Brendon Green has gradually made his way into the comedy world over the past nine years and as of this year is a full-time comedian. After dabbling in musical comedy and solo stand up for some time, Brendon took a huge leap in 2012 and booked his first festival show which consequently won him the Best Newcomer title. He’s performing his fifth new hour “Eggs and Ham” until 1st May and then from 10th – 14th May.
Brendon’s stories are hilariously relatable and he draws his inspiration from all aspects of life. He is most comfortable talking about personal experiences on stage which is a contrast to his off-stage persona.
“I found that my best technique on stage is to talk about myself because I never do in real life. On stage and in interviews I can talk about myself, [but] if I’m just chatting with people I find it very difficult to… Mostly because you can’t prepare! If you can prepare your own stories about yourself, my god! Isn’t that the way you want the world to see you? You can make stuff up, embellish stuff, make yourself look much better… I reckon I probably make myself look a bit worse.”
Brendon manages to see the comical side of life without too much effort. His laugh-out-loud stories range from being light and fun (for example, reflecting on his relationship with his girlfriend) to addressing the darker parts of life and death.
Many people are surprised he chooses to talk about morbid things but he explains he’d rather turn the tables and make them something to laugh about.
“What else would you do with that subject matter? … Why would you take things seriously? It’s bizarre to me.”
Brendon has grown his passion for making people laugh from a hobby to a full-time career, slowly cutting back his permanent job hours over the years to accommodate his growing interest comedy.
“I want things to be the smoothest, easiest transitions. That’s why I took quite a long time. I’m slow and steady, that’s my outlook. I didn’t burst into the scene.”
His first festival show sparked his interest in writing hour-long acts that require a lot of thought to incorporate call backs and underlying themes. As a newcomer in 2012, he was offered one of the smaller venues which he was ultimately grateful for.
“The good thing about when people do their first shows in small venues is you get sell out runs because all of your friend and family come and they tell people. So I sold out my run there which was very cool. And I was like, ‘Oh, ok, I like that’. That’s when I get really jazzed about comedy – I love crafting an hour.”
Brendon loves writing the hour-long shows so much that he finds it a challenge to squeeze his material into ten minute gigs for when it isn’t festival season. He particularly enjoys writing material that is connected by themes and call backs, qualities that are difficult to replicate in a short set.
“I do take quite a lot of pride in writing a show for a comedy festival… Half my passion is in the writing and narrative and structure.”
“[For] my Melbourne one I’ve just done a ‘best of’ material so that wasn’t a beginning, middle, and end structural show. That was fine. I’ve got enough material over five shows that I can just do gags for an hour but I really like the satisfaction of a -what do you call it? [Long pause] A structurally satisfying… I don’t know, can you just right-click synonyms? That’d be great.”
You heard it here first – if Brendon’s next show is called “A structurally satisfying right-click-synonyms”, that was from this interview.
Brendon enlightens me on how he creates an hour-long act, a feat that sounds a lot more complicated that I once thought;
“Constructing a festival hour isn’t just deciding which gags to put after one another like a line-up show or headline spot. I really like looking at my material that I’ve written over the year and then finding the recurring themes and any similarities and then expanding that. For example, this one was [about] finding happiness… The themes were finding happiness in trying new things. But then every single one of my stories in the show was about something little… And that’s the way I wrote about the atoms – the smallest things in the universe. Ignoring the big and going smaller.”
The audience may not realise immediately that Brendon’s thematic material has many deep deliberations under the surface, even in the occasional song or poem he performs.
“The audience doesn’t know! But I know. I’m like, ‘you guys, every single word I’ve chosen is there for a reason’.”
Brendon thinks for a long while when I ask him about his favourite part of comedy before settling on two.
“The first is hitting an inspiration and writing a joke and going, “Oh my god, this is amazing. This is fantastic. I thought about this and it’s real funny”, and writing that down and being real stoked with it. And tied first with that is trying it out on stage and people laughing.”
There is possibly no better feeling that a whole audience laughing at your jokes and Brendon agrees with me. He mentions that his show the previous night (which I attended) was an amazing experience in this respect,
“Having the full audience laugh at me… ah! That’s all I want to do. That’s all I want to do with my life.”
Brendon’s enthusiasm for stand up is contagious and it makes me want to get back on stage as soon as possible. In his shows, he runs through a mix of stand up, music, and poetry so smoothly that it looks effortless. It’s not, of course. A lot of thought goes into the content and delivery but after seeing him on stage and talking to him in person, it’s clear that performing comedy is the career Brendon is meant for.
Who: Brendon Green
What: Eggs and Ham
Dates: Tuesday 10th May – Saturday 14th May (Previous shows Saturday 23rd April – Sunday 1st May)
Show times: 10:00pm
Ticket price: $16-$20 (booking fees may apply). Book tickets here.