I pursued standup comedy while still at University of Newcastle, and before I graduated I felt like I was at a crossroads where I’d pursue a creative life or professional life, and I went down the creative route.
Meet Ethan Andrews.
I’m originally from Singleton and currently living in Wallsend. I’m 25. It’s kind of hard to look back on things and see how one particular thing leads to another but everything has accumulated and led me to where I am now. I suppose it was after saying yes to too many things and burning myself out. I came to a realisation after doing the web series “Always Hungry”. The act of creating any art should be enough, but building momentum and an audience aren’t motivators that endure, and interests come and go. I pursued standup comedy while still at University of Newcastle, and before I graduated I felt like I was at a crossroads where I’d pursue a creative life or professional life, and I went down the creative route. It was freelancing in the world of events and art, where those circles intersect. Doing standup comedy, writing, trivia nights. I created my own show, and then I suppose I just kept doing things and then did festivals and did the web series and just kept saying yes to things. It wasn’t like people were coming to me with ideas, these were things I was generating myself. I was doing all of them, and I was just really tired. I performed at heaps of festivals in different cities across Australia: Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. But I wasn’t making enough money just to do standup; I was doing all these other things and at one point I was literally working as a carny and I remember thinking ‘this great because I’ve generated a fair bit of money in these three weeks and this might have taken three months freelancing, and I kind of liked the routine.’ That experience was a realisation for me.
Since then I have a job that pays the bills in admin. I haven’t done much creative stuff in the past 12 months. I have a newsletter that I rarely publish and I pop into ABC Radio Newcastle every now and then to have a chat with Jenny and Dan. I’d be very surprised if I never had a creative project that I was involved with ever again. No one asks musicians what they do in between albums. I don’t know what they do but maybe they feel like I do now. Newcastle is a DIY city which can be really good but it also feels like it’s removed from the comedy world of Sydney. It’s not so expensive that I can’t be indecisive. And being able to fail anonymously is a good thing. I don’t think I’m doing much failing, but it’s a place that lets you be unsure of where are you are. Here I can take my time a little bit. I could go back and do stand up in another 12 months and there would still be people I know there. I wouldn’t have lost too much. But in other places it might be like “he’s gone, he’s done.” In two years Sydney moves on.
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