'The best reward is seeing the crowd enjoying'

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'The best reward is seeing the crowd enjoying'

Justin Hamilton, a known comedian in the Australian comedy circuit, can’t imagine doing anything else other than making people laugh. The performer, who was in the City recently, spoke to Metrolife about India and his journey in comedy.

A director, stand-up comedian and writer, Justin says that all of these provide him different levels of satisfaction. “Stand-up comedy is great fun as you work on your material, get up and talk into a magic stick that makes noise,” jokes Justin.

“Directing is fun as I sit down with younger comedians and help them shape their act accordingly,” he adds.

Justin performed 158 shows last year, mainly in Australia and Afghanistan, and vouches that stand-up comedy is his main interest. He has also been on a breakfast show and reviewed movies.

   “I still review movies and try to make it as funny as possible,” he says. But Justin says that stand-up comedy has its own advantages.

   “One can talk about a lot of things in stand-up comedy. If I’m talking about high school, I can talk about bullies; if I was nerdy, how I performed in sports, the subjects I liked and so on. But in radio, you have to stick to one idea as people keep tuning in and out. So it’s the least creative,” he explains.

Theatre is something that Justin finds deeply intriguing. “Even the theatre I’ve done has been comical. The best part of doing comedy in theatre is that one can paint a picture and take the audience on a journey,” he says.

   But he feels that some plays can be exhausting and with comedy, one can say a story in an interesting manner.

Despite winning many awards for his work and even having one named after him in his city, he feels that making people laugh is highly rewarding.

   “The best reward is seeing the crowd enjoying,” says Justin.

Justin’s ‘Can You Take This Photo Please?’ is a popular podcast in Australia. “At times, when I was hanging out with my best friends from the industry, some fans walk up to me and ask me to take a photo of them with my friends. That’s how the name of this podcast came about. I even think that it would be a great title for my autobiography,” he laughs.

His favourite comedians are Robin Williams and Woody Allen. “Eddie Izzard, Stewart Lee, Louis CK and Sarah Silverman are the others that I really enjoy,” he says.

His acts revolve around a lot of topics. “I’ve worked on acts that are about my experiences in the war zone in Afghanistan. While some are about the other things that I have experienced, some revolve around politics and stuff that happens deep within me,” he says.

Ask Justin what he thinks of India and he says, “When I was in Mumbai, it felt like I was in a video game. But Bangalore seems much calmer. All the people that I’ve met are so kind and polite,” he says.

   Talking about the comedy scene in the country, Justin smiles and says, “People seem to be a bit obsessed with taboo topics.”

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