Interview: Greg Sullivan

Greg Sullivan, Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase: Two shows at the Byron Theatre, Saturday at 5pm and 8pm.

Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase | Byron Theatre, Community Centre | Saturday | 5pm & 8pm | $27–36

Comedian and Mullumbimby resident Greg Sullivan is a master storyteller, delivering unique insightful comedy that always has this ability to surprise you. He has such a casual style you just don’t see the punchlines coming.  Greg is one of the featured comedians with the Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase coming to Byron Theatre.

Why are showcases important? What kind of comedians are on board?

A showcase is a great way of seeing a whole bunch of comics doing a distilled and concentrated version of their longer sets; it’s all killer no filler. Chris Ryan started comedy in her late thirties and is proof that women can do everything, working as a journalist, singer, running her own business, raising her two kids. Mike Goldstein is a Jewish/Sri Lankan/American/Australian who gave up being a lawyer in Perth to become a brilliant joke writer with a great laidback style. I really like Cam Knight despite his being almost unfeasibly handsome and cool. John Cruikshank looks like the typical Aussie tradie next door. Behind that Everyman look is a unique and surreal mind; his brain-spraining jokes are delivered with deadpan matter-of-factness. Shayne Hunter walks his talk. After becoming disillusioned with capitalism during the global financial crisis a young Shayne became a squat-living, dumpster-diving AntiFa activist.

As a professional standup how do you push yourself to keep evolving with your stagecraft?

Part of living a fulfilled and interesting life is to work on a problem you find interesting but you know you can never solve. My self-assigned task is to be a force for forgiveness, tolerance and non-violence through the medium of dick jokes. I don’t expect prizes and awards for this selfless work, just a very high income and people asking me for my autograph every now and then.

Advice for new comics?

Find a good accountant and psychiatrist. If you become successful you’ll need both of them; if you don’t become successful you’ll still need the psych. If you write good jokes, try to become a more relaxed and natural performer. If you’re naturally funny and relaxed onstage, work on writing better jokes. Try not to have contempt for your audience. Treat other comedians well, even if you don’t find them funny. They could get really good all of a sudden and it sucks to have a famous and powerful enemy. In the long run no-one can afford cocaine and it is quite moreish.

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