is. And whilst they are not even like people who you are close to, you know, you may make assumptions or they may have the goodwill of you as a person and they you that they know but they may not fully understand what it is you’re trying to describe to them. And you know, you may end up in this kind of cycle where you’re just all kind of like agreeing with each other but no one really knows what anyone’s talking about.


Yeah, I feel like that’s like all human relationships. Now we’re in the quagmire of human relationships Gods even what happened to us?

GUEST  45:26

What happened?



HOST  45:31

Yeah, you’re right. No, but Okay, so here we are in your story. You’re in Brisbane, you’re doing comedy. You’re doing great things are going How many years did you spend there? Because you’re not there now?

GUEST  45:43

No, so I was there for three and a half years um, and yeah, and I got a three myself heavily into improv and stand up and you know, the burst. The man ended up organizing like the Brisbane Fringe Festival. While it’s called Brits funny fan. But that was that was through someone here that was quite a funny thing because the person who previously organized it was moving to the UK and approached me and sent me messages on Facebook saying, like, Look, there’s like a lot of good comedy in this city, but everyone is a bit of an ass. But you seem to have your shit together more. Do you want to organize this? You’re probably like one of the only people who I think could potentially organize a festival. So I was like, Wow, so much praise. I feel so honored at this, you know, you are not as shit as everyone else.

HOST  46:39

person I’ve met along.

GUEST  46:43

Yeah, exactly. And so I mean, like, I had no idea what organizing a festival meant. But simultaneously, I was still white riding on that wave of like, Well, yeah, okay. You know, how hard can it be?



GUEST  46:59

Yeah. Sure, so we ended up like, yes. I mean, we it was, it was more than that the toughest part of it all was dealing with comedians who are basically like, middles children, who don’t really, like respond well to most things. Particularly if you ask them to do something that isn’t what they want to do in that particular moment. Or your response to a particular act, who’s kind of like, when I performed in this city, I had this response and when I’m performing here, I have less response. Why is that and what are you gonna do about it? It’s like, Okay, how do I say to them, we’re Fringe Festival. You can I don’t know what your swearing policies, but yes, you can. yourself and also, perhaps the reason you’re not getting as much publicity is because all you’ve been doing is talking about that and the festival that you’re doing, and maybe there’s a reason why No one knows that you’ll hear in our these sorts of ego trips, there was a lot of massaging and that sort of thing going on. Which, yeah, which would mean like, you know, and you only want to do to a limited extent you want people to actually perform but simultaneously like, come on. I mean, like, what do you need from me? What What do you expect this is to do for you? There’s, you know, we’re trying to be fair across all the different acts. I mean, like the funny thing again, was like the improv groups that we had going on, and it was just very much like, here’s our media kit. Here’s our press pack. This is the performance we’re going to put on you some high resolution photos. What else do you need from us? We got some promo videos and I’m like, oh, a cool great Okay, thank you. Like ever analysis just kind of like you know, just constantly chasing up and things like this. But, but no, it was a really cool experience. And it was it was really nice. And it went it went really well. You know, it was like we got like, I think in the end we had 100 shows. One different acts Yeah, and and like, you know, and it was we had a team of people who were on it and it was really cool as well to learn from them, you know, they just like someone from marketing and I’m kind of like, Oh, so I shouldn’t post on Facebook 12 times a day. Okay, cool. That’s good to know. Okay, so the price plasma, okay, so Okay, and I should I shouldn’t Mike just, you know, there’s all these like little things you kind of learned along the way of like do’s and don’ts of like, putting on shows of like, you know, of how to promote your Shows of All this sort of thing. Um, and yeah. And then by the end of it, then it was like, I don’t know, when you kind of like, take on a big project like that. And once the actual thing was happening, and I was just like, Oh, I can just watch some shows. And then you just feel this kind of like, certain emptiness that just like goes inside of you and you just kind of like, Huh, it’s all now happening. And I don’t do anything and now I have spare time.


