The Comedian


Sandra back from major to Melwood. It's about five hours. Now, I'm only half an hour out of milk JIRA. And I get a flat tire. But that's okay. I'm an adult and the motormen. I know what you do a pullover. I get out of the car. I get my far now and I do had change a flat tire. But there was no reception. So what I did. Then was I sat down to die. It's hard to make a living from coma. Komaki that are plenty of funny. People who spend their nights making people laugh, but very few are able to give up the day job. Simon Taylor is one of the select few. He's what he calls a road comic spending. The first part of the year performing Australian comedy festivals. And the rest of the time tuning over the last eight years or so he reckons he's done around three thousand shows in a stray area, Asia and the United States. This is his day job. I'm trying to change the tire. I'm trying to crack the nuts for the wheel keeps turning. But as I'm trying to do this this old Ricky ute comes down the road country town pulls over out steps of blog. And I mean a plug. You know, those guys was so full of testosterone. They can't from words anymore. They just breathe that you to like all might. I'll tell you what. Tell you what. And then there are in tell you anything goes. But as a road comic, it's not only flat tires he has to contend with the week before Simon came back to campus to speak to three or one. Oh, he admitted on social media to spending twenty five minutes in the virgin check in queue before realizing he was flying Qantas. So I'm glad university prepared me for the real life ties like knowing what flight you're on. This is actually been a problem the last three or four months, I've been touring so much. I swear I've gotten off a plane once and gone white which city am I in. So it's good to be working as a standup. So I'm very grateful for that. But I also in such a blue of an existence that you know, you fly virgin three times in a row. And then you just assume the full time, you're flying again. So glad people on social media. Simon studied psychology at Melbourne, but never actually plan to be a psychologist a spell of short term jobs made that very clear quite early on. I just think it was very obvious to me that I couldn't hold a job with a boss. I I'm very inquisitive in the sense of I won't do something unless I know why? And the reason and I get very angry at people's habits in systems that don't make sense. I moved at home at eighteen studying here, and I would have a job at a restaurant online on street and work there for a weekend. Hate it quit use that money to pay for rent and then three weeks later need rent money, again get a job at a different restaurant. Unlike on straight then were that weekend pay for rent quit. And so I've worked at a half a dozen or more restaurants online, gone straight. That's not to see his training and psycho. She has gone to waste. In fact, it's come in very handy, onstage empathy helps because when you are the myriad of mental illness this out there and dependency on substance, and and all that sort of stuff. So at least I can, you know? Empathize with with audience members. It's very rare that I would ever be aggressive to a Hekla or anything like that. I'm always like, oh what's going on? What are you going through? It's happening. Would you like to tell me about it? So yeah, I I think that kind of putting yourself in someone else's shoes comes from at least studying behavior and people in social psychology. So you aren't actually counseling people, but just your hecklers just the Hickel just the people who need it. I mean, the I I guess I guess I'm kinda canceling my cell phone stage. But when there's a heckler like, I think while you go problems worse than me. Let's focus on you for bit. I'm trying to change the tire. I'm trying to correct the nuts. But the wheel keeps turning. That's the Santa someone who knows how to change a tire. Simon was a bit of a bookworm often. He'd find himself sitting in the library spending hour after hour reading and losing himself in Utah psychology socializing just wasn't on his list, man. Oh, man. This is I don't know if this is true. I learned magic. I was actually I was at home practicing magic tricks or in the library studying loss of writing essays. But yeah, it didn't do I didn't do the funds social things so much. I kind of scoffed at them until it this isn't gonna make me educated. And in reality that was the education. I needed think more than anything was out of the social and speak to people I had some romantic interest in instead of writing love letters to them in the library. I did that a lot. I write love letters to people from the library. Yeah. I was a bookworm and a melodramatic. Rick loose. Simon phoned is creative spark early. He will poetry tried break. Dancing singing and writing songs improv and magic. As well as Sunde up. But it was in the most unlikely of settings that he developed his comedic skills while still at university he began working with children with autism. So I did that for a number of years, and that actually told me a lot about entertainment engaging with people because the biggest part of the therapy was with these kids you had to reinforce positive behaviors. So if they did something good you had to make them laugh for them, a magic trick or pool of funny face or go outside on the trampoline. So the majority of your session was entertaining them keeping them happy giving them rewards for the good behavior. So that was kind of almost perfect juncture between psychology. And and entertainment. I'm really grateful that I had all the studies here to kinda build my brain for being capable now is a freelance or in a way the stand up you're pretty much freelance and all the oldest subjects like philosophy which told me logic and critical thinking and. Psychology told me statistics. And the empirical research science all that sort of stuff is actually really effective for just general life skills and making decisions. So I actually feel really well a quipped to be self sufficient as an entertainer we've got the it's lowest was strolling accent. That's unique us beautiful. I'm half Italian. I heard it trickle in twelve language started with a Toyin triggered into broken English became its lowest ralian check it out Joe Camel morning Kabila Jonas the here rally or start a small business mode. If you want to good deal come say me