This year, ahead of Noted, Bela Farkas interviewed six festival artists. In this third instalment, he chats to Ethan Andrews, a stand-up comedian from Singleton, NSW who has performed at the National Young Writers’ Festival, Sydney Fringe and Brisbane’s Anywhere Festival. He also hosts the live show Madam Speaker, has appeared on ABC Radio National’s Now Hear This and is the worst accounting student at the University of Newcastle.
How did you get into stand-up comedy?
I was really into Theatresports when I was a teenager and was in a lot of school musicals. When I left high school, I tried to start a band but couldn’t find anyone to play with, so I started stand up. My first gig was for Triple J’s Raw Comedy.
What helps you prepare for a show?
If I’m hosting a show, I’ll usually procrastinate preparing material, spend the evening fretting that no one will show up and start the gig ten minutes late. I’m always full of nervous energy, so I’ll try to distract myself by joking around with the other comics on the line-up.
How do you handle hostile crowds?
I’m pretty lucky that most of the shows I do aren’t at venues that attract hostile crowds. On the rare occasion that I’ve been yelled at or heckled relentlessly, I like to remind myself that those people aren’t the audience I want to perform for anyway. Drunk people at a bowling club aren’t my target market and that’s fine.
What inspires your material?
Real things that have happened to me – and relationships. I don’t think I have any new opinions on current affairs to contribute, so I like to stick with stories from my past.
Do you have any tips for up-and-coming comedians?
Go to a comedy or fringe festival and watch the shows that everyone is talking about. If you can’t make it to a gig, google ‘best comedy specials’ and watch as many as you can. Be inspired, go to open mics and give it time.
Ethan Andrews will feature at Noted Writers’ Festival 2016 in the following events: Show + Tell – Saturday 19 March, 3pm-4pm at the National Library of Australia; and Lit Hop – Saturday 19 March, 6pm-10pm, various locations in the CBD.
Canberra-based writer and 2016 Noted artist Bela Farkas's work is heavily influenced by popular culture and current events. Bela's work will also appear as part of Bill Poetries at this year's festival.