What do I do? Who am I? Where am I? Oh my god. God

HOST  50:00

man, that is so tough after you like do something that’s like super super busy like that. And then you’re like, wait, what’s my next project? Nothing. Oh god. you’re craving that you could be on the phone with some guy being like just a photo of you any photo of you. What do you mean you don’t have a photo of you? This is 2017

GUEST  50:23

and what you sent me was a thumbnail It was 100 pixels by 100 pixels. No, I need to I need the actual photo. You said no. You said same thing. No, no. You sent you’ve sent me a photo of yourself. You need to take the photo. You have your cameras facing the wrong way. Oh, you’re Oh, oh, god.

HOST  50:47

Can you do anything right now? Yeah. The interesting thing is, I wish that we could say like, Oh, that’s just something you deal with with entertainers, but I’m gonna say across the board. No matter what you do for a job, there are people like that where you’re like, What do you mean? You have nothing prepared right now? Like, you’re for this thing. Why don’t you have any of it? Like, they told you to wear sneakers? Why are you in high heels? What’s going on? Like, oh my god, I can’t tell you the number of like, I used to do temp jobs and like, people would show up in crazy wrong outfits. And I’d be like, I’d show correct. And they’d be like, Oh, thank God. And I was like, What? No, like, just the last three girls that we had in here. It was just not good. I was like, oh, okay, great. What am I doing what’s terrible. But you know, people just don’t some people just don’t know. They just don’t know how to be. Yeah.

GUEST  51:44

Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. And that’s the thing is Yeah, I mean, like Mike, you say, it happens in all sorts of walks of life and you just have to get used to the fact that certain people are certain ways. And you know, you can either kind of fight against that or you just find the ways to make the most of it and not Trying to not let it get too much of you. Or if it does get too much for you, then find a way of changing your life in general. You know,

HOST  52:08

sometimes I like to think we all have different strengths, we all have different things we’re good at, and different things are bad at. So, you know, maybe the strengths they’re bringing to the table, you know, they overcome the the negative aspects, you’re like, Well, you know, he hasn’t ever learned a line that I’ve given him for any of the sketches. But you know, the audience loves them. And they come to watch him Bumble around the stage and figure out what the scenes about so let’s get him on the show, you know, things like that.

GUEST  52:40

Yeah, it’s like a, it’s like an element of letting go in that, you know, there’s an element of kind of, like, just letting go of control and, and realizing that it’s like things might not be exactly as you had them to plan. But you know, they can still happen in a way that can be good. That could potentially mean better than you had as the original plan. I mean, I know that that’s like court, rather But it’s like it’s it’s easy to forget it in other aspects of your life. You know, it’s easy to kind of like think, you know, it’s like, yeah, I mean, like improv is one thing. But the thing is, is you need to do, let’s say right now or things are gonna go very wrong. You know, he can’t just apply that, in, in general things if you have other people do depending on

HOST  53:18

Yeah, though, the idea of adjusting to whatever happens in the world can be very helpful, say in apocalyptic times, like we’re in now, you know, times when you have to adjust everything you ever understood in three seconds, because there was a new alert on your phone. It’s like, oh, okay, cool, great. This is the thing I need to understand now. Like, as opposed to, you know, my brain having the ability to switch to something else, you know, it’s like I thought we were astronauts on the beach, but it turns out that we are aliens in Saturn, and I’m cooking an omelet. Okay, great. I’ll do that seems fine. Yeah, when you set it up, allowed, and they made it real. And now I’m that’s how I’m doing. You know what I mean? And the same thing happens. You’re like, oh, okay, now I have to wear masks when I go outside at all times when I speak to every person. Cool. Cool. Cool. Got it. Yeah, bro. No problem. That’s the like, fashion Israel.

GUEST  54:20

Yeah. Oh, absolutely. And it’s like there’s an instinct I think as well as like, you know, the more that you kind of love maybe the more your age or whatever it is, I don’t know what the real like motivation is behind it. But it’s like there’s a temptation to kind of like go, I have learned I have been through X number of experiences. And it’s like, it’s a large number of experiences, which means that I feel like I understand enough now to know that this is right or wrong. Whereas fundamentally, it’s kind of like, well, there may be like, some flickers of truth to that in some scenarios. But on the whole, it’s kind of like a more of a negative thing to have and to feel like you know better in a particular circumstance or knowing the way that things should be means that you’re in now. You’ll be Getting to go down that line of like, basically losing tolerance or, or deciding that you know, and that the nothing new is good or, or that you know, that you you will fundamentally understand understand things better than anyone else. So why bother listening? Why bother adapting? And that’s not healthy.