sprinkled in heard it. It wasn't until his final semester that he became involved in union host theatre he performed a magic show that made him realize that the stage was where he belonged stand up who's just the most pure form. I thought he could just be anywhere and talk to people and make them laugh, and I just love the idea of being self sufficient entertainer that you don't need gimmicks. So propsal instruments and things like that. So even though I bring a lotta those old skills back into my shows. I wanna be able to travel and talk, and that's why I've landed here because of the practicality of it. He just didn't want to suitcase. I didn't wanna big suitcase. No, I can I can go to a city for a weekend with a backpack, and that's -joy. Some fun. Let's talk about Muslims. There's been a lot of tension with the Muslim community. I've been reading the Twitter feed. And a lot of hateful tweets coming up. Muslims should go back to where they came from. We should block Slim's. But as I'm reading my fade, so random tweet come up from fun facts dot com, and it said, fun fact mosquitoes have killed more people than all walls in history, which I think we can all agree is a pretty fun fact. If I come stage. I haven't made them laugh which suddenly happened in the first, you know, year or two you could just have it just the death gig. And you still can if you're trying new material I will come up. Well, how could I have done that better? What do I need to fix to have made them laugh? And then if I have a good gig. I'll think that was awesome. I want to get back on again. So there's always a reason to get back on stage as far as I'm concerned either to resolve the issues in the set or to shed that material in these days, he's increasingly shading his material with audiences in America industry. Leah once the comedy festival season is over it's hard to make a living just by appearing at comedy clubs and radio and TV gigs are hard to come by. So Simon like a lot of economic heads overseas. LA New York, very crowded committee. Seems is just so many people biting the stand up comics for various reasons in LA, it's because they want an acting career or media career and stand up his his something naked at least do every day. But if you're an actor darn always have auditions every day or Pam practicing Kroft everyday. So so it's very hard to even get stage time over there. But all the other cities that I perform at a, you know, pretty wonderful stand up comedy sayings Denver is really good. At actually remind reminded me of a lot of Melman lots of small rooms and Bosch shows that you can do really solid club. It was when he was tuning the US that he landed one of the hottest gigs in comedy writing for the tonight show with Jay Leno. Oh, I lose on cloud nine. It was crazy. So when I got the contract after sending some jugs, indeed, it was the scariest most and Zadi Phil moment of my life walking that letter to the mailbox. I I was in West Hollywood. And I was walking down the street, and I was shaking, and I was overwhelmed like this could change my life. These litigating there will change my life. And I was just so the wound by it was so surreal that I met him that he asked me to send jokes in that. He liked them that he wanted me to work for him. So when I happened when I first got my jokes on the show. I I had just landed back in a strategy. I was doing some shows in Adelaide, and I watched online, and it was so odd that I was in America for two weeks. And then I'm back into stralia now writer for the show. So I was on a high for for a long time and. What was interesting is that in America people very excited about your achievements? Oh, you've done. This amazing isn't credit your great while in a stray area, the toll puppy syndrome is legitimate. I remember not telling my friends and local comics that was writing for the show for like two months because I was kind of embarrassed about the achievement. And this is the exact response. I got from the first comedian. I told I said. Hey, man. I. I just became a rod for the Tanatshai. Jay leno. And look to me said. Yeah. But you still shit. So you know, I was kept grounded by the local comedy sane. But in terms of feeling satisfied with the work. It was it was a joy. Back home. He's also written for one of a steel. Most successful satirical, comedians, Sean McAuliffe while Simon makes living to writing and performing jokes. He doesn't mean handing over some of his best lines. No, if you writing it in their voice, you wouldn't really do it yourself. I don't think I've ever on stage. Senator joke written for anyone else. Because it's especially with Leno. He's type of jug for the monologues was very specific to his style and his point of view and the same with mccollough. I mean, those are more sketch scripts anyway, so I wouldn't really ever do that. So if you wouldn't do the jerks yourself, there's no worry about handing the babies, you just want jokes up to be honest. You on them like them and use them for them to work. Miskitos of the real enemy because I don't know about you guys. But I've never been bitten by Muslim like never. No once I've never been bed at night trying to get to sleep with the Muslim man just going. Get outta here. I'm. Miskitos are the real enemy not all mosquito. The majority of decent hard-working mosquitoes. Just the extreme ones that make the others. No after spells rating for comedy central in net flicks in the US and hosting his only at night talk show on community television here. He's back on the road. You know, being by continental is kind of helpful in that you can keep the income going keep the skills building throughout the whole year of than just waiting for the comedy season. Not just America performed in India and southeast Asia, you turn up, and if you're your comic, and you do a spot and the other comic see you spot in that you good then be part of the family. So I really enjoy just being road comic for that reason being accepted. Just because you're funny. You're one of us. You've been listening to the three or one podcast written and edited by me Val McFarland and corpus by me and Vereker Yokich music by Rhody Clark. Chris Hudson was our audio engineer. If you enjoyed listening to this visit Uni mail dot EDU dot e you forward slash three one oh for more stories copyright, two thousand eighteen the university of Melbourne.

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