“A couple of weeks ago I was on the Gold Coast and I was about five seconds into a gig and these two meth addicts started fighting outside the window next to the stage.
“So the whole audience turned to watch 'cause no one can beat a fight. Doesn’t matter what instrument you’re playing, what you’re doing, not even a stripper can out out-perform a fight breaking out.”
The trick Ashwin says is that sometimes you have to roll with the punches. “So I ended up having to do fight commentary for eight minutes. Lucky they were pretty amusing themselves. They were throwing big air-kicks and one of them stripped down to these little, red shorts. He looked like David Hasselhoff.”
Ashwin is a man of many talents. As well as being a stand-up comedian who's also a part-time sports commentator, he is an accomplished instrumentalist. His upcoming show ‘Stick Creature’ is a new, live-performance show that mixes stand-up comedy with thousands of years of rhythms from around the world and a personal tale of growing up foreign in Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
“Basically it’s stand-up from the last three years, a bit of life story. So the last 30 years of my life and the music is musical ideas I’ve been playing around with for the last 8 or 9 years.
"Drumming is my childhood passion and stand-up is my adult passion so I just wanted to roll them into a show.”
This is the first time Ashwin will have performed this show anywhere, and he has chosen Metro Arts to be the place where the world premiere of this work will happen. Ashwin says he gets his ideas for ‘jokes’ from lots of different places, but it’s the ones he doesn’t have to try with that end up the best.
“I’ll wake up at three am with an idea and half the time it’ll be incoherent. It’ll be about sesame seeds and clowns or something that sounded really funny at three in the morning but doesn’t make any sense when you’re awake, and other times they work – and I prefer those jokes because I think they come from deep in your subconscious and they’re probably more meaningful than when I just write words on a piece of paper and twist them around.”
The only problem seems to be that sometimes he has trouble recalibrating to everyday life after being on the stage so often.
“You have to get comfortable saying anything. I’ve had to tell quite embarrassing stories. But they don’t feel embarrassing telling a room full of strangers, stuff I probably wouldn’t tell my friends or people I knew, I’m happy to tell on stage. Sometimes it’s hard to adjust from the stage to everyday; what you say on stage can often get you fired in the workforce.”
Ashwin Segkar's 'Stick Creature' plays at Metro Arts 8, 15 July.