That’s some deep, some deep thoughts, right?

HOST  55:22

Yeah. Now now like the, the, it’s real not if you don’t allow yourself, you know, an openness to hearing what people have to say. I mean, I disagree with lots of people all the time. It’s a thing but like, you know, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like listen to what they have to say and try to like make sense of it. Because my big thing is like, I don’t care if I like you or dislike you, as long as I understand. Like, a lot of times I’m like, yeah, of course he made that decision. You see how much money you made? Make Come on, guys. Come on, or like it benefited him to do the other thing. Well, why are you so surprised like for anything you No, it’s like he wasn’t going to do this to help us that that hurt his business guys, like, why would you ever imagine we have to find a way to make people. It’s like any sort of marketing. It’s like you have to make people want it for themselves like whether like, that’s my thing I will that should be mine, you know, as opposed to like, that’s interesting. I want to help somebody else. It doesn’t always work that way. You know, people are mostly selfish, and that’s a good or bad thing. But it’s what sort of drives us forward to continue making decisions for ourselves and being who we are and living our lives. So yes, to a certain extent, it’s good, because it drives us forward.

GUEST  56:37

Yeah, I’ll say, Yeah, he spent too long, kind of like focusing on what things aren’t, then it’ll just make you unhappy, rather than kind of like accept things for what they are and seeing what he can make out of them.

HOST  56:48

Yeah. And enjoy the adventure, right. Who knew you love your time in Australia, but there you did. Yeah. Every time you’re in the community, you’re running festivals. People are like, you’re a major Leader slash you’re better than most of the rest of these people around here this guy but tell me so you’re in your you were there for three and a half years, but you’re not there now what got you on to your next adventure? What led you to the next thing was in a job where the like fans calling you please come hang out with us we’re over Yeah, yeah.

GUEST  57:20

How did it go? Let’s go with that. Yeah, no, it was very it was it was the same x we were still together and she had another job opportunity that came up in the Netherlands. Last time I have to Yeah, I mean, like back to the side of the world that I was more familiar with. And I have to admit that whilst there were some amazing like things that they achieved and like an expressed and like, you know, and really there was a side of my personality that really got to explore in Australia, which I am, you know, I really had been not doing enough with before that there was similarly See a part of me that was kind of like, I don’t really have many friends here not not like, I mean, like, I’ve got lots of people who I know, and people who when I’m doing a thing or like have a chat with them, check how they are and that sort of thing. But not someone who it’s like, you know, oh, I’m having a hard time. We can I talk to I, you know, I realized when I was leaving the country that it was kind of like, well, who do I definitely want there. And it was like a very, very small list. And that wasn’t because I was like, surrounded by bad people, it was just that I realized that I’d thrown so much into, like, this other aspect of my life that I’ve neglected the fact that it’s like, you know, you’ve got to have, like, you gotta have a community around you, you’ve got to have that feeling. You’ve got to have something more than that. And and I didn’t really have that there, which you know, now I’m like, two years out of there. It’s kind of there’s only probably about two people who are regularly keep in contact with my entire time time there which says it all really, but But yeah, so to me, it was like damn, I mean the you know, Like, I’m like losing touch now with the people who I have, like a lot of history with, like, back in the UK and people I grew up with the people who I got to know in, like, you know, my, the years in my 20s from like living in London and things like that. And so, yeah, for me, it was like, yeah, let’s move back to Europe. So at least I can kind of actually, you know, be, you know, knowing my parents were getting older and things like this. It’s like, Well, yeah, you know, it’s, I can actually spend some time with those people again, and rebuild those sorts of connections. And so this opportunity came up and yet we moved to Nigeria, in in the southeast of the Netherlands, the wall other than taxes, so it’s a pretty damn small country. So when I said east of the Netherlands, you know, I am actually now part of the easy laughs which is a one of the prominent improv groups in Amsterdam, and I’m in Amsterdam most weeks. So even though it’s the office is out of the country. The country is so small that yes, it’s it takes me like an hour 20 on the train to get there.


