Do you believe it? Well maybe it is down to the word “professional“. See Dylan went there but he is a “professional”. Am I a “professional”? I guess that is a question only my accountant can answer. Either way, I’m going to St Petersburg tomorrow to perform comedy in English and I’m shitting my pants.
I have my visa and plane tickets sorted. The promoters there have been kind enough to fly me and put me up for 3 nights. Tomorrow night I will perform at one of their Russian speaking Stand Up nights for 15 minutes. On Thursday they have some filming they want me to help out with too. Not quite sure what it is but I’m all in, who cares, it will be a blast.
So 15 minutes. Doesn’t sound like much right? But what will I speak to them about? Everyone wants to know if I will do Russian jokes. Well yes but not critical ones. Would you like it if some foreign dickhead came to your country and slagged you off? No. I can make Estonian jokes here because everyone knows me and knows I say it with love but you cant roll in and abuse people. I do have some jokes about Russians which are not anti-Russian though, so I will do them. A story about a young Russian guy being misunderstood in Finnish class. Or that Boris Yelstin quote. Surely they will love that. Do Russians even remember Boris fondly? I sure do.
But what of my other stuff? Will they understand an awkward story about buying condoms? What of one liners? And what of Estonia? Do they even know much about it? What if I make fun of Estonia, what differentiates Estonia to Latvia or Lithuanian or any former Soviet Republic in their minds? Do they want to hear about growing up in Australia? Or does Sergei just want to hear a few dick jokes?
This *could* be the start of a big thing. Bridging east/west comedy relations, opening a door to English comedians to go to Russia and also bringing Russian speaking comedians out here. Jesus I hope I don’t fuck it up.
Al Pitcher said “it’s not about what you say, it’s about how you make them feel”. If I am to succeed tomorrow night, this statement will have never been more true.
He was the co-founder of Comedy Estonia, Comedy Finland and Comedy Latvia. Louis writes, does gigs and performs at private events through the Baltics and Finland