A Personal Taste of Nelson de Gouveia

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First Thursdays – a Real Review

in Life by
first thursdays a real review
It was a promising start for First Thursdays; deep within the bowels of Cape Town’s urban CBD centre, millennials meandered around, babbling in tongues of various languages, be it European, African or technological.

Me and everything that is good about my life walked around, and I was immediately reminded by Louis CK’s sketch about coffeeshop patrons with their sneery chat, “bleghbleghblegh I know bleghblegh Obama.” Keep Reading

Debunking the Public Perception – Sitting by a bar with a friend

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Let’s set the scene; I pick up my friend from a section of Voortrekker Road in Bellville and head up to Durbanville to the Meraki Bar.

We both enter, greet the door lady stating we’re comedians, then we head to the bar, order a few drinks, share a box of cigarettes and look over our notes.

“You think people will show up?” I ask.

“Are you kidding? It’s Meraki.” he retorts, before taking a drag, blow smoke up in the air and looks down at his notes.

The promoter ambles by. “Hey guys, we’re ready for tonight’s show?”

We look over into the venue and see the one table occupied by some “youths” cracking jokes in Afrikaans. “Yeah, we’re as ready as we’ll ever be.”

But the point of this story is not what you think. Keep Reading

Savvy Granny – How my mom knows more than I do

in Life by
savvy granny

While I was away in London, my mother grew up and became a savvy granny.

She’s a 71 year-old Margaret Thatcher matriarch of the Portuguese community within Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, with fellow residents from as far afield as Paarl travelling down to get their age-old sequin dresses hemmed and stitched by her soft and wrinkled yet experienced hands. She doesn’t quite skateboard down steep hills or listen to thrash metal locked away in her bedroom but, like a teenager squabbling to her parents for the next Nokia, she seeks out new experiences with youthful aplomb.
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What I do/don’t want from Comedy

in Comedy by
want from comedy

I think about what I want or don’t want from comedy, and I find that I do this little thing and enjoy the standing up in front of a strange crowd, telling jokes about my past awkwardness and misadventures, while at the same time edge quietly towards being edgy as a host, but I’ve got the feeling my public persona doesn’t fit a profile that either hits the mainstream hard or swims in the obscurity of cult status.

So, to explain my motives, here are my ambitions and avoidances of Comedy:

  • DO: want to eventually be performing in front of big crowds. I feel at home with a lot of people warmed up to the idea of a stock comedian making them laugh.
  • DON’T: want to continue into my 70’s performing in front of tiny open-mic crowds.
  • DO: want to work with talented people I gel with, to brainstorm awesome ideas and create a semblance of community that serves the general public in many forms of entertainment.
  • DON’T: want to work with guys looking for a quick jump-start to short-term fame.
  • DO: want to develop television or radio schemes with others and be part of a creative group with resources to turn it around in a short space of time. I’ve already written a few, need to start pitching it to a talented guy I’ve recently met.
  • DON’T: want to agree to flimsy promises that never take fruit thanks to ignorance.
  • DO: want to write for a magazine, newspaper or website that accepts my unexplored views on everything from life, love to laundry.
  • DON’T: want to be limited only to this blog.
  • DO: want to make the people I love proud, to show that their support for my abilities aren’t unfounded and that they can share in the fruits of my efforts in hichever way they wish.
  • DON’T: want to be told I’ll never make something of myself because I’m white, single, foreign or never attained a degree/diploma (that one was based on funds).
  • DO: want to “stand before kings, and leave a name to be remembered.” – Benjamin Franklin
  • DON’T: want to be forgotten.

On a dark and stormy night… (a writing exercise)

in Life by
going online mastrubation
In most occasions, I tend to try and write specifically about a subject, but on this occasion I don’t have one…yet, as I just described to my sister-in-law, I do enjoy using the first line, “On a dark and stormy night…” to meander off into subsequent variations of the theme before reaching the point, in order to jump-start the creative process.

And here’s the result.

On a dark and stormy night…

…well, a slightly dark and stormy night, really. In July in the southern hemisphere. And but slightly, I really mean sort-of dusky with a small chance of drizzle.

And when I mean by stormy, really some drizzle with the possibility that your eyes will seem accustomed to the African sun after a few months of the blanket of clouds hanging overcast like a comfort pillow thrown over by an over-protective mother that still loves you despite yelling you a few hours before for leaving your bike out in the yard.

And when I mean drizzle at dusk, I really mean an occasional smattering of one or two droplets descending upon the earth like a few Spartans entering a battle…without their mates, resulting in totally defeat by the Persian horde, that sort of smattering.

And dusk is such a relative term. I would say about 9am, the sun easily penetrating the window like a geriatric peeping Tom with a pace-maker that ticks away like the timepiece in the crocodile that ate Captain Hook’s hand from Peter Pan, the old badger ruffling through the plants trying to find a good view up your nose as your bed faces feet first towards the window.

So anyway, on a slightly morning-ish time of the day with a slight smattering of droplets…I discovered you can get Jews on a train far more easily if you charged them half.

The End.

Hanging out with Dad #5heartattackswontstopme

in Life by
dad

I’ve been here two months, did a few shows, got into a few interviews and caught up with a few friends and family. But nothing, so far, has been as awe-inspiring as spending time with my Dad.

I wrote a joke back in London about my dad saving me from something when I was very small, which is part of the bigger truth, of the bond between us I missed for so long growing up in a matriarchal home. But now, after 12 years away, I’ve been relishing the little moments we share together, for as a teenager I never fully appreciated the impact he had on me, and in his twilight years fraught with medical uncertainty for his health, I aim to take the time to enjoy every moment.

In a nutshell…he may be the quiet one at the back you should look out for, but in my life one of the funniest men I’ve ever known.
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Comedy not Jazz background

in Comedy by
comedy not jazz background

Ever heard of comedy not jazz background for your conversation? So tonight I had the joy of opening up Comics@Work at the Armchair Theatre in Observatory, and a small table began to talk amongst themselves.

Which is fine for any Tom, Dick and Harry comedian, as it portrays a lack of enthusiasm for the comedian and the show itself on most occasion, and it is up to the performer to entertain the crowd to a point where everyone’s attention is suddenly transfixed at the silliness, the punch lines, the charisma.

But knuckleheadedness reared it’s fat, ugly, greasy sonofabitch head tonight with this table.

What began as simply each comedian getting slightly distracted by this group of fascist actor/jobless knowitalls turned into an all-out conversation throughout the entire show, with compere Christopher Steenkamp having to request their silence at the interval for the second-half, only to be met half-heatedly with a biligerent “no”, like the man himself held the crown jewels of England between his legs and his own ass was made from gold and reeked of nutmeg.

After the show, a stand-off occurred where said compere (balls to the max) confronted them once more and a shouting match occur, whereupon said Crown Jewels man gave a comment I will never forget:

“Hey, freedom of speech, k?”

As a comedian pointed out so thoughtfully tonight, they basically sat there talking about their amazing yet fruitless and wasted lives with the comedy as jazz music background. Thank you, actors, thank you so much for belittling the spoken word craft that you cannot succeed in yourselves. You’ll be seeing at least some of us in magazines touting our comedy shows and DVD’s long before you get to be extras in porn films as pot-plants.

Comics@Work

Love Star Trek much?

in Life by
love star trek
There are few subjects I can usually relate to people about. Sports are as functional to me as sex, I just don’t know the people performing in both. Even an ex-girlfriend successfully stood me up when I tried to open up the fuel-tank for a van I hired to move home.

But I love Star Trek…hold onto your ridges, Mister Worf.
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