So Oh, okay. Yeah.

GUEST  60:10

Yeah, it’s pretty connected.

HOST  60:12

Wow. So you’re able to like live an hour and a half away and do all your comedy in Amsterdam? Are you running festivals there? Or what’s your your work there you teaching and doing shows? How does that work?

GUEST  60:30

So, um, so my I mean, I got like a day job. I mean, I’m teaching and doing some dude teaching, I run a comedy night here in nightmare. So let’s stand up and with easy laughs to do a weekly show and do courses in Amsterdam. So that’s kind of, although, obviously that’s been affected by the whole code COVID-19 restrictions, but, but it’s kind of like this. I’m doing like lots of things in lots of places across the country. But yeah, I mean, those are probably like the two major ones that take my time. I mean, like I’ve also kind of realized as well that I was like spreading myself too thin in at the end of last year, I got to a point where I was like, if I keep going like this, I’m going to just like break. So I’ve kind of really scaled back the stand up now to like, to try and cater for that. But, but yeah, it’s it’s been, I don’t know, I’ve really loved moving here, and I really love this city. And I’ve made some really good friends here. I’ve kind of like as if it’s like, as if someone needs to tell you, how are you supposed to behave when you move abroad. And this time around, I kind of like learned a lot of lessons from what I didn’t do in Australia. And I’ve like, you know, made a lot more effort to like keep in touch with people and get to know people and realize that friendships and things like that don’t just form by accident, as they did when you’re in like university or in school. Or, you know, when you’re like in your early 20s, and things like that, that, you know, you got to work at them. And even if it’s someone you get on with, it’s like, you know, they’ve got their own life going on and they got things going on. And if you just kind of like have this egotistical view this kind of like it’ll work itself out, we both like each other. It’s all good. And then, you know, suddenly it’s like, when did you last seen them? Oh, I guess it was nine months ago, but you know, we’re still good. It’s still fine. It’s like, it probably isn’t. And, you know, it’s like, and even if it is, it’s like, is that really what you want? And you know, do you want to spend every single time that you do meet up with this person’s just like having this conversation where you go like, Oh my god, it’s been so long. Oh, what have you been up to? And you’ve been up to this and having some sort of like rundown on your like major life events, rather than having someone who can spend some more time with and just kind of like say, you know what the best bit about Shinobu was



GUEST  62:58

you know, when they had the three points Six is wrong, you know, you’re just like the the person that you can just like the whatever’s in your head at that particular time that you can share with, you know, the person that you’re not having to just have the kind of high level conversation with, you can just actually relax with and just talk about anything on whatever is coming to your brain because you already involved enough in each other’s lives, that you don’t have to do the other part of it. And that’s the part which I’m really kind of, like, you know, trying to make sure that I don’t lose touch with now, I’m in the Netherlands, because I felt that I really lost touch with it when I was in Australia.

HOST  63:35

So how long have you been in the Netherlands?

GUEST  63:39

Just over two years now. So two years. Yeah. So one thing that you’ve looked for? Yeah, I mean, like I said, x is now an x. So, you know, there’s a decision of like, do I carry on living in nightmare? Where do I move to Amsterdam. or moved back to the UK even. Although, I mean, that’s also been like a weird anomaly is the fact that since I’ve moved from the UK, it has changed a lot. There’s this, there’s this big thing that happened. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it. It’s called Brexit

HOST  64:18

opinions about it, and they have, but they’re very strongly affected by various things that have occurred. I don’t know for sure, but I’ve heard a lot of anger. So I understand why you might not want to swing by PS we love you and I’m really love watching your comedy and stuff, but maybe don’t come to the US right now either. I feel like maybe it’s not good spot. Not not your bakeries. Yes, you’re looking for right now.




Yeah, Yeah, I know. The thing.

GUEST  64:49

I mean, it’s like, you know, so you know, we want to see you I mean, like, come on, it’s like, you know, because we love you. It’s just, uh, you know, things are happening.


crazy shit. I mean, like, oh my god.


