MEET THE FUNNY MAN FROM OZ
Comedian, writer and explorer Marcus Ryan is going to be performing in Goa for the first time ever, courtesy a gig put together by The Goan Comedy Club. Café speaks to the stand-up comic and gets to know more about him and his art form
A storyteller with a natural comic bent, Marcus Ryan has featured at many festivals and clubs around the world. After performing in 40 countries, Ryan is headed to Goa for the first time ever, armed with his sharp wit and tales from the road. And though Australian born, Marcus spends a lot of time in Canada and the UK and is a regular on club circuits across North America and Europe as well as frequenting festivals worldwide.
Stand-up comedy as an art form has sort of become glamorous of late, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. And while Ryan admits that the glamour bit is what he loves, his career in stand-up comedy happened naturally. Ryan says, “It’s true the on-stage part might seem glamorous, and that’s the part I truly love, there’s no greater feeling, but a lot happens behind the scenes to get to that point. I’m sure every field has its ups and downs nobody wants to hear about! I got hooked on comedy because I was naturally drawn to it. I honestly believe it chooses you, not the other way around.”
At a time when the world seems to be losing its sense of humour, and governments are taking stand-up comics ‘too seriously’, one might argue that the art form now comes with an added sense of responsibility or the need to tread with caution. For Ryan, steering clear of religion and politics is one way of doing that. He says, “If I don’t know enough about a topic, I generally stay clear of it. There’s always someone in the audience smarter than you! And who wants to look dumb!? Social media has brought with it a generation of instant reviewers and keyboard experts. Anything you say will offend someone. Just don’t insult Trump. He is a very fragile man with nuclear weapons at his small finger tips!”
Ryan admits that his understanding of India is what he has absorbed from fellow travellers and acknowledges that one would need a few lifetimes here to scratch the surface. He says, “The smells, the sounds, the tastes, the colours, the people! It’s an overwhelming place at times and I can’t wait to get to know it more.” He also admits that being in Goa for the first time is turning out to be an interesting experience and feels that it won’t be his last. Ryan elaborates, “It doesn’t take long to meet the local characters. I feel like a tourist one day and right at home the next. That’s what I love about my job and travelling. One day I’m staying in a bungalow with a tree sticking in the middle of it, a squat toilet and my neighbour is the drug mafia, the next day I’m performing at a hotel and staying in a fancy hotel room. There’s never a dull moment.”
Ryan does not believe in following a pre-written script and any altering of content the audience will see, will happen right before their eyes. He says, “I’ll have a bunch of observations, stories and tales to tell, play with the crowd and see what works. That’s the beautiful thing of live comedy. Anything can happen.” Ryan signs off with a disclaimer, though: “If I don’t turn up to the show, send a search party to the beach, there’s a strong chance I’m still sat on the sand watching the sun go down.”
Marcus Ryan will be performing today, January 13, 2018, at The Crown, Panjim at 7:30 pm
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