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Chris Martin – scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do?
I’m a clinical scientist, improviser, stand-up and sketch comedian (quadruple threat!). I co-founded Big Fork Theatre in 2015, we are known for our monthly improv show Cool Story Bro and experimental sketch comedy night Get It Inya. I do a lot of stand-up comedy around Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, so you can see me doing well or poorly on most nights of the week.

Why do you do it?
I have always wanted to do comedy. My life is a bit of a sitcom actually. I started an improv class in 2011 with ImproMafia and the rest is history. I love doing comedy. I get excited by the challenge of making strangers laugh and trying new material.

What do you love about the city you live in?
I’ve noticed the last few years Brisbane is booming: great food places, nightlife, festivals, a strong sport culture and an appreciation of the arts. Brisbane people will try anything once so comedy nights generally get a good audience that are willing to laugh. I was at a gig in Melbourne recently and someone made fun of Brisbane for being boring – to be fair it was me – but I think our city will get the last laugh.

Where did you go for your last holiday?
I’m on holidays now. I’m in Melbourne performing my show 'Undercover Festival Cops' at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with my girlfriend Taylor. The show is about two cops that go undercover at the comedy festival to catch Australia’s biggest drug dealer, who also happens to be Tom Gleeson. It’s a load of fun, you should come.

What's your favourite item of clothing? Why?
I have this shirt that’s about eight years old now. I got it at Jay Jays and it’s the best shirt in the world. For whatever reason, when I wear it I feel healthy. Usually, my old shirts turn into bed shirts but I still wear this one out, holes and all. You gotta feel healthy.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?
'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'! I was a Raphael fan. I even dressed like him as a kid and had a saying that I used before beating up the invisible bad guys: “Hi, I’m Raphael and I’m a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and my favourite colour is red! Boom!” Also, 'Angry Beavers' was great.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
I just watched 'The People vs OJ Simpson' on Netflix. It was great. I guess I would go back and see if OJ actually did it, I’m pretty sure he did. I like to think I could help stop the murders, but I’m not sure what the time travelling rules are.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us?
The best damn nachos in the world. You probably make good nachos, mine are better! Come over and I’ll make them for you.

What's the best lesson you've ever learned?
Improv has a philosophy of accepting failure and I’ve really taken that onboard. Failure is inevitable and makes you stronger as a performer. Accepting failure helped me feel more comfortable performing stand-up for the first time in 2015 during Raw Comedy, where I bombed so hard.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows...
As of about five years ago I thought all coffee was instant coffee. I’m not an idiot and I have been to cafes, I just assumed they made tinned coffee a bit fancier; it blew my mind when I found out. I also burnt my parent’s kitchen down cooking spring rolls and was an accidental drug dealer at high school with my ADD medication.

Are you happy with your work/ life balance?
I could use more sleep, but generally it’s pretty good.

How do you define success?
Tough question. Being happy within yourself with the work, social and private aspects of your life but also always trying to be better.

What's your spirit animal?
I have surprisingly fast reflexes like a mongoose, so I guess mongoose. I like sleep so maybe a koala.

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