Hugs achieved: x1
Ethan Andrews is embarking on his maiden MICF show titled ‘The Youngest I am Ever Going To Be’. “The show is about self-help…I grew up in a town with the highest ratio of men to women in Australia and I left because a self-help book told me to”. But the only problem for Ethan, is it turns out the town and the book were conspiring against him.
“Self-help and wellness is something that resonates with people”, says Ethan. He discusses his experience of starting out as a sceptic against the idea but how it all changed after a break-up. “I see her life go in this quick upward trajectory…and mine doesn’t…. I think self-help is why this happened”. After trying to “cram” a book’s teachings into his life, it “fits for a bit…but in the end, it betrays me”.
What makes Ethan’s love story different is where he comes from… Newcastle. He suggests his show is “genuinely representative of the dire romantic circumstances”, where he saw “cousins marry and other people die alone”. And it was in these dire circumstances where Ethan found his comedy voice.
“Being creative is a part of who I am…naturally, the way I write, I put jokes into my writing”, says Ethan. After initially wanting to be in a band, Ethan performed at his first stand-up gig in 2013. He describes the “tiny scene” in Newcastle, which he says is slowly growing. “When I started there was no regular open mic… there was a monthly room… a free bar show” but “now it has a bunch of regular gigs”. Included in these regular gigs are those run by Madame Speaker comedy, which Ethan coordinates. These shows vary from weekly open mics to professional, ticketed gigs.
Ethan has also been involved in writing workshops. “Newcastle is a smaller scene but when there are less gigs, there is less motivation to make new material”. With “meet-ups” that ran for around six months, Ethan observed how helpful it was for his own and other’s comedy to work off one another and improve their sets.
In addition to helping contribute to the comedy scene in Newcastle, Ethan also has gigged in Sydney where he would “catch a train down to do a set, then train back” (which is a fair slog for a five to ten minute set). Ethan appears to admire individuals who put in the time and energy to build their comedy career.
As part of a grant Ethan received to support regional artists, he undertook a trip to Melbourne where he met Karl Chandler. “I met with Karl a couple of times and went and saw his rooms, and talked about running rooms”, relishing the opportunity to “talk about budgeting, how shows run, and what makes a show good”. Ethan speaks with admiration for how Karl has “carved his own path…his own little niche”. In addition to admiring Karl for his comedy writing and empire building, Ethan really appreciates story-telling comedians, “Mike Birbiglia is my favourite comedian…when I first heard him I thought…this is it”.
Ethan has drawn inspiration from his favourite comedians to develop a show that is “observational, where straight stand-up comes from that inner monologue”. He has worked on the show for “two years and (is) really proud of how it’s come together”. “I know if audiences will come, they will like it”. The show features a mix of crowd work, observational comedy and story telling and most importantly “it has a happy ending…well…it’s a good ending for me”.
Check out Ethan Andrews’ 2018 MICF show ‘The Youngest I am Ever Going To Be’ at the Tasma Terrace from 9 to 22 April 2018. For more information and to book tickets, click here.
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