Co­me­dian out to cre­ate fun and drink hoppy ale

The Leader (Nelson) - - Feature -

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?

An­drew­sul­li­ – 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. Dai­ly­ – 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. Re­ – 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.

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