Well, I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole. Let’s take Yeah, it’s not so much. Yeah,

HOST  65:08

I mean, but so you’re, you’ve had a lot of the reason why you’re brought up the ups and downs was you had mentioned you had moved around with this ex but you’ve referred her continuously as your ex so at some point in this story that ex parte has to happen and it’s happened more recently right so but that’s right you said though something about where you’re at kept you there is the community a stronger thing Have you found like deeper friendships with people? I mean, clearly somehow there’s something keeping you there, you know?

GUEST  65:44

Yeah, yeah, that for sure. I mean, that’s that’s exactly it. And it’s, yeah, I’ve got like some really good friends here. I mean, like it’s a nightmare haze, like the most left wing city probably in all of the Netherlands, which is on the whole, a pretty left wing country. Anyway, it’s a it’s a very, it’s one where the Green Party is one for like 10 consecutive years. It’s very much a city where people kind of like, look out for each other. I live like it’s a place as a country where people cycle everywhere so Nowhere is far away. It’s like an you know, there’s like, designated by grants. I know that sounds like such a cliche thing to say about the Netherlands, but it genuinely makes such a difference to like a quality of life when you’re just like, yeah, your friend lives two kilometers away. But you know, it’s a seven minute cycle. So you know, you can just go over there, have a cup of coffee, go home. It’s like it’s so convenient. And speaking of someone who lived in London for so long, where it was like, you know, oh my god, he lived a 30 minute train ride away where I can put my face in someone’s armpit. Oh my god, we’re like neighbors. Oh, wow. This is amazing. I’ve never lived so close to somewhere and it’s just it’s kind of like that, that sweet spot between some way where it’s like, it’s big enough that you know, there’s like the you got the relative like a non amenity or you can, you know, I can have a night where I run wherever, like I’ve got people queuing up on the staircase to get in every time I put it on. But simultaneously, it’s like, you know, if you want to, I’m like, you know, a 10 minute walk away from like a wood where I can just like escape from it all and that sort of thing. It’s got the, it’s got that nice combination of the both. And that combined with the people that I know here and the lifestyle I don’t know, it’s the first time I kind of like really feel like, you know, I’m closer to a place where I’m like, this place, this place is in line with who I am, you know, and maybe that’ll change in like five years or less or something like that. But right now, this this speaks to me and this feels good.

HOST  67:47

Yeah. And it’s adult use place. You know, you’re, you’re growing up and figuring your life out bopping around being in Australia for a little while, but since I feel like You know, a couple of a couple of solid breakups in each of our lives and the after one of them you’re like, Oh, I’m an adult. No. Okay. I guess I’ve gone through a few things. Terrible things have happened to me and I’m not dead.


So I guess

HOST  68:18

this is what it is. It’s gonna keep going like that. And maybe I’ll get a few more weird situations, maybe a couple more mates. Who knows? Who knows? We’ll find out and it’s mine. But it’s great that you have an adult place a place that’s like, you’re you grew, you know, no one’s there to tell you, you know, like we’re talking about with our families like they sometimes they know, much like their background with you is to layered with this idea of like, oh, but he’s a good boy. And you’re like, but who am I now like, and yeah, you know, you have this place and now it’s all your own. Like if your parents came to visit you, you’d show them around, people would be like excited to meet them. Because of you. You not the other way around? So there’s some ownership of that.

GUEST  69:05

Yeah, yeah, that’s it. That is very much it this Yeah. Access very well. Well put, actually. And it’s actually yeah, that’s really cool actually. Because, you know, sometimes it’s like, that’s one of the things which I’ve really felt harder than I expected with people I know from back back in the UK is that I realized that so much has changed for me. But there’s a lot of experiences and things like you just said, which I’m trying to put into words sometimes, which I realized that they can kind of like go, Oh, that’s cool. But I don’t really get it because we’ve had such different experiences in the last, you know, like six or so years, that have really sort of, you know, and whilst they might be, you know, like, Oh, that sounds positive, and I’m sympathetic, and, you know, and I, I like the fact that it sounds that it’s that you seem happy because of it. You know, at the same time, you’re like, well You know, they don’t really understand how to deal with that information and how to process it and how to then, you know, and and simultaneously, you know, that they’ll have had big things have changed in their life, which I’m a bit like, Ah, cool. You know, it’s very different to how things have gone from me. Great, you know, and I guess there’s like that relative distance. So it’s the acknowledgement that it’s like, you know, you it’s, you don’t just hold on to something for the sake of holding on to it. You You know, if you found something that’s really good for you at that point in your life, then you know, you should really hold on to it and make the most of it and you know, and and really enjoy it for what it is.

