Tomorrow John Vlismas will be one of the comedians on show at Arcade Empire for KakFunny Sessions. For 15 years he has deftly walked the line between underground, alternative and mainstream comedy. His brand of comedy is strange and hilarious and he has charmed audiences locally as well as internationally. His absurd worldview has the rare ability to resonate across all audiences. He has written, directed, lectured, acted and mc’d in all kinds of venues from small bars to the Royal Albert Hall. We asked him a few questions ahead of his first appearance at our favorite venue, this is how it went:
MA: Tell us how you got started in comedy?
I trained as an actor, but there was so little work in KZN, when some friends started a bar room improv concept, I jumped in. On the suggestion of a lovely lady called Hanelie who managed the venue, I gave stand-up a go, and that’s where I got hooked.
MA: What can we expect from your up-and-coming show at KakFunny Sessions this Thursday at Arcade Empire?
I like the idea of playing at a venue I haven’t done before, so that’s exciting for me.I like the concept of experimenting, so I’ll be trying some pieces of my new show “40”, hopefully it will go as well as the last club where I tried some new stuff.
MA: Tell us a little bit more about your project “40” that you have coming up?
“40” is a show with all-new material. It’s also the mostimmersive stand-up av experience for the audience I’ve ever done, and probably ever done in SA, so it has taken a lot of planning, some serious learning of software, editing and animation – as well as the help of a great company called LEDVision.
MA: Who is John Vlismas offstage?
I’m fairly quiet, tend to read a lot and do quite a bit of research. I don’t socialise a lot and tend to invite friends to my place, or go to theirs. Although I really love good movies, I very seldom watch comedy. When I get time off, I scuba dive, paint or surf. I’m also a vegetarian, but it has become boring trying to explain what that means, apparently – it’s a mystery.
My production company, Whacked:Special Project, is busy with quite a lot – we create the show for the Comic’s Choice Awards, our big line-up show, Mass Hysteria is set to hit JHB, PE and CT in a few months time, we’re looking into touring the show we just did in JHB called, Bitches, and we have Mark Bank’s show, Banksrupt setting up for a run in CT and EL. So, we have our hands full at the moment with schedules, logistics and some design.
Everyone gets it at some point, even me.
MA: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Is this a job interview? I don’t know – but I’m sure it will be somewhere interesting.
MA: Where can people follow you?
Facebook – The Real John Vlismas Page
Make sure you get your ticket now for his new show “40” at the Lyric Theatre. Get your tickets now at Computicket
Here is a clip from his previous show “38 Special”