South West Londoner’s Daniel Jolly caught up with former Britain’s Got Talent contestant Kev Orkian before the launch of the HOWLIN Comedy Club.
HOWLIN Comedy Club launched in Wimbledon last night and saw some of the finest comedians take part in entertaining a variety of audiences.
South West Londoner’s Daniel Jolly caught up with Kev Orkian, a regular at HOWLIN Comedy Club.
Kev recently finished his role as Idle Jack in the New Wimbledon Theatre’s production of Dick Whittington where he was hugely popular with audiences and received critical acclaim.
SWL: How would you describe your comedic style?
KO: Natural, musical comedy, with no forced humour.
SWL: How important is audience interaction to you?
KO: As important as my interaction is with them.
SWL: Who is the most famous person/group you have ever played a gig for?
KO: Many internationally renowned people, from Royalty to Celebrity, but when you walk on that stage they are all just an audience to me.
SWL: Who are your favourite comedians of all time and at the moment?
KO: Victor Borge, Les Dawson, Dudley Moore…
SWL: Which new and up and coming comedians should we be watching out for?
KO: Me for starters! And a very good friend, Patrick Monahan, Phil Butler, Tucker. They are all great acts and very natural comedians.
SWL: What would you rate as your best and worst gigs?
KO: I don’t really rate gigs, I just analyse my performance and how I could have improved it somehow.
SWL: What are the best and worst venues you have played at?
KO: The best venues are the intimate ones. The worst are the arenas where you can’t see people or hear them.
SWL: How did you first get into comedy and why?
KO: I love comedy and always wanted it to be part of my life. I got my first break in Blackpool in the Comedy bonanza and it all took off from there.
SWL: What or who inspired you to get into comedy?
KO: One person stands out for me – my drama teacher Jospehine Kattan. She just believed I was ordained to be a performer of some sort.
SWL: What are your interests and hobbies outside of comedy?
KO: I love writing and composing music, reading lots of autobiographies, and being the CEO of HOWLIN Comedy Club.
SWL: Do you cater your jokes for regional audiences?
KO: Absolutely. You have to be aware of where you are and what jokes and routines will work for the audience you are performing to.
SWL: What do you think makes a good joke?
KO: Honesty, innocence and great timing.
SWL: What do you think are the key attributes for a comedian to have?
KO: To be funny!
SWL: Do you have any opinion on reality shows for comedians like Show Me the Funny?
KO: Yes my pal Patrick Monahan won it. It is a great TV opportunity. However BGT was a waste of time, simply because it is not catered for comedians at all.
SWL: How important do you think it is for comedians to go through a ‘rite of passage’ of playing smaller venues and slowly working their way up the ladder?
KO: Very important. You don’t learn to play like Jools Holland without practising for hours and hours. The same process should be for working comedians.
SWL: What was it like to appear on Britain’s Got Talent?
KO: Great fun, however I never lost sight of the fact that it was just a good TV show. And knew when it was time to pull out.
SWL: If you had to make a choice between music and comedy, which would you choose?
KO: I’ve never had to make that choice yet.
SWL: How important has theatre been to you?
KO: Theatre has been in my life from day one. It is where I trained and it’s where I feel alive.
SWL: You were due to perform alongside Katherine Jenkins and James Blunt for the British Forces Foundation – how disappointing was it to miss it?
KO: It is disappointing for the soldiers who need moral lifting, but there’s always next time.
SWL: What can we expect from you in the future?
KO: I have many projects on at the moment, a world tour which I’m currently on, TV and film projects, plus running my Touring Comedy club.
SWL: Is it difficult to keep your material fresh while touring?
KO: Not at all. You just believe you’re doing it for the first every time. That is the real art of theatre.
SWL: Do you constantly test out and add jokes to your set?
KO: Yes always, especially to other comics, friends and family. Sometimes I just try it out on the audience without knowing what the response will be.
SWL: Have you ever played in Wimbledon before?
KO:I played in a panto back in 2002 and 2011 and I also supported Joe Pasquale there I think.
The next Howlin Comedy Club night will be on 30th April at 7.30pm at New Wimbledon Studio.
For more information and tickets please visit http://www.atgtickets.com/Wimbledon