HOST  70:43

Yeah, and you know, even though things and doesn’t make them like bad or over necessarily, you know, like, we talked about being many different people I’m, I’m still the girl who grew up in Boston and went to private school with an all girls private school. Does that dictate what I do today? No. But the experience of that is woven into where I’m at how I understand things in a larger sense. This is where I spent my adolescence. So that means I understand life this way, that kind of stuff. Like, I’m always trying to analyze my past to understand where I’m at right now. And I just feel like, every part is important. And yeah, you know, we don’t keep in touch with everybody. But they were there at the time. And they were important in that moment. And I, especially because of improv, I try to appreciate that, you know, like an improv scene happens and then it’s over and then you never return to it. But that doesn’t mean it’s less than. That doesn’t mean that your whole life isn’t different because you had that improv scene like it is because you had an experience and that’s now part of who you are. And then we get to decide what we want to do with our all the knowledge that we have. And sometimes it’s, I want to spend more time with these people. And sometimes it’s like they’re doing fine. I’m going to continue to find other adventures, you know, thank God, we live in a time when you can, like get in a plane or a train and just go somewhere else, right? There were times when people were like, so this is the house we all live in forever. Yeah. And you guys are each other. And that’s what will happen.


Like, okay, well,

HOST  72:34

you know, so we have these freedoms, like I it’s exciting that you get to live in the Netherlands and that you get to like, make this decision and, and have this new community and it doesn’t take away from any of the other people like maybe they understand maybe they don’t understand is their problem, not yours. Like we can just be who you are and then they like it or not, it’s like the audience, right? I’m such an issue with that. Because you can’t


get all that,

HOST  73:02

right, yeah, they get it or they don’t. And the only thing you can do is before you put out the show, try to imagine who you think might come and try to lean it towards them. Right? Like whenever I’m doing sketch comedy shows at the theaters in downtown Austin. I’m like, so our audience is liberal 20 somethings, that’s Who’s coming? Okay. We’re gonna do jokes for them. We’re not doing jokes where it’s like, Guys, but aren’t the republicans making some good points know that you’re not gonna make that joke? Because they’re not gonna laugh? Right? Yeah, like so you have to lean into whatever that is. All that is to say my rambling aside all that is to say the journey is important as a whole. And no part needs to be discounted purely because of it being in the past.

GUEST  73:50

Very, yeah, yeah, very true. Very true. Yeah, there’s always I mean, I Yeah, I do. Sometimes, you know, there’s always a temptation to kind of like, you know, to emphasize the positive Have your there now, because you kind of like, this is the situation that you have. And you know, there’s I think there’s like a human instinct that you kind of you will always look at what your current situation is, and sort of justify the path that you took to get there. And say like, yeah, that was that, you know, you’ll make a narrative, which makes it sound like yeah, this is perfect. This is great. It’s a very sort of human thing to do. It kind of keeps you sane. But uh, you know, it’s like, the fact is, is like, there are lots of things in my past and things which, you know, the mean now probably couldn’t imagine living through or living in. But the fact that I did, and the fact that I experienced them is what has made me who is now and if I hadn’t been that me now would have been different and would not have kind of appreciated a particular thing about it, which I can’t necessarily understand on a, you know, on a really kind of quantifiable level, but it’s there, and it’s made who I am



HOST  74:59

so Right now I know that the worlds a little paused. But is there any, like art that you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about or project that you’ve had in the works that, you know, maybe is coming out or anything like that, that you’re like into it’s also totally fine if you’re like, I’ve been alone for four weeks, and I’m doing paintings of this one pair that decays and that’s fine, too.


