Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English stand-up comedian Kwame Asante.
We kick off the interview and speak about his ongoing Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, Open Arms. We speak about the themes behind the show and his inspiration for it. We chat about it being Kwame’s first full-hour show and how he says it’s been a long time coming.
We talk about how the previews had been going and Kwame speaks about his excitement about bringing his first hour-long show to the Fringe.
I ask him whether he’s nervous about getting back on the scene having had a 4-year break while he was finishing his studies.
He has performed at Edinburgh many times over the years though, just not with a solo show, so I asked him about some of the highs and lows that he’s experienced performing up in Edinburgh and what he’s learned that he can use to ensure he puts on a good show this time around.
Kwame is a doctor, a proper medical doctor, none of this Hunter Thompson stuff, so I ask him about if there are any similarities between the two disciplines and what he’s learned from being a doctor that he can use as a stand-up comedian.
We talk then about how it can be tricky to fit in doing stand-up comedy while having a medical career, but Kwame says that he’s found a way to do it and that he make sure to keep time for comedy because, for him, is about being inspired, about improving his writing and about getting up and performing his material on stage.
We speak about the dark humour that doctors and medical professionals are known for and where that comes from and why so many doctors embrace life because they know we could be gone at any moment.
We get talking about why dark humour is so prevalent among medical professionals and Kwame speaks about something very interesting, about how when you work so many hours you sometimes forget that out in the real world it’s not full of sick or dying people so when you’re working and surrounded by morbid situation you develop different coping mechanism than you would if you works in a job where you didn’t always see sick people.
We chat then about the reaction of medical colleagues when they find out he also does stand-up comedy.
We speak about the advances in medical technology and how in the future Kwame hopes that Google won’t make him obsolete.
We get back to comedy then and we speak about the challenge Kwame faced of putting a show together, and using his best bits from over the years and trying to weave them together into an show-type narrative. We speak then about Kwame’s writing technique and how he goes from the original idea for a joke to performing it in his set.
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