Comedian out to create fun and drink hoppy ale
Well-known comedian and writer Te Radar hits town next month for the Nelson Winter Music Festival.
The popular entertainer will present his show Antarcticana on Saturday, July 27, and is doing a Pecha Kucha presentation the night before.
This week Te Radar took a break from performing to talk to The Leader. What’s the best thing about being a comedian?
It encourages you to try to see the funny side of things, especially when things go wrong. What’s the worst?
You are constantly seeing the funny side of things, especially when things go wrong. What’s about Nelson?
It produces some damn fine craft beer. What’s the worst?
There’s invariably another show on that I really want to see at the same time as mine. Or a show I really want to see is on the weekend before or after and I can’t stay to see it. Spoilt for choice you are Nelson! What’s better: TV or performance?
Live performance means you have more control but TV often gives you the chance to get it right or immortalises the wrongness. TV has also taken me to places I never thought I’d ever get to, to meet some amazing folk. But then nothing beats a live show when everything’s going well, and there’s spontaneous chaos leading both you and the audience off on tangents that will never be repeated because they exist only in that moment. That is pretty special. What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
A well-known New Zealand arts reviewer once threw a vial containing his urine to me the best thing doing gigs in
live while I was performing in Edinburgh. Fortunately he left the lid on. He then accused me of taking the proverbial. What about 2013?
That we are very close to New Zealand in 2014. And hoppy beer. What worries you about New Zealand in 2013?
I’m going to be narrating Peter and the Wolf for the Royal New Zealand Ballet with a live orchestra and I haven’t told them I have no ability when it comes to musical timing. You always seem to be in such a good mood. Do you ever have days when you feel like rubbish and what do you do on those days to pick yourself up?
Sure. Everyone has bad days. I like to go online and look at pictures of cats doing weird things or that people have added hilarious captions to, to remind myself not to take myself too seriously and that in a bleak world there can be a lot of joy. That and having someone remind me that my own introspective self-importance that often leads to glumness is in itself inherently absurd. What’s the greatest compliment anyone has ever paid you?
They stayed until the end of the show. If you weren’t a comedian what would you be doing?
I would probably be institutionalised. I’m quite lazy and I don’t mind routine, and I always think being gets New you excited Zealand in placed inside a system would give me something to concentrate on subverting. What five websites do you spend most of your time on?
Andrewsullivan.com – what’s better than a British, gay, Catholic, conservative aggregating news and opinion from the US? Twitter – occasionally banal but mostly a very useful way to figure out what’s happening. It’s also a great medium for humour. Dailymail.co.uk – a guilty salacious tabloid pleasure. And my online calendar – I stare at this a lot as it tells me where I am supposed to be and when but often not why. Regretsy.com – sadly no longer updated but a brilliant source of all that’s wrong with handicrafts. What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Breathe. Actress Brenda Kendall once gave me this suggestion as a way to center yourself in that moment before you perform. She said that those few seconds before you go on stage, or do something on camera, or indeed do anything that requires calm focus, are yours. No-one can take them away, so if you just consciously take that time, breathe, and shed whatever’s bothering you, you’ll get by. Works in all areas of life I’ve found. If you could do a tour with four other comedians (living or dead) who would you pick and why?
Tim Minchin who’s a brilliant lyricist and who has such a great back story of coming so close to chucking it in before people realised how great he is. Daniel Kitson, who rarely performs but who is perhaps the greatest wordsmith of my comedy generation. Russell Brand, because every tour needs a lothario with a powerful brain and a lot of issues and Brendhan Lovegrove, one of the first people I toured with and still my favourite New Zealand comedian. When was the last time you dug a hole and what did you put into it?
The last hole I dug was actually in my head. While trying to dig a trench to retain bamboo the pickaxe bounced off a root and virtually embedded itself in my noggin. There’s now a small dent in my skull that I am constantly putting my finger in before asking myself if I shouldn’t be concerned about it.
Craft beer fan: Te Radar is performing his show Antarcticana at the Nelson Winter Music Festival.