Yeah, well, I mean, right now,

GUEST  75:30

the funny thing is, is, so there’s there’s two things that I’ve been really trying to focus on. One of which is the fact that I’m trying to spend a bit more time on, like, solo sketch comedy. Just in the sense of like, you know, it’s like, one of my difficulties is relying on other people. So I’m like, Well, why don’t I see people like Blimey, the Scottish comedian, and I’m like, Well, why can’t I just play every role in This particular thing, why can’t I get better at adapting to someone who isn’t on camera and getting better at video editing to an extent where it is just me? You know, I mean, sure, Eddie Murphy put us off that for a long time. But it’s the positivity if you can kind of like really take those different takes and really understand where your characters are coming from in a particular sketch. So that’s one thing, which I’ve been trying to do more of than really explore and the directing on that. But another thing is that I have this, this, this improvised interview series called the real power talk, which I do in coordination with a music magazine, where we, where we get like bands who are doing touring, like, you know, usually world tours, things like this, and they’re doing like, publicity interview things as part of that tool. And we will organize an interview with them, but they will think it’s just like a regular interview saying Nika who your inspiration Well, you know, what was the inspiration for the new album, etc, etc. Except instead it’s me playing multiple different characters who have different traits about them, which kind of which are often very unsuitable for an interview. And then the pandemonium that ensues, based on the fact that they don’t realize that they’re being interviewed by a character. And then they may be answering sincerely, and then there’s different attributes to these characters. And so then it all sort of slightly falls apart. And you get these like real reactions from them. And I’ve we’ve had like a lot of backlog of episodes of that, but I’ve been doing a lot of editing on which has been cool because I’ve actually had some time to just sit on the sofa and do some video editing, which, yes, so those two projects really kind of overwhelmed me lately because I’m kind of like, you know, now suddenly, I’ve got all this time to, to spend on my laptop, rather than do things and so I’m trying to make the most Do it in that sense. So yeah, that’s Yeah, but there are there are also times where I kind of like oh yeah, I’m done with editing I would like to do a thing now you know, but what can we do?

HOST  78:12

Yeah totally. I went to the bank the other day and talked way too long to the teller through the speaker mic. You guys cool in there what’s happening like


this isn’t a robbery whatever you


want in the deposit, do what you need to do in there guys. Just keep talking.

GUEST  78:37

Oh, my God. Yeah, it’s a stranger. And I mean, because I’ve got a girlfriend now we’ve been going out for a few months. And it’s kind of like it’s a really weird situation that we would been going up long enough that you know, things were going good, but not long enough that we would don’t move in together yet. And yet because of this situation, and social isolation now for the last like, just over a month, we’ve been better I’ve been living in her place. Basically, and then it’s one of those make or break type situations, right? Because you’re kind of like, well, we wouldn’t never have naturally made this decision. But you know, let’s see how it goes, What’s the worst that can happen? The alternative is just like not see each other at all during this phase. And it’s been surprisingly awesome. And like, in a way, that was totally unexpected because of the fact that it’s like, we are spending so much time together right now. And we are so dependent on each other for every single aspect of human interaction. You know, that whole kind of like, I need you to be everything to me. And that’s not fair to ask him anyone yet somehow when we’re actually getting on and really good. And, you know, I’m like touching wood right now because I like I know that I’m a difficult person, because fundamentally, obviously, I’m speaking on my behalf. But it’s really cool. And it’s


Yeah, it’s for an hour and a half, but you seem pretty easygoing. I don’t know.


My 90 minutes with you is

GUEST  80:03

Well, I’ll take that. I feel like it’s a good interview. It’s like, it’s where you put me at ease, like very much. So it’s, it’s really cool. I really like this.

HOST  80:12

Good. I appreciate you being on the podcast and chatting with me. You know, one final question before I let you go back to the magical life that you’re living. If you had any advice for people who are trying to get involved in comedy, maybe they like you have this feeling inside of them that they want to be involved in comedy, but they just don’t know what to do. What advice would you give them to get started or move forward in their creative pursuits?

