A stand-up comedian

What drove you to start doing this kind of performance? I have always loved performing, whether it was a speech exercise, a presentation...

What drove you to start doing this kind of performance?

I have always loved to perform, whether it was a speech exercise, a presentation of a seminar paper, or a valet connection. I also thought it was a good way to get the attention of a cute classmate from the third row. Later, this need to perform simmered in me, and after watching countless performances of the biggest stand-up artists, it finally erupted and I realized that I simply had to do it.

What is stand up comedy supposed to be?

It is a specific form of public speaking, where the performer presents his views on the world, everyday events and whatever is on his mind. It is a kind of monodrama that directly appeals to the audience. You are an actor, comedian, director, screenwriter and producer all in one. You want to show people what's going on in your head and you try to turn all situations into a laugh. Just by making the audience identify with you and your experiences, it can provoke laughter, which is also the primary goal of the performance.

Where does stand up come from and when did it first start being performed?

There are several theses. Some say it began as far back as the Middle Ages, where serious, traditional theater performances featured clowns and impersonators during intermissions to animate the audience with their jokes or skills. Still others say that this form was created as an alternative to theater, where even non-actors got the chance for socio-political satire. The United States of America is definitely leading the way in this regard. In America, stand up has been present for a very long time and as a result is very well developed. A year or so ago, Slovenia was also covered by a larger wave of this type of comedy. More and more great comedians are appearing and the audience is also becoming more familiar with this form of entertainment. This is definitely helped by the internet, as people can watch the performances of great stand up comedians with just a few clicks.

Do you have to have a special gift to do stand up?

Anyone who feels the need to perform and to publicly express their opinion about things that they observe, that bother them, that they find problematic and of course funny, can perform as a stand up comedian. There are no age, education, beauty or any other restrictions - the only thing that matters is that you are funny.

Do you prepare your performance in advance? How are the preparations going?

I come up with the best jokes when I do absolutely nothing for several days. But nothing really. That's when I have time to observe things and the environment around me. I jot down events or potential material for a performance in bullet points and then try to turn them into a joke. I only know if something is really funny when I present the idea to an audience, who can reward me with laughter or knock me into silence. In this case, I go back to the "workshop" and think about what I could fix and change, and in some cases I simply discard the idea. Before the actual performance, I practice in a room in front of an imaginary audience. She is the best and always ready to help.

Do you always draw material from your own life?

Every comedian has their own style. I draw ideas from my own experiences. That is why it is easier for the audience of my generation to identify with me, because someone who has had the same job for 30 years, a wife and three children at home, has a harder time identifying with my problems in finding a girlfriend, a suitable profession and my other craziness. I look for funny situations in simple things, in those that we all know and those that have happened to all of us.

Do you include current political events in your performances?

Political-social criticism is always interesting and popular among people. I myself somewhat avoid using it in my performance, and besides, so far my audience is mostly younger faces, and the majority of young people find politics boring. Then why should I bore them too.

What kind of audience reactions have you encountered most often in your career?

Given that stand-up comedy is not yet that well developed in our country, so far people come to performances mainly out of curiosity and a little with reservations. They don't believe that we will be able to make them laugh. They come with the belief that it is very difficult to make them laugh and that they are too demanding for this kind of entertainment. But we surprise them and make them laugh by registering many returners among the viewers. In Ljubljana, where stand-up comedy is already well known, performing can be a real pleasure, especially the Gromka Club on Metelkova is a true sanctuary of Slovenian stand-up comedy. Elsewhere in Slovenia, people are just getting to know this kind of entertainment.

Have you ever experienced being plastered with rotten tomatoes?

Of course! Slovenians are a very open nation and we bring rotten vegetables and similar "equipment" with us to all cultural events. (Joke!) I've never been that bad, or luckily for me the audience didn't come armed that time. There were definitely some bad performances. So, among other things, I once performed in a bar where the owner was simultaneously broadcasting the final of the Champions League in soccer on the big screen, and my performance was interrupted by loud exclamations of tooooo, noeeeeee and gooooooooool.

Which jokes "burn" the most?

Each person is a unique creature and has his own style of humor. Some like sophisticated, intelligent jokes, others puns, others situational comedy. There is something for everyone. I, too, have my own style and my own way of humor, which suits some people and others not at all. But it's true that jokes about sex, gender relations and faeces in all their forms are the ones that almost always go down.

Your role models are...

I love watching England's Eddie Izzard, followed by the late Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy as American stand-up legends, and newer stars like Dane Cook, Jay Mohr, Brian Regan and many others. We also have some guys who always make me smile, for example Klemen Mauhler, Klemen Bučan, Perica Jerković, Miki and Ranko, Vid Valič...

And where can we see you in action?

The best thing to do is to visit my website, where I keep up-to-date with my performances. An interesting project is also being prepared in Ljubljana, in which I will participate. It is called the Mega stand up festival, where the best from last year will present themselves.

Info Box

Tin Vodopivec

"Jokes about sex, gender relations and faeces in all their forms are the ones that almost always 'fire'."

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