After ten years on the road (and two in lockdown), comedian Joch Díaz is ready to share the secrets of power, beauty and octopus coitus.

 

 

Joch Díaz is ready to reclaim the silly in the post-lockdown world. In Still Untested Powers, Díaz offers an uncompromising and poignant look at his adult life; one that took him to seven countries in 13 years, discovering stand-up in Spain, accidentally making his debut after Scotland’s biggest comedian, and landing in Australia just before the world stopped. 

“My first time performing in English was right after Frankie Boyle. While I knew his name, I didn’t recognise him. Before I went on, I told him that he did a “good job”. It was only until I saw a clipping in the green room did I realise who he was. It felt like the ending of The Usual Suspects. Ridiculous things happen every day. Being a comedian super tunes you to the ridiculous in the same way that the poet’s brain is tuned to the beauty. The same way the poet is a slave to the beauty of the world, the comic is a slave to the silly,” he said.

Speaking to The Big Smoke, Díaz untangled the intricacies of being funny in two languages, his treatment at the hands of strangers and the marked differences between cultures.

“In British culture, when you do stand up, heckling is part of it. You should be able to banter with people. Whereas in Spanish, it’s different. Australia is the only place where I’ve consistently been told to speak English. Like in a ‘go back to your own country’ kind of way. I don’t want to obsess about it or draw the conclusion that this is a racist country. I look like I look – in Mexico this means that I am white. Mexico is the only place in the world where I am white. Australia is the only place in the world where I felt like a person of colour.” 

Still Untested Powers was inspired by a quote from ‘2001’ that fascinated Díaz as a teen: “And then he waited, marshalling his thoughts and brooding over his still untested powers, for though he was the master of the world, he wasn’t quite sure of what to do next. But he would think of something.”

“The main concept is that we are burdened with unlimited power, but limited understanding. You are thrown into the world with the potential of being anything and the homework of figuring out whether or not that is a blessing or a course. That is the common point that binds together all the bits in the show, whether they are about the power of beauty or the sadness of adulthood,” Díaz said.

“I strive to present the kind of material that would only make sense in my voice, with varying degrees of success. I like the kind of show where, in the end, the audience knows the comedian a little bit better, albeit through a character. I hope this is what this show accomplishes. The building blocks of the show are the best bits that I have written during the years. Some of them are observations, some of them are opinions, but the immense majority of them are experiences…I hope that the emotional footprint of what I write is the thing people can relate to.”

Delivered in his unique, infectious energy, Díaz says his forthcoming shows are about what comedy does to you. But while the character on stage shares the comedian’s name, he “says things I wouldn’t say…but says things I would think of saying.”

 

 

 

 

Joch Díaz’s Still Untested Powers can be seen at Marrickville’s Factory Theatre Thursday 18 November, Friday 19 November, and Saturday, 20 November at 9.30 pm. Tickets are available via the link.

 

 

 

 

 

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