GUEST  80:48

It’s very clear. Don’t be precious. Just keep doing things, do things. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, the best thing or whatever. Just keep creating Keep trying these things just keep going. And don’t just kind of hold on to something because you think it’s the best thing in the world. Move on to the next thing, keep going. The thing is keep trying to find that thing that really gives you joy. And you know, when even though you may have thought you found the thing that is going to be everything about you, and is so good, don’t look at it that way. Just look at it as that you’ve had like this great experience, make something and now you’re looking for that next thing. There’s always been a part of my brain that’s kind of just wanted to hold on to this one particular thing that I’ve just finished or just worked on, and just kind of like, you know, bathe in it, and just sort of like say, this is the greatest thing I ever achieved something magnificent. And then you know, have the inevitable thing where you’re like, why is not everyone else appreciating it? As much as I had hoped that they would instead just really kind of just like, you know, don’t care about the audience. Just it doesn’t really matter. I mean, the thing is, is you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to bomb You’re going to like, you know, forget your lives, you’re going to just call, you’re going to freeze on stage you’re going to, you’re going to make things which are just like not up to the standard of what your expectations are in your brain. But it doesn’t matter. Just keep going, make more, go and go and go and just, you know, and just love just love it. You know? that’s that’s that’s the lesson for me is just being just to keep going.

HOST  82:23

Yeah, I think the precious comment is very important, especially for like longevity. When it comes to creating stuff, there’s no way you’re gonna be able to continue to create things and keep a handle on like, any part of the process if you are too precious with specific stuff. I mean, even like, even in like screenwriting, they’re like, get that first draft out now, because it’s crap and you need to edit it. Like that. first draft is always terrible. Using the first draft of like, home alone was the best. Nope, it there were many Edit that right? Like it had, you have to like get it out of you and not worry about, like what it is, and then edit it from there as opposed to like, maybe I should do this, maybe not. It’s like adventures even if you’re not like trying, if you’re not like stepping into that room, you’ll never know if you can do it or not do it. Or if like you even want to be part of that crowd. There’s lots of different kind of like comedy scenes and groups and stuff. You know, maybe you go into one group, they’re not your fit better. There’s another one and you can go to another group, and maybe they’re your crowd, like, in Austin, there’s like five or six different, like theater communities more than that even like, and you can just sort of like if you’re if you hang out with this crowd and it’s more your speed, great. That’s your crowd. That’s what you’re gonna do. But if you’re like, the they don’t really vibe with the way I think what I think is funny. There’s about 16 other people you can find, and then like that guy thinks you’re hilarious. go hang out with him. Great.


You It’s like, I mean,

HOST  84:01

not that you should always search for people that agree with you. But sometimes that’s what you’re looking for when you’re trying to find friends, especially in the early on. You have to find groups that like vibes with you to help you create. And then after you find the group the vibes with you, well, then you got to go to the people who totally disagree, and see if you can’t get better by figuring out why it is that they totally disagree with everything that you do.

GUEST  84:24

Yeah, yeah, it’s a balance, isn’t it? Because you got to get that thing where you keep kind of going forward and nurturing like your spirit and you know what you’re good at. But simultaneously, it’s like, you do need some sort of positive real reaffirmation, you need something that kind of like makes you go like, yeah, you know, I can keep going. It’s a balance between kind of like, yeah, this is wrong, but this is right. But yeah, and finding whatever that balance works best for you.



HOST  84:52

Yeah, totally, man. Awesome. Steven, thank you so much for chatting with me and sharing your stories with the podcast. Thank you, we really appreciate you. Just sharing your journey with us that the idea of a real pleasure so many different places seems implausible seems like crazytown like how is that even a thing, but you did it and you’re like thriving and moving through and like, this is just your adventure. And I’m sure to you, you’re like, that’s just what people do. But they don’t like some people just live in Milwaukee forever, you know. So like, Guys, the adventures are out there. You can take them just like take a chance and move, figure it out. There’ll be a group of people you can connect with. I’m just really great. Thank you so much for sharing it all.

GUEST  85:41

Thank you so much, Amy. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

HOST  85:51

Thanks for listening to Yes but why podcast? Check out all our episodes on Yes but why podcast dot com or check out all the content on our network HC Universal at HC Universal